Tips for Writing Resumes and Cover Letters

Many people struggle when it comes to writing their resumes and cover letters. They are uncertain about exactly what to list and what not to list. Many people understandably want to make themselves look as good as possible, but they still want to avoid the appearance of padding. Indeed, the people who work in human resources departments are more than aware of all of the tricks of the trade when it comes to resume padding, and it is always a good idea to avoid trying to fool them in any way.

Some people might actually give the impression that they are trying to pad their resumes even if they are not, and it is a good idea to try to avoid falling into that trap as well. People should remember that resumes are for hard skills and cover letters are for soft skills.

People should list their educational attainments and professional experience on their resumes. People who have graduated from college do not have to list their high school diplomas when they talk about their educational qualifications. Individuals who have been to graduate school might still want to list their Bachelor’s degrees, however, especially if their Bachelor’s degrees were attained in slightly different fields, which is often the case.

People will often wonder whether or not they should list their college grade point averages. If they attained grade point averages that are above 3.0, it is a good idea to do so. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to do so one way or another anyway, unless the grade point average in question is below a 2.0 or the equivalent. If no grade point average is listed, potential employers might assume the worst, and they will also assume that the applicant in question is deliberately trying to be somewhat deceptive. Both assumptions can be more harmful than any grade point average ever could be, so it is a good idea to swallow one’s pride and list it one way or another.

Some perfectionists might worry that employers will judge them for any grade point average that isn’t a 4.0 or close to it. Few people manage to make it that far, and employers are typically nowhere near that particular. Most of them are going to care much more about the work experience of their potential applicants anyway. People who have grade point averages that are between 3.0 and 4.0 are going to read as good students, so overachieving college graduates shouldn’t be overly concerned with that.

People who have specific skills should list them on their resumes, but these should be hard skills. The ability to speak Spanish is a hard skill. The ability to speak articulately is the sort of soft skill that belongs on a cover letter instead of a resume. Soft skills are significantly more subjective and difficult to measure, no matter how very real they are and how much they might have helped the people in question.

When it comes to listing work experience, it makes more sense to list one’s work experience only if it is going to be relevant to the job in question. Lots of people have had plenty of different odd jobs that they could potentially list on their resumes. Keeping one’s resume as short as possible actually makes more sense than trying to make it as lengthy as possible, despite one’s initial impulse. Employers respond more positively to resumes that are short and to the point.

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