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Best Practices for Resumes and Cover Letters Presented by: Linda Dobson, Director Human Resources Burlington Public Library Cynthia Mckeich, Manager, King.

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Presentation on theme: "Best Practices for Resumes and Cover Letters Presented by: Linda Dobson, Director Human Resources Burlington Public Library Cynthia Mckeich, Manager, King."— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Practices for Resumes and Cover Letters Presented by: Linda Dobson, Director Human Resources Burlington Public Library Cynthia Mckeich, Manager, King Campus Library, Seneca College 2011 OLA Super Conference

2 Covering Letter What is it? Letter of introduction – first impression Purpose – to explain your suitability for the desired position Some 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 community Full benefit package, including professional development, 35 hours per week, 3 weeks vacation per year

4 Prospective Librarys side resumes – online, in-print to be reviewed by one Human Resources person 1 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 qualifications Are they over-qualified, intimidating, do they have experience in public library – work or volunteering What 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., salutation Introduction – specific position desired – opportunity Body – highlights from resume skills, qualifications, experience, why interested in position, why you would be of value to the organization Closing – indicates the next steps applicant will take, thanks for attention, salutation

6 Ways to stand out for the wrong reasons Spelling and grammar mistakes Wrong company, contact name, information No covering letter All about you not what you can do for us Too 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 organization Not 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 point Think of it from the Librarys 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 names] core values of…

10 Selling a Car - market is Seniors

11 Market is young people

12 What is a Resume? First Impression with Library Marketing Tool – attract attention, stand-out from other applicants Summary of a persons 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, traditional Tells me what you have been doing in reverse order starting with your most recent experience Demonstrate your credibility, experience, career growth over your career Identify gaps in your career – be prepared to address

15 Styles of Resumes Functional Resume Focus is on skills – emphasizes specific professional capabilities and competencies Works well for those who have made a career change, have little experience or a varied work experience Preferred for positions requiring a specific skillset

16 Styles of Resumes Combination Resume Balances functional and chronological styles Leads with a functional list of job skills Chronological list of employers

17 Online Resumes More organizations moving to electronic recruiting Resume in various formats – HTML, PDF, Text Be aware of what your letter, resume looks like on-line

18 Marketing Package If you hire me, this is what you will get, the benefits to the Library of hiring me First impressions Brainstorm – what are they looking for and what can I offer from all aspects of experience Brainstorm before writing your letter and resume; 1.What are my greatest strengths 2.What things in your background make you stand out? 3.What skills do you possess? What are the key skills used in the job? 4.What characteristics make you a strong candidate? 5.What are 3 or 4 things that you feel have been your greatest accomplishments 6.What are the buzz words in your field that you should use in writing your resume Use action words –what you can actually do or accomplish Objective – states what you looking for – your goal, qualities you have that the Library is looking for Sample 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 Yourself Experience – include job title and name of organization Can include internships and major volunteer roles – it is all experience Education – degree first, no need to include courses studied Not 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 appropriate Community Leadership – include if related to the job and can show skills acquired Personal Interests – can indicate a skill or area of knowledge related to position Shows interests, well-rounded, good physical health or knowledge in a subject – always good in Libraries References – do not include names of references at this point indicate they are available upon request or make no reference to them

20 Things to Avoid Dont include anything that may turn a perspective employer off, maybe controversial, or taken in a negative manner Personal information Reasons for leaving jobs Names of Supervisors Salary Information Being cute or appearing immature Anything that may be a turnoff or reason to not be interviewed…

21 Curriculum Vitae - CVs Curriculum Vitae is Latin for lifes 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. CVs January 4 th, 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 ULs or the UL, and 2 were for experienced librarian positions.

23 Resumes Vs. CVs The 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 RVs? Increasingly resumes are adopting some CV attributes: professional affiliations, published articles, awards, etc., thereby creating the Resume Vitae, or RV

25 Resume, CV or RV Double-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 RV Is 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

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