Rest assured that writing a top notch resume is one of the most significant things you'll ever do for your career. Personally I believe it's so important that if you are able to, then pay a professional resume writer to compile both your resume and more importantly your resume cover letter. This however can be expensive, but the very least you should do is seek out professional help from the many books available on resume cover letters or invest in some good software that can provide a quality resume cover letter template for you. One word of caution, don’t be tempted to use free resume templates that you will find on the net as they really do end up looking awkward and artificial. You want your resume and its cover letter to look inviting and professional so if you are really on a tight budget then sit down and write it yourself. So, with this in mind, let’s look at a few pointers that may help you along the way.

You may have read elsewhere that it is wise to keep your resume short and simple. Now while I would agree in part with this statement I would also add that you do not want to make it too simple. The ideal length of a resume should run to two pages as this is the optimum length that will show the reader that you have plenty to show but will also stop them leaving the page half way through. One important point to note is never let your resume run beyond three pages and never include work samples within the resume package. If you want to include work samples and more importantly if the position you are applying for demands them, make a sample portfolio and keep it separate.

Choosing A Style

Remember when writing your resume cover letter that you are attempting to get a job and not trying to win an award for design. Do not under any circumstances start using cool looking fonts and colours, this applies even if the job you are seeking is based in creative art. Your font size should be 10-12 and a simple font such as Ariel would suit perfectly. Underlining is Ok but not to extremes and header shading if used sparingly is also OK. Tables can be used but bear in mind you want the information on your resume to flow and tables will often stop the flow, so again use them only when necessary and sparingly.

Other Points To Remember

When you have finished run your whole resume through a spelling and grammar check. Nothing is more irritating to the person reading your resume than incorrect spelling and bad grammar as it screams that you really don’t care about the detail and if you can’t get it right in your resume what are you going to be like at your job.
Try to keep things interesting. I know that is difficult when effectively what you are doing is listing your credentials to highlight your suitability for the job, but try anyway as it is important. When detailing your experience make it sound as important as you can. For example if you have experience from a previous position of sending emails, don’t write “sent 200 emails daily for promotional activity”, instead try “Sole responsibility for using email marketing to generate bulk sales leads”. It may seem like a small difference but look at it like this, anyone can send an email, but experience in email marketing ... well that’s an entirely different matter

Never put anything in you resumes that is not true. There is nothing wrong with “gilding the lily” a little but you must be truthful about what you say you can do and be ready to demonstrate those abilities if asked. This is not only a matter of integrity but also a matter of common sense. There is absolutely no point in stating on your resume that you enjoy reading when in fact you have never picked up a book before. Imagine if you were asked what kind of books you read, who is your favourite author, what are you reading right now ... I’m breaking out in a sweat just thinking about it, so don’t do it.

When everything is finished give it to somebody else to read. Ask them to look at it as if they were going decide whether or not to call you for an interview and take note of any points they may have. The important thing to remember however is that you and you alone must be happy with the finished product, as it will be you who hopefully will be attending the interview. Lastly, when you are happy with the end result make a PDF copy, as this looks more professional and will ensure that none of the fonts or formulations distort when being viewed from different computer settings.

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Always remember that your resume cover letter is a vital component of your job application, so make sure you pay attention to the detail. You will find more helpful resources here