Guest Post By: Kayla Brock
I have a ton of resumes saved on my computer. I have a retail resume, administration resume, journalism resume, and a broadcasting resume. Jack-of-all-Trades you may say; that is because each resume and cover letter has to be tailored to what I’m applying for so I can show how I am the best fit for the job. Here are some tips to help you create your own resumes and cover letters.
First bullet, best bullet
My aunt used to say that your first bullet needs to be your best bullet. What is the best position that you’ve had that you can put forward that applies to that particular role? That should always go first.
For example if I am applying for an administration job then I will showcase my administration experience on the very first bullet. The start of your resume should showcase the best part of you.
There is no need to share every little job you’ve had. If you had a weekend gig and it is not important to the position then don’t put it on the resume. It will just take up space and distract from your relevant experience.
People have a lot of strong opinions on this one; some people say a resume should be no longer than two pages and some people now say no longer than one. I try to keep my resumes ranging from a page to a page and a half. This includes my small introduction and list of skill sets.
Every bullet should serve a purpose. Ask yourself so what? Why is this important to add to your resume? Who will care? This might make it easier to narrow down what you need to put in your resume.
Make it Unique
Basic resumes today are just that...basic. If you are in a creative field, make a creative resume. Add colors, break up the page, create columns, but don’t make it distracting.
Cover Letter Reminders
When writing a cover letter:
- Always put what role you’re applying of and write about who you are
- When writing the header try to mention someone’s name not just “To Whom It May Concern.” If I can’t find a name then I just say “Dear (company name)”.
- Use keywords in your cover letter. If a job wants copywriters and you have that experience put that keyword in there. Most resumes today are computer-screened first and having those keywords in there can help it get past that initial screening.
- Pitch yourself as to why you are the perfect fit and why they need you and lastly why you attracted to the job.
- Don’t regurgitate your resume. Use this space to write additional details that you couldn’t write in your resume.
- Mention what brought you to position. Was it your interest in travel? Social media? Environmental law? etc.
- It doesn’t have to be overly formal. Showcase your voice.
- End with a simple conclusion.
- Let someone else read it – it is always good to get feedback.
When it comes to resume writing, don’t over think it. In my opinion, it is best to showcase who you are as a person and what you can bring to the table. The more passion the better.
A plan that I normally try to instill is to spend a day or two just looking up jobs that interest me, making a list of what they are, what they are looking for, and duties and skills of the positions. Then I spend the next couple days writing out cover letter sand tailoring my resumes to jobs.
It is easier to start with a cover letter template and then rewrite parts of it or changes things around that fit. Last thing, always start early! I’ve had jobs respond to me months after I first applied.
Kayla Brock is the co-founder of Visual Venture Vibes (@visualventurevibes), an online editorial platform highlighting tips and tricks, videography, and people of color in the travel industry. She’s a lover of wine, animals, storytelling, and anything adventurous. Connect with her on social @kayla_nicole64