Resumes and cover letters [PPT 5.6MB]

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Professional Employment Program
Writing effective resumes and cover
letters: telling your story through written
applications
Presenter: Olivia Doyle
Career Practitioner,
Centre for Career Development
15 September 2014
Swinburne
Telling your story through written applications:
Seminar objectives:
Students will gain an insight into key features of written job
applications:
- Resumes
- Cover letters and emails
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Tell your story to stand out from the crowd
Swinburne
Most jobs require written applications to assist recruiters to
identify the candidates to short list for interview
You need to ensure ALL aspects of your written application
tell your story in the most effective manner to market you as
a qualified, talented individual who matches the employer’s
selection criteria (often essential and desirable) required for
the vacant job
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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A key document for job applications is your
resume
Swinburne
What is a resume?
• A marketing/sales tool - a brochure that tells your story
and QUICKLY promotes your skills and achievements
• A document that presents you as a professional
• Maps why you are a match to the job on offer AND to the
organisation
• The key to gaining an interview
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Swinburne
How long does it take for a recruiter to
assess a resume?
Often less than 20 seconds
So what makes a good resume?
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Common mistakes in written graduate
applications
Swinburne
- Bland applications - candidate does not stand out from the
crowd
- No obvious links to the job – the reader has to join the dots
- Not addressing selection criteria
- Poor written communication skills
- - Spelling
- - Grammar
- - Expression
- - Presentation
- Expression
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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What makes for a winning resume?
Swinburne
Content
Layout
- Matches the requirements
of the employer
- Clear and easy to scan
- Uncluttered
- Uses short, clearly written
phrases and paragraphs to
demonstrate your skills &
experience
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
- Appropriate format
- Adequate margins and
whitespace white space
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Resume Layout / Presentation
Swinburne
-
Make the résumé as simple and easy to read as possible
-
Consider type styles and font size (eg Times New Roman, 12)
-
Avoid font mania - use only one plain font – Arial or Times New Roman
set at 11 or 12 point in size
-
All indents are in alignment (use Tab & indent settings NOT
spacebar)
-
Use bold / italics / boxes (borders) wisely
-
Avoid italics or underline as they don’t fax or scan into a database
well
-
Don’t OVERCAPITALISE
-
Use page breaks so lists and paragraphs are not split
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
Vital resume content
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Swinburne
Targeted to the requirements listed in the advertisement
Use of key words
Highlights the strengths of your brand
Tell a positive story
Achievement focused
Concise
Honest
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
It’s a crowded market!
Swinburne
On average 250
resumes are
received for each
job position
The average time
a recruiter spends
looking at a
resume is 5.7
seconds
76% of resumes
are ignored if your
email address is
unprofessional
The first
applications are
received 200
seconds after a job
is posted
Source: The Recruiters
Lounge
Recruiters often short list job applicationsSwinburne
into three categories
Which pile will your story end up in?
YES
MAYBE
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
NO
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Resume Styles
Swinburne
- Reverse Chronological
Arranges your experience and education in reverse chronological
order (from most recent to least recent)
- Functional
Headings relate to your relevant skills and competencies rather than
time-line order
- Creative
Using the resume as a tool to demonstrate your design/creative skills
using colour and images etc
Resume builder & example resumes
Swinburne
- Access SwinEmploy at www.swin.edu.au/careers
- Sam Chronology template
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Resume content – sample headings
Contact Details
Education /
Qualifications
Associations /
Memberships
Professional
Development
Extra Curricular
Activities
Demonstrated
Skills Summary
Employment
History
Project
Work/Industry
Projects
Volunteer Work
Career
Objective/Career
Profile
Referees
Hobbies
NOTE: Not all of these headings are
required for all resumes.
Resume content – irrelevant information
•
•
•
•
•
•
Date of birth / age
Place of birth
Nationality
Ethnic origin
Marital status
•
•
•
•
•
Religion
Political persuasion
Health
Height / weight
Photograph
Number of children
WHY?
Contact details
Name (first name and surname)
Address (optional)
Telephone Number
Email Address
Link to your LinkedIn profile
Link to on-line portfolio
(Ensure email is professional i.e. [email protected] NOT
[email protected] or [email protected])
* Work visa status for international students
Professional profile / career objective (optional)
EXAMPLE
 IT professional with substantial experience in commercial software
development
 Highly experienced in:





HTML5
CSS3
JavaScript
J Query
C#.NET
 Skilled in translating client requirements into effective end products
 Targeting senior development role within a commercial environment
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
Australia
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Professional profile / career objective (optional)
Swinburne
EXAMPLE
Cisco specialist (CCNA) with eight years’ experience,
providing:
 First-level help desk technical support and
troubleshooting on IT network
 Installation, configuration and administration of Cisco IT
infrastructures: Cisco switches, routers, VOIP telephony,
QoS, security applications, firewalls and network protocols.
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
Education
Swinburne
Provide a detailed insight into your studies
Don’t just list qualification title and university
Include:
- Key or relevant study areas
- Highlight good results
- Exchanges / study abroad tours / internships
- Awards or scholarships
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Education EXAMPLE
Swinburne
EDUCATION
2011 – Present Master of Information Technology
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
Key areas of study:
 Network Design and Security
 Web Applications Development
Distinction average results achieved to date
2008 – 2010
Bachelor of Information Systems (Software)
Ho Chi Minh University, Vietnam
High Distinction results achieved
** Do not need to include your secondary school education if completed overseas
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
Additional headings
Swinburne
 Professional Development - seminars, short courses,
conferences RELATED to the position you are seeking
 Industry specific headings
Eg Endorsements / Certifications / Software Licences
 Industry Projects / Capstone Projects
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
Additonal headings EXAMPLES
Swinburne
Certifications
-
2013 CCNA Cisco Routing & Switching
-
2012 Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician
Academic Awards
-
2014 Swinburne University Dean’s Award for Outstanding Results in Networking
Major Academic Projects
-
2013 Networking Design Proposal for Davis Jells Pty Ltd – involving review of
organisational requirements, budget and preparation of detailed design proposal
-
2013 Internet Security Project for Tiger Toy’s Pty Ltd on-line shopping cart –
involving infrastructure and programming in C++
Swinburne
Professional memberships
2013 – Current
Student Member
Australian Computer Society
2013 – Current
Student Member
Australian Institute of Management
(Gym Membership is NOT a professional membership)
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
Employment history
Swinburne
 A chance to demonstrate how your brand differs from
others
 Present in reverse chronological order
 Include dates and duration
 Do not include any position beyond 10 years (unless
highly relevant)
 Document Responsibilities and Achievements
 Consider separating relevant employment / experience
from other experience (this is especially useful when
your most relevant experience is not necessarily your
most recent)
Use of achievements
Swinburne
- Promotions
- Increasing sales figures or improving efficiencies - quantify
- Being part of a team that….(what your team did) – implementing or
designing systems or processes
- Winning an award or prize – even a trivial one
- Employee of the month / year
- Customer service / quality awards
Employment history EXAMPLE
Swinburne
PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT
Jun 2010 – Present
Web Designer
Colours Media Pty Ltd, St Kilda
(Specialist web designers for print media)
Responsibilities:
- Liaise with clients to determine design specifications
- Design web pages using ASP> NET, MySqul
- Intranet development using Java Servlets, JSP, Taglibs
Achievements:
- Development of award winning website www.surfshow.com.au
- Consistently receive positive feedback from customers regarding
my excellent customer service focus
Dec 2007 – May 2008
Software Programmer / Analyst
Arayeh-Nullah Co, Tehran, Iran
(Largest software developer in Iran)
Responsibilities:
…
Employment history cont.
Swinburne
Other Employment (or Casual Employment)
June 2008 – Present
Crew Member
McDonalds, St Kilda
Responsibilities:
- Customer service
- Food preparation
- Working in team of approximately 10 people
- Handling cash and balancing tills
- Following OH&S practices
- Training new staff members
Achievements:
- Crew Member of the Month on two occasions
- Regularly exceeded sales targets
Employment history - layout comparison
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
2011
Manigrida Shire
Northern Territory
Trainee Engineer
As an employee of the council I worked as part of
a design team consisting of three members Mr C. Vill, Mr D.
Sign and Ms N. Inear. We developed extensive computer
models for local drainage networks which are very important
to this part of Northern Australia. I also had the opportunity
to analyse the various models and to present
recommendations to council. I was also requires to design
and prepare costing for various culverts according to
Australian Standard Design codes. I had much
opportunity to liaise with many people both within and
outside teh organisation. I was also very fortunate in being
given some on site experience at local construction sites
and took part in the management of contractors who worked
on the project.
Swinburne
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
Engineering Experience
Dec 2010 – Dec 2011
Trainee Civil Engineer
Manigrida Shire Council, NorthernTerritory
Responsibilities :

Team member in design department

Designed computer models

Prepared detailed costings

Supervised project elements

Liaised with council staff and clients
Achievements:
•
Promoted to Project Supervisor after 12months
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Industry engaged learning
Swinburne
Demonstrate relevant industry projects or case studies you have been
involved in:
-
Relevant capstone university projects
-
Team projects
-
Final year projects
Industry engaged learning EXAMPLE
2014
Swinburne
Recruitment Campaign for Whizz Telemarketing
2nd Year Human Resource Subject
This university project focussed on the development of a recruitment
campaign for 20 telemarketers. This involved:
• Development of position descriptions and selection criteria
• Identification and costing of appropriate advertising
• Writing a job advertisement
• Specification of screening and selection criteria
• Preparation of behavioural interview questions
• Achieved a High Distinction
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Skills summary
Swinburne
• Opportunity to match yourself to the job and to convince
employer of your potential
• Highlight 4-5 professional skills that you can offer an employer
which are relevant to the position you are applying and match
the selection criteria
• Give two examples of how you have demonstrated the skills
• Focus on providing strong examples that highlight your
capacity and that differentiate you from other applicants
Skills summary EXAMPLE
Swinburne
Information Technology Skills
Databases
MS Access, SQL, Oracle
Publishing
Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, MS Publisher
Web
HTML, Java Script, Java Beans, Flash, Dream weaver, Fireworks
MS Office
Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, Excel, Outlook, Project, Access
Operating
Win 2003 server, XP, UNIX/Solaris, Linux, MAC
Systems
Installation, configuration, monitoring and optimisation of the above
Hardware
PC Maintenance, troubleshooting and upgrading modems, sound and
video cards, digital Cameras, scanners, printers
Network Admin
Managing LANs over different platforms, including; Linux, Novell and
Windows 2000/XP
Miscellaneous
Development, testing, documentation, implementation and training of
a number of non-commercial software
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Skills summary EXAMPLE
Swinburne
Communication Skills
Highly developed interpersonal skills strengthened
through four years of customer service experience as a
Supervisor at Coles Supermarket.
Excellent written communication skills successfully
demonstrated in university assignments and in
preparation of position descriptions and training manuals
at Blue Chip IT
Swinburne
Leadership (Initiative and Enterprise)
- Proactively taken leadership roles during group projects, leading and guiding
teams into meeting deadlines and providing effective solutions to problems.
- Actively managed, organised and co-ordinated team workload and tasks, set
due-dates and deadlines for components of system design and
implementation for university projects and assignments.
- Ensuring involvement and support of team members as a critical part of
working as a team to ensure productivity while allowing the expression of
individual talents.
- Undertaken leadership camps and teamwork courses provided by the co-op
scholarship program with companies such as Operation Challenge and
Oxygen Learning.
Planning and Organising (Organisational)
- Prioritised daily, weekly, monthly tasks to meet university deadlines.
- Effective at managing time and balancing full-time study with part-time work,
as evidenced by handing in all my assignments on time.
Swinburne
Problem Solving
-
Undertook and solved many information technology and business-related problems by undertaking
real and simulated projects during undergraduate studies at Swinburne University.
-
Working as an IT Help Desk Technician, I was required to conduct a thorough analysis of the email
software in order to identify potential errors. I was then required to make recommendations to
improve the system.
-
Projects include systems analysis, design and implementation; evaluating systems results and
making appropriate recommendations based on analysis on information technology management
issues.
-
Transformed and translated organisational processes and procedures into written documents to
assist business line competencies in streamlining or automating current processes such as the
Business Performance Management process at Microserve.
Interests
Swinburne
 Employers are always interested in you ‘the person’ and
your potential fit to the organisation
 They are curious to know about your hidden talents or
interests – especially if they relate to the profession you are
seeking to enter into the organisation
 Make sure you highlight a wide range of interests
 Clubbing, swords, surfing the net, Facebook, meeting new
people and hunting are NOT appropriate on resumes
Referees
Swinburne
 No matter how good your application and interview were
– if your referees do not give positive feedback – you may
not get the job.
 No one is obliged to give a positive reference – make
sure you choose someone with whom you had/have a
good rapport
 Should be work or study related (i.e. ideally someone you
have reported to who can comment on your performance)
 Show your referees the courtesy of asking for their
permission and notifying them when you apply for jobs
 Make sure their details have not changed
 Provide at least 2 referees
 Always include Full Name, Position, Company,
Address, Phone Number and Email Address
Questions & Answers
… any questions?
Swinburne
Writing effective resumes and cover letters:
Cover Letters
Swinburne
What is a cover letter?
Swinburne
 A formal letter of introduction
 States your interest in the position or organisation – why do you want
to work for the organisation and your skill match
 Provide an overview of your qualifications
 Outline your employment history or relevant experience
 Match your skills to those required for the job – technical and generic
Great indication of your communication skills
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
Cover letter – useful tips
Swinburne
 Written specifically for each application – refer to criteria
outlined in the job advertisement
 Shows reference number and position – where you saw
the job advertised
 Demonstrates your skills and knowledge – provide
examples as proof
 Tell the employer what you have to offer – not the
reasons why they shouldn’t give you the job….
 Demonstrates your knowledge of the company
 One page
NB: work out if the job is advertised through a recruitment
agency, if it is, you will be working for their client, NOT for
the recruitment agency!
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Swinburne
Amanda Kaur
22 Henderson Rd
Epping Vic 3071
Ph: 9878 4456 Mob: 0432 907 123
Email: [email protected]
Your name and address
26th August 2013
Date
Mr Robert Brown
General Manager
C & E Pty Ltd
26 Smith Street
Thomastown Vic 3074
Employer or agency name, title, address
Dear Mr Brown,
Salutation (eg Dear Mr Brown or Dear Sir / Madam)
Reference line
Re: Book Keeper and Office Assistant
Please accept my application for the position of Book Keeper and Office Assistant with C & E as advertised on the Seek website on the 5th July
2013. I believe my skills and relevant experience would enable me to make a significant contribution to C&E.
Paragraphs
I am undertaking a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting at Swinburne University of Technology (TAFE) and am looking forward to
utilising the skills I am gaining in my course to join a company devoted to environmentally friendly car care products. This course is providing me
with the knowledge and skills to efficiently work in an accounting and office administration role and the assignments have strengthened my ability
to process accounts payable and receivable; update customer accounts records; produce a variety of financial records; and enhanced my office
administration and keyboard skills. I am a confident internet user and familiar with MYOB and the full MS Office suite. This can be supported by
my referees who will also be able to confirm my enthusiasm and ability to problem solve client and financial discrepancies.
Utilising my good organisational skills I have balanced full-time study with part-time employment with Mumbai Property Exchange. My duties
include reception and general office administration. As Mumbai Property Exchange is a market leader in the area, I was expected to demonstrate
high level communication skills, professional standards and client confidentiality. At times, I am in charge of the office so I am very capable of
dealing with high volume customer service and a wide range of client enquiries.
Enclosed is my resume for your consideration. I look forward to discussing the position and my application further and can be contacted on
0432 907 123.
Yours sincerely,
Amanda Kaur
Yours sincerely / Yours faithfully
Sign and type your name
Online applications
Swinburne
- Often used in graduate recruitment and are a vital
component of selection criteria
- Ensure you research the role and company
- Address key selection criteria and provide specific
examples of how you have demonstrated skills
- Follow the instructions
- If possible, type responses in MS Word then copy into
online document
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
Cover emails
Swinburne
Most applications are submitted via email also require a
short cover email
Tips
 - Mention the job title and reference number
 - Express interest in the position highlighting you
possess relevant qualifications and experience
 - Refer to attached cover letter and resume
 - Ensure your written expression, spelling and grammar
are perfect – or the attachment will not get opened!
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Selection criteria
Swinburne
- Separate document often used for government and
academic positions
- Cut and paste the key criteria and these become your
headings
- Demonstrate your skills by providing specific evidence of
your past experience in relation to the criteria
- Can use examples from study, part time jobs, extra
curricular activities etc
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Additional Swinburne resources to assist you
Swinburne
Resumes
- Resume builder
- Developing your resume handout
- Resume podcast
-Cover Letters
- Cover letter handouts
-
How to write a cover letter podcast
-Selection Criteria
- Online applications and selection criteria handout
-Access at www.swin.edu.au/careers
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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References
Swinburne
Resumes that Get Shortlisted – Jim Bright and Joanne Earl (2008)
Brilliant Graduate CV – Jim Bright, Joanne Earl, David Winter (2013)
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Transition to Graduate Employment
Conference
For science, engineering and technology
students in their last 2 years of study
REGISTER NOW
19 Sept
swinburne.edu.au/careers/conference
• Network with recruiters and employers
• Improve your career readiness
• Refine your employability skills
• Look at future workplace trends
Swinburne University of Technology CRICOS Provider 00111D
Career Seminars – Semester 2
Swinburne
Future workplaces
25 Sep
The global worker
1 Oct
International student visa information
2 Oct
Personal branding
8 Oct
Key employability skills
9 Oct
LinkedIn
14 Oct
Transitioning to the workplace
23 Oct
International student job search intensive
24 Nov
PLUS MORE – check out www.swin.edu.au/careers for details
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Centre for Career Development
Swinburne
We are here to help you with career management
assistance and advice
Your professional career starts NOW – let us help you with
your career journey
All services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
50
Swinburne
Services
- Career counselling
- Job search assistance
- Interview skills
- Resume builder
- Employer information and on campus presentations
- Going Global international job search data base
- Career conferences, workshops and webinars
- Range of handouts / podcasts:
-
Interviews
Resumes
Cover letters
LinkedIn profiles
- What can I do with my qualification
- Networking
- Job search
- Assessment centres etc
SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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Location….
Swinburne
Monday to Friday
8.30 am – 5 pm
Level 2 The George Building, Hawthorn Campus
Tel 9214 5360
Email [email protected]
Web www.swin.edu.au/careers
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SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN
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