Even if you maintain an online resume, always submit a cover letter — writing one is a necessary evil. If you don’t include a summary that highlights who you are, what you do, how you do it differently, and how it applies to your prospective employer then you are starting your relationship on the wrong foot. Finally, avoid the generic “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”. With plenty of online research tools such as Facebook or LinkedIn potential employers want to see that you did your homework and at least found the name of a relevant person in human resources or recruitment to send your resume to.
More On — and Off-line Pointers
- Keep it concise. Do not write clunky paragraphs or bombard your resume with crazy fonts and colors.
- Don’t bore your reader! Only include information of interest.
- Stay away from jargon or acronyms.
- Don’t lie.
- Remove phrases like, “responsible for,” since it doesn’t say much. Use only precise verbs that describe your skills (i.e., managed, led, sold-in, etc.).
- Omit “references available upon request.” It’s the most obvious point you can make.
An online resume is a chance to let your skills shine like they never have on hardcopy, so don’t be afraid to let out the big guns — this is your career we’re talking about.
Melissa Llarena is the owner of career solutions firm Career Outcomes Matter LLC. For the last 10 years she has conducted professional development workshops and one-on-one assistance with career/job hunt strategies, resume writing, LinkedIn strategies/profiles, mock behavioral interviews, salary negotiations and leadership/rotational program job applications. Her firm teaches high potential individuals how to sell their superpowers so they can reach the professional goals they once thought were unattainable.