Challenges In Writing Cover Letters And Resumes
Resume and Cover Letter Examples Listed By Job
Find Inspiration Within These Samples and Write a Great Resume
Writing your resume and cover letters can be a challenge and you may not know where to begin. One of the best ways to find inspiration is to browse examples for similar job positions and skill sets.
Below you will find a variety of samples for job applicants. These will give you an idea of the skills and experience you want to highlight when writing your own resume, as well as how to write a cover letter in your industry of choice.
Take a look at a few of the examples and make notes about what you like more about each. Note how the writer uses keywords to grab the hiring manager's attention and what makes the candidate stand out.
Review Resumes and Cover Letters Samples
When writing your cover letter and resume, don't be bashful. These two pieces of paper are your opportunity to show off your skills and personality. Keep it professional, but sell yourself! Use these examples to get suggestions for your own interview winning job application materials.
Administrative assistants, receptionists and office managers perform many of the same tasks. These examples will help you write your own cover letters and resume for any of these positions.
Keep in mind that employers often look for strong communication and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to work independently and efficiently when hiring for these positions.
Highlight your strengths in these areas and be sure to note any relevant experience.
Business and Finance Jobs
The world of business and finance is very complex, and there are a variety of jobs available in these industries.
The following cover letter and resume examples can inspire your own no matter what position you are seeking in this sector.
The key to writing an effective cover letter and resume for the business world is to play up your strengths and experience. Your cover letter should give one or two specific examples demonstrating how you helped your previous employer gain a competitive edge or meet a goal. Your resume can be tailored to highlight your strengths and experience in the best light, so be sure to look at the targeted and functional examples as well.
If you are in the business of communications, then your resume and cover letters had better be the best a hiring manager will see! This is, after all, your career and if you cannot sell yourself properly before you get the job, it puts your value to their team in question.
Grammar and spelling should be perfect, and you can use your cover letter to show off your writing and communication skills, giving it your unique voice.
Use these examples as a framework and build on them while making sure that you include your most valuable experience.
Construction and Maintenance Jobs
Skilled trade jobs in construction and maintenance require a detailed resume and cover letter highlighting your experience. These examples will give you an idea of what to include, no matter if you're a journeyman electrician, a construction site manager or anywhere in between.
The ability to troubleshoot problems, demonstrate high technical skills and work efficiently and independently are most important in these trades.
Be sure to highlight those in your cover letter with any supervisory experience. Don't forget to include all certifications and affiliations in your resume as well.
Working in education can be very rewarding and it is important to convey your experience in your cover letters and resume. When applying for a position, highlight your unique and most important skills because this can be a very competitive job market, especially when the pay is above average.
Be sure to research the school that you are applying to before writing your cover letter so you can add a little enthusiasm to demonstrate why you want to work there. Also, include any teaching experience you have - summer sessions as well - particularly if you're just starting out.
It is becoming more common for cooks and waiters to apply for jobs with a cover letter and resume instead of a simple application. This is especially true if you want to work in high-end restaurants.
Customer service and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment are key to all of these positions, be sure to highlight those in your experience. Chefs will want to show off their skills; consider mentioning a particular dish that was a hit at your last position.
Professional bartenders and others in the hospitality industry can also use these examples.
Information Technology Jobs
Jobs in IT are very technical and your cover letters and resume should reflect your technical expertise. Use the examples to get an idea of formatting and what details you need to include.
Remember that this field is very competitive and you need to stand out from the other applicants. Because your resume may look like others, pay special attention to your cover letter. Give examples of how your work improved the company you worked for or met a specific challenge.
Showing off your experience in retail is an important part of applying for a new job. Hiring managers often look for employees that have a background with strong customer service and merchandising skills as well as those they can trust with money.
Whether you are seeking a management or sales floor position, your cover letters and resume should detail your work experience. Formatting your jobs in chronological order, beginning with the most recent position is used most often in retail.
Summer Jobs and Internships
Young people may not have the work experience to fill up an entire resume, but there are ways to supplement that when you need to write a cover letter and resume. Include volunteer experience, school activities and other accomplishments.
Employers don't expect teens and college students to have a lot of jobs listed, instead, they are looking for self-starters and reliable employees. Capitalize on that and use these examples as inspiration.
I’ve read a lot of cover letters throughout my career. When I was a fellowship program manager, I reviewed them in consideration for more than 60 open positions each year. So I saw it all–the good, the bad, and the standout examples that I can still remember.
As a result, I’ve become the go-to friend when people need feedback on their job applications. Based on my own experience putting people in the “yes” (and “no”) pile, I’m able to give these cover letters a quick scan and immediately identify what’ll turn a hiring manager off.
While I can’t give you insight into every person’s head who’ll be reading your materials, I can share with you the feedback that I give my own loved ones.
1. The Basics
First things first, I skim the document for anything that could be disqualifying. That includes typos, a “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” salutation, or a vibe so non-specific that it reeks of find-replace. I know it seems harsh, but when a hiring manager sees any one of these things, she reads it as, “I didn’t take my time with this, and I don’t really care about working here.” So she’s likely to pass.
Another thing I look for in this initial read-through is tone. Even if you’re applying to your dream company, you don’t want to come off like you think someone entertaining your candidacy is the same as him offering you water at the end of a lengthy hike. You don’t need to thank the hiring manager so incredibly much for reading your application–that’s his job. If you align considering your application with the biggest favor ever, you’ll make the other person think it’s because you’re desperate.
So, skip effusive thanks and demonstrate genuine interest by writing a cover letter that connects the dots between your experience and the requirements of the position. Telling the reader what you’ve accomplished and how it directly translates to meeting the company’s needs is always a better use of space than gushing.
2. The Opening Sentence
If your first line reads: “I am writing to apply for [job] at [company],” I will delete it and suggest a swap every time. (Yes, every single time.) When a hiring manager sees that, she won’t think, “How thoughtful of the applicant to remind me what I’m reading!” Her reaction will be much closer to, “boring,” “meh,” or even “next!”
Compare it to one of these statements:
I’ve wanted to work in education ever since my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Dorchester, helped me discover a love of reading.
My approach to management is simple: I strive to be the kind of leader I’d want to work for.
In my three years at [prior company], I increased our average quarterly sales by [percentage].
See how these examples make you want to keep reading? That’s half the battle right there. Additionally, it makes you memorable, which’ll help when you’re competing against a sea of applicants.
To try it out for yourself, pick a jumping-off point. It could be something about you or an aspect of the job description that you’re really drawn to. Then, open a blank document and just free-write (translation: write whatever comes to mind) for 10 minutes. Some of the sentences you come up with will sound embarrassing or lame: That’s fine–no one has to see those! Look for the sentence that’s most engaging and see how it reads as the opening line for your cover letter.
3. The Examples
Most often, people send me just their cover letter and resume, so I don’t have the benefit of reviewing the position description. And yet, whenever a letter follows the format of “I am skilled at [skill], [skill], [skill], as evidenced by my time at [place].” Or “You’re looking for [skill], and I am a talented [skill], ” I could pretty much re-create it. Surprise: that’s actually not a good thing.
Again, the goal isn’t just to show you’re qualified: It’s to make the case that you’re more qualified than all the other applicants. You want to make clear what distinguishes you, so the hiring manager can see why you’re worth following up with to learn more. And–again–you want to be memorable.
If you write a laundry list, it’ll blend into every other submission formatted the same way. So, just like you went with a unique opener, do the same with your examples. Sure, you might still include lists of skills, but break those up with anecdotes or splashes of personality.
Here’s a real, two-line excerpt from a cover letter I’ve written before:
If I’m in a conference room and the video isn’t working, I’m not the sort to simply call IT and wait. I’ll also (gracefully) crawl under the table, and check that everything is properly plugged in.
A couple lines like this will not only lighten up your letter, but also highlight your soft skills. I got the point across that I’m a take-charge problem solver, without saying, “I’m a take-charge problem solver.” Plus the “(gracefully)” shows that I don’t take myself too seriously–even in a job application. If your submission follows the same list-type format all the way through, see if you can’t pepper in an example or anecdote that’ll add some personality.
You want your cover letter to stand out for all the right reasons. So, before you click submit, take a few minutes to make sure you’re putting your best (and most memorable) foot forward.
Related Video: This Is What People Really Think Of Your Resumé
This article originally appeared on The Daily Muse and is reprinted with permission.