Some Things to Work on for Your Portfolio Revision
Below are a “few” résumé issues I’d like to mention. Remember, your final cover letters and résumés are due with your portfolio. If you want me to look over other drafts, please bring them to me during office hours. Remember, I’m not commenting on these assignments as if I am the actual person hiring you for a job. I’m a disinterested party who wants to keep you thinking about why you’re making the choices that appear in your résumés and cover letters.
Although there are different ways to construct your cover letters and résumés, we discussed rhetorical strategies for efficient, effective documents. If you choose not to follow those guidelines, I expect your portfolio reflection to defend that choice. Why is your format the more effective one for your purpose.
OVERALL QUESTION: Why do you want the career you seek? Very few of you explained why you want to be in a particular career. Some of you don’t have as much work experience as others, so you should definitely be explaining what moves you to be in this career.
Here are the big cover letter/résumé issues I’d like us to consider:
- Try to keep to one page if you have less than 3 years of experience in a particular field–adjust spacing if necessary
- Show don’t tell
- Telling: I’m a team player…I’m punctual…I’m a people person…I’m a self starter…
- In this role, I work with several other employees to complete…
- As a manager supervising X [number of] employees, I routinely arrive at the office before we open in order to…
- At the front desk, I had to interact with customers/clients to make sure their experience…
- Although I was hired to be a line cook, I quickly moved into the role of shift manager when …
- What can you do for them, not what they can do for you.
- Close properly–“Please contact me at…if you have any further questions.”
- Proper Business Letter Format
- You don’t have to have “real” addresses or people in your letters
- “Enclosure”–this should come at the bottom of your Cover Letter if you actually send one in (unlikely with an email or upload)
- As my resume shows…[specific skill]
- SIMPLE DIRECT VERBS for duties
- Openings–get to the point and offer a snapshot of yourself
- How do your words work for you? What picture are you trying to “paint?”
- Full justification isn’t very pleasing to read in letters
- Don’t list qualities (hard worker, lots of experience, team player, etc.) in your résumés–they should be obvious in your cover letter
- When do you add courses to your résumés and which ones are appropriate
- Is your high school important? What is NC-based and what might transfer nationally?
- What is your philosophy about the career field you wish to enter?
Remember, I’m commenting on your cover letters and résumés as an English professor who is trying to get you to think about strategies that SHOW you’re the ideal candidate. I’m not in the context of the person hiring you, so the comments I give are for further thought.