create-a-strong-profile-get-those-cvs-letters-of

Creating a Strong Profile
Getting those CVs, Letters of Interest, and
LinkedIn Profiles Geneva Ready!!!
DUKE UNIVERSITY
SANFORD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY
JANUARY 15 & 29, 2014
Agenda
Match-making
 Cover letter
 CV/Resumes
 Online reputation
 Thank you notes
 Q&A

Match-making: Roles & Responsibilities

It is your responsibility to research organizations, their mission, and their internship procedures

I will provide additional support, suggestions, and advertise internship opportunities that come directly to me for
the larger applicant pool.

It is your responsibility to strengthen your resume and write tailored letters of interest

I will support you with tips and suggestions.

It is your responsibility to identify your skills, interests, and learning goals

I will provide tools to support this process and advice and mentor you if needed.

It is your responsibility to identify organizations and internship opportunities that are a good skillsmatch with your experience and interests

I will help to identify additional organizations where I think there is a strong match.

I will present your materials to hiring directors in addition to your application via traditional HR portals.

It is your responsibility to follow appropriate professional protocol (submit you materials in a timely
fashion, send thank you notes, follow up on the status of your application, close out process with all offers, and keep me
updated on the status of your final decisions)

I will remain “high-touch” during this placement process and support you if there are any communication breakdown with the hiring manager.

I will work with you to trouble-shoot placements and help you obtain a rewarding internship placement.

I will be your ears and eyes in Geneva. Your cheerleader, advocate, and liaison!!!
The Purpose of a Cover Letter
 Argue that your strengths and skills will make you an
asset to the organization.
 Your cover letter is not a restatement of your resume in
sentence form.
End result of your cover letter
 Your reader will be able to summarize your letter by
reading the first sentence of every paragraph.
 For example:
I am very interested in this position. My experiences
outside the classroom show that I am a good match to be
your intern. In addition , my academic preparation gives
me the skills to contribute to your mission. Thank you for
considering my application.
End result you don’t want
 I am a student at Duke/Other University. I have
taken a lot of courses in Public Policy and
Economics. My extracurricular activities include
student government and ski team. Thank you for
your time.
Why?
 You want your letter to be:
 A. concise
 B. relevant to the organization
 C. as interesting as a cover letter can be
 D. about how your skills and experience relate to the
organization
General Rules
 You should create a unique cover letter for each application.
(It is okay to have a template cover letter off which to build).
 Use the job description and qualifications to tailor your letter to each job
for which you are applying.
 Keep a record of your cover letter so that when you go for an interview you
can review what you have already told them about yourself.
 Proofread your letters!
 Let the employer know how you will be a valuable
asset to them – not the other way around.
General Rules (cont)
 If sending cover letters via email directly to
organizations, be sure to put it in PDF format (so
formatting does not get messed up in Word). When
sending to me, please send in Word.
 Email text should include:




Brief explanation of the fact that you’re applying for _____
internship.
That you are a participate in the Duke Global Policy and Governance
program.
That you’re really excited for the position and thank them for
considering your application
That you have attached your resume and cover letter and whatever
else you have attached.
General Format - Opening
 If possible, find out the name of
Your Name
Phone #
E-mail address
Name of Person & Title
Company/Organization
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Date
Dear Mr./Ms. (Last name only):
the person reviewing your
application.
 If you do not know the name of the
person that will be reviewing your
application, you can address the
cover letter to: Internship
Coordinator, Sir or Madame.
 Add your cell phone number and
email address to the cover letter
and resume header – this will save
room in your letter. It is not
necessary to use your street
address.
 The important thing is to use the
header and for the header to
match the one on your resume.
General Format - Introduction
Example:
As a third generation cowhand, I am
very interested in applying for the
rodeo coordinator position with XYZ
policy organization. Your mission to
reform the cattle situation across our
country resonates with my personal
experiences on our family’s ranch in
Idaho.
 Introduction:



Name the specific position, or
type of work for which you are
applying.
Use a hook to tie them in but
not too cheesy.
Show you know about the
organization.
General Format - Body
Body: Sell yourself! Fully explain your qualifications such as academic
background, work experience, and personal skills. Point out achievements that
relate to the field and why you enjoy that work.
 The body can be two paragraphs – take as much room as you can to market
yourself to the employer.

EXAMPLE:
My XYZ skills and this other experience show I can be a strong candidate for
your organization. Now write two sentences about the XYZ skills with specific
examples from your resume. Then another sentence about the other
experience.
Or divide this into two paragraphs with strong topic sentences about how the
skill/experiences demonstrate that you can contribute to the organization
which you can mention by name in at least one paragraph.
General Format - Closing
EXAMPLE:
My passion for a progressive agenda
and social change coupled with my
skills show that I am ready and
motivated to work at CAP this
summer. I am confident that I will
be able to contribute to the
internship program at The Center for
American Progress. Thank you for
considering my application.
Sincerely,
Only leave space if you are signing
Katie Smith
 Closing: Refer the reader to
the enclosed resume,
application, and/or writing
sample. Also, thank them for
considering your application.
 Don't say, “Look forward to
hearing from you.”
 Don’t say, “Thank you for your
consideration.”
Common Mistakes to Avoid
 Letters longer than 1 page.
 Body is too long.
 Repetition.
 Duplicate letters – forgetting to change the name/address of the
organization, the date, or even the addressee.
 Noting experiences and skills that do not match the goals or needs of the
position.
 Indicating what the employer can do for you rather than what you can do
for them. (Example: “I would like to work at NPR so that I learn about
current events”).
 Starting all sentences and paragraphs with “I.” Vary your sentence
structure.
Important Reminders
DO NOT SAY OR USE
 Quality
 “Here at Duke”
 Impacting
 In case you need to reach me,
this is my contact information
 A Split Infinitive, e.g. to adverb
verb
 Excessive adverbs
 Furthermore
 Gained skills/experience
DO SAY OR USE
 High-quality
 “at Duke”
 Causing
 This is my contact information
(which is your contact
information whether or not
someone needs to reach you)
 To verb adverb
 Minimize adverbs
 Further
 Developed skills/experience
CV/Resume Check-list
 General Information





The purpose of your resume is to get an interview.
The purpose of your resume is NOT to document everything you’ve ever done.
Your resume must persuade the reader to call you.
Your resume cannot simply describe your accomplishments.
Your resume must relate to a specific job description.
 Formatting your Resume


You must use a Sanford template format. One page max for undergrads/More experienced program
participants may be two pages, BUT please be concise.
Margins must be at least 0.75. Use Times New Roman or similar at least 11 point type.
 The Header






Use only one address, either Durham or that most relevant to the position.
Your name should be a point or two larger than the body of the resume.
If you use a nick-name, make sure to put it in quotes, for example: Li “Lisa” Chen
Make sure email address and voice mail are professional.
You may want to include your Linked In profile address.
Do not include personal information (marital status, sex, age).
CV/Resume Check-list (cont)
 Summary of Skills or qualifications





Use 3-5 bullets to highlight your best skills or most relevant experience.
Start by making a long list of all the qualities, experiences and skills you are proud of, in bullet form. Keep
this list as a starting point.
Narrow the list to 3-5 bullets most relevant to the position you are seeking.
Use persuasive, powerful language. It’s an advertisement for you. Make every word count.
Each phrase should consider the employer. What’s the employer looking for?
 Education Section





Limit the information about your undergraduate experience. Do not list GPA unless required.
List coursework and school projects if they are relevant to the position.
Can put TA/RA positions here or as work experience if you need them.
Include Spring Consulting Project and Masters Project topics and clients here.
Include other training in this section if it led to a certification or title.
CV/Resume Check-list (cont)
 Experience Section
 For each experience, make a laundry list of accomplishments, duties, skills and strengths. Save this
list for future resumes.
 Look at the job description and relate each of your prior experiences with the job description
 Start each bullet with a very descriptive action verb. “Worked” is not an action verb.
 Have 3-4 bullets for each position.
 You don’t have to include every job you’ve ever had or every task you performed. If you don’t want
to do a task again, don’t include it.
 Re-write your descriptions using persuasive, not descriptive, writing. Convince the reader.
 For each bullet, ask if the employer would learn something valuable about you from reading it.
 Read other job descriptions in your interest area and look at the language and verbs used.
 Use past tense unless you are currently working.
 DO NOT EMBELLISH. Be able to back up whatever you say.
 Wherever possible, use quantifiable data to describe your work and support your verbs.
 Don’t use months, either use years (2009-10) or seasons (Fall 2010).
 Leadership and Skills Section
 Leadership is optional but if you have limited work experience, it is useful to include professional
memberships, activities, awards, non-work achievements.
 Skills should include foreign language, computer, and other technical skills.
 If you are a U.S. citizen with an unusual name, or have spent most of your education/professional
experience abroad, put your citizenship here. Otherwise leave it off.
CV/Resume Check-list (cont)
 Final Review


Have a friend/peer read it as well.
Make sure format is consistent, and bullets and indentations are the same throughout.
 Electronic or Scanned Resumes

If you know the resume will be scanned, make sure you include important keywords from the job
description. You can even include a “Keywords” line with a list of keywords. Many scanners only
scan the top half of the page, so make sure the keywords are visible at the top.
 On-going Revisions


Look at the LinkedIn profiles of new hires working at organizations you are interested in. What language
are they using to describe their skills and experience?
Revise your resume for each job application.
Supervisors told me they were looking for the
following traits:
 Maturity and sensitivity to important deadlines and issues
 Can learn and produce quickly
 Humble and modest personality
 Professional
 Excellent English language drafting and research skills
 French and Spanish very helpful (Chinese and Arabic for some Orgs)
 Enthusiastic, positive, and flexible attitude
 Culturally competent (able to function and produce as part of a multi-cultural
team)
 Culturally curious and interested in global issues
 Thematic interest and knowledge is important, but character and some of
personality traits listed above can be even more important – can be what helps
a candidate stand out! (heard this again and again when chatting with past
supervisors)
LinkedIn and Online Reputation
A necessary part of any job or internship search is to create and maintain a positive online reputation

CREATE A LINKEDIN PROFILE


If you don’t have one, do it now!
Increase Your Awareness.





Be sure you know what information is or could
be available about yourself online, where it is,
and what impression it may create.
Search your name (and different versions of your
name) on major search engines, or different
social networks, and sites where you comment. A
few not SO obvious sites to check are: Tumblr,
Netflix, Flickr, Match, Amazon, Yelp.
Know the privacy agreement and settings for the
various online communities of which you are a
member.
Request feedback from peers and professionals
on impressions based on your online presence
alone.
Familiarize yourself with sites where your
potential colleagues or supervisors gather and
participate on-line.

Protect Your Image.





Ensure potential employers only see information that
conveys a positive image. You do not want them to
question your professionalism, judgment, or ability
to represent their organization.
Adjust your privacy settings for all online accounts.
Remove content and tags that could negatively
influence a potential employer’s first impression.
Hide or delete old accounts that do not best represent
you.
Request that information about you posted by others
be removed if you are opposed to it.
 Build your Professional Presence.




Present your name, accomplishments, and
aspirations in ways that can be accessible to others.
Use social networks to create and maintain a public
profile that represents your accomplishments and a
sense of the professional you are becoming and you
are comfortable with the public seeing.
Promote your profiles and/or websites (add link to
your email signature)
Contribute to conversations relevant to your fields of
interest through media like blogs, LinkedIn group,
and/or Twitter.
Finally – The Thank You Note
 Send immediately after your interview. Do not wait until
you hear back from the employer to send a note.
 Okay to send thank you notes via email, but people always
like handwritten notes (so do both.)
 Also, be sure to send a thank you to people who have
referred you to employers and written recommendations
for you.
Thank You Note Example
Dear Ms. Interviewer,
Thank you for talking with me about the internship position in XYZ department.
I enjoyed our conversation and want to follow up on a couple of points. (If you
don’t want to follow up skip that line.) After our conversation, I am even more
excited about working with name of organization and I am certain that my
analytical skills and ability to stand on my head will help me contribute to the say
something that shows you were listening to the description of the project you’d
be working on over the summer.
If there is any other information I can provide, please do not hesitate to contact
me. Again, thank you very much.
Sincerely,
Sign your name
Vocabulary
 Terms of Reference (TofR) = Job description
 Letter of Interest = Cover letter
 When I say “bundle,” I mean, when I pull together
resumes and/or cover letters of numerous program
participants and send directly to hiring supervisor as
one pdf.
Questions

Take advantage of the suggestions in this power point

Check out the tools at: http://dukepolicyingenevaprogram.wordpress.com/professional-tips/

Allocating time to really examine the prompts and suggestions will aid you in strengthening your CV, Cover-letter,
and interviewing skills.

Set up a meeting with the Career Center at your Institution NOW to supplement the
resources provided by Duke Global Policy and Governance.

When I send additional resources – PLEASE review 

If needed, we can arrange a Skype call - globalpolicygeneva

Questions, concerns, general sharing of excitement and enthusiasm for Geneva 2014!?!
Thank you