Presentation on theme: "Best Practices for Resumes and Cover Letters"— Presentation transcript:
1 Best Practices for Resumes and Cover Letters 2011 OLA Super ConferencePresented by:Linda Dobson, Director Human Resources Burlington Public LibraryCynthia Mckeich, Manager, King Campus Library, Seneca College
2 Covering Letter What is it? Letter of introduction – first impression Purpose – to explain your suitability for the desired positionSome employers use as a screening method
3 Opportunity for a Full-time Professional Librarian to join a forward thinking, progressive, innovative Public Library situated along the shores of Lake Ontario in a wonderful communityFull benefit package, including professional development, 35 hours per week, 3 weeks vacation per year
4 Prospective Library’s side 100 + resumes – online, in-print to be reviewed by one Human Resources person1 position, how many will get interviews?Reading all of that information, most of it is the same, how much time does this take ?What is different, how will I decide which ones to interview or short-list to be reviewed further?Whets my appetite for more, it perks interest in meeting you and discussing qualificationsAre they over-qualified, intimidating, do they have experience in public library – work or volunteeringWhat would make someone the perfect candidate – what are we looking for?
5 Covering Letter One Page Standard Business Letter Style Header – address, date, reference – ad or job number, title, etc., salutationIntroduction – specific position desired – opportunityBody – highlights from resume skills, qualifications, experience, why interested in position, why you would be of value to the organizationClosing – indicates the next steps applicant will take, thanks for attention, salutation
6 Ways to stand out for the wrong reasons Spelling and grammar mistakesWrong company, contact name, informationNo covering letterAll about you not what you can do for usToo much and too long
7 Getting my Attention Good opening – different from the rest Personalize letter – not a form letter, adapted to the position and organizationNot all about you, watch the I, I, I – what can you do for me? Why should I consider you?Professional appearance – what does it look like in print? Make it look great!KISS – keep it short, concise and to the pointThink of it from the Library’s perspective – what would we want to know
8 Power of words “I was excited to see your recent posting…” VS “Please accept this letter of my keen interest…”
9 Power of Words “I am an excellent candidate…” “I have established meaningful and productive relationships…”“I am invested in and committed to strengthening the role of the library….”“My professional ideals reflect [your library name’s] core values of…”
12 What is a Resume? First Impression with Library Marketing Tool – attract attention, stand-out from other applicantsSummary of a person’s background – education and experience that is directly relevant to a particular position
13 Resume KISS – keep it short ideally 2 pages Include keywords, use action verbs, display content in a flattering manner – remember this is marketing
14 Styles of Resumes Reverse Chronological Order Most commonly used, used generally when staying in the same profession, traditionalTells me what you have been doing in reverse order starting with your most recent experienceDemonstrate your credibility, experience, career growth over your careerIdentify gaps in your career – be prepared to address
15 Styles of Resumes Functional Resume Focus is on skills – emphasizes specific professional capabilities and competenciesWorks well for those who have made a career change, have little experience or a varied work experiencePreferred for positions requiring a specific skillset
16 Styles of Resumes Combination Resume Balances functional and chronological stylesLeads with a functional list of job skillsChronological list of employers
17 Online Resumes More organizations moving to electronic recruiting Resume in various formats – HTML, PDF, TextBe aware of what your letter, resume looks like on-line
18 Marketing PackageIf you hire me, this is what you will get, the benefits to the Library of hiring meFirst impressionsBrainstorm – what are they looking for and what can I offer from all aspects of experienceBrainstorm before writing your letter and resume;What are my greatest strengthsWhat things in your background make you stand out?What skills do you possess? What are the key skills used in the job?What characteristics make you a strong candidate?What are 3 or 4 things that you feel have been your greatest accomplishmentsWhat are the “buzz words” in your field that you should use in writing your resumeUse action words –what you can actually do or accomplishObjective – states what you looking for – your goal, qualities you have that the Library is looking forSample Objective: A Librarian with a public library seeking innovation and creativity.Focus on the most recent and/or relevant jobs – are the job titles or organizations most important – bold them
19 Market YourselfExperience – include job title and name of organizationCan include internships and major volunteer roles – it is all experienceEducation – degree first, no need to include courses studiedNot graduated, include the degree an afterwards, in parentheses, the expected date of completion i.e. MLIS (expected April 2011)Professional Affiliations – include those that are current, relevant and impressive, include leadership roles if appropriateCommunity Leadership – include if related to the job and can show skills acquiredPersonal Interests – can indicate a skill or area of knowledge related to positionShows interests, well-rounded, good physical health or knowledge in a subject – always good in LibrariesReferences – do not include names of references at this point indicate they are available upon request or make no reference to them
20 Things to AvoidDon’t include anything that may turn a perspective employer off, maybe controversial, or taken in a negative mannerPersonal informationReasons for leaving jobsNames of SupervisorsSalary InformationBeing cute or appearing immatureAnything that may be a turnoff or reason to not be interviewed…
21 Curriculum Vitae - CV’s Curriculum Vitae is Latin for “life’s course.”In the academic world it is a detailed document used as a resume.The primary differences between a resume and a CV are the length, the content and the purpose.In addition to the basics, a CV includes research and teaching experience, publications, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards and other information relevant to the position you are applying for.
22 Resumes vs. CV’s January 4th, 2011 scan of the Partnership Job Board Of the ten academic positions posted, 4 asked for a CV, 5 asked for a resume and one asked for either resume or CV.The 4 CV postings were all university positions, 2 of them were for associate UL’s or the UL, and 2 were for experienced librarian positions.
23 Resumes Vs. CV’sThe 5 resume postings were with universities and colleges (MUN, U of A, Cornell, Sheridan, SAIT).All of the public library positions posted, whether entry level, manager, or head of services, all asked for a resume.
24 RV’s?Increasingly resumes are adopting some CV attributes: professional affiliations, published articles, awards, etc., thereby creating the Resume Vitae, or RV
25 Resume, CV or RVDouble-check your document for typos and grammatical errors.Then ask someone you trust to review it for you - it's often hard to catch our own mistakes.Look at the format of your document, and again, ask someone else to take a look. Is there plenty of white space? Is it cluttered?
26 Resume, CV or RVIs the overall picture that your document provides a professional and polished one?Tell the truth: If you're tempted to stretch the truth about your work history - don't. It will come back to haunt you.
27 Questions?Linda Dobson Director Human Resources Burlington Public Library Cynthia Mckeich Manager, King Campus Library Seneca College