wwwork! Corporate Website
» Search
» Outsourcing
  ReadySet HIRED!
  wwwork! Alerts
  Subscribe Today!
» Giving
ReadySet HIRED!
» 2009 Newsletters
» 2008 Newsletters
Email a friend
ReadySet HIRED! is an online monthly newsletter which features advice, guidance, and answers for individuals who are actively searching in the marketplace for employment.
Featured Article Career Poll Questions/Feedback
From the Coach Website to Visit  
Quotables Featured Client  
Message From the Editor
Welcome to ReadySet HIRED! We’re pleased to continue offering you our free guide ReadySet HIRED! A Practical Guide to Finding a Job. The guide is designed to take you step by step through the job search process, from getting started right through to beginning your new job. In last month’s newsletter, we introduced you to Lois and Peter as they each got started in their job search. This month, they’re working on their resumes and cover letters. For the rest of the year, we’ll be following their progress as they go through the various stages of looking for a job, including using job boards, working with recruiters, networking, interviewing, following up, negotiating and resigning. There’s lots to be learned from their strengths and setbacks, so stick with Lois and Peter on their way to getting ReadySet HIRED!
Writing Resumes & Cover Letters
Reacquaint yourself with Lois and Peter, who were just getting started in their job hunt when you first met them in last month’s newsletter. Since quitting her job as an Account Manager for a Marketing Promotions company, Lois has been looking at more creative marketing opportunities. Though she might not be the most organized job seeker, she’s got a great attitude and knows what she wants. She’s got a plan and she’s sticking to it. Peter is unhappily employed as an Account Executive at a Business Services company, and wants a different challenge. Despite all his organizing and research and planning to find a new job, he’s been having trouble taking action – his defeatist attitude has been holding him back.
Both Lois and Peter are now working on their resumes and cover letters. We already know that Lois isn’t very organized, and she’s struggling with getting all of her credentials and work experience in order. As a result, she’ll be “guessing” at some of the dates and details, but she doesn’t consider this to be a big deal. Though she’s great at articulating experiences, she takes some liberties by taking full credit for accomplishments that were not entirely hers. Little does she know that this will come back to haunt her.

When Peter sits down to create the content of his resume, he’s got all of his documents and information in order. He approaches his resume methodically – first creating an outline with the main sections of work experience and education. Under each section he accurately lists his roles and credentials in reverse chronological order, and includes specific dates and durations of tenure. However, when it comes to “beefing up” his resume, he tends to list his job responsibilities rather than showcasing his experiences and achievements. Knowing Peter, you can bet that his resume “looks” great, with consistent formatting and impeccable spelling and grammar.

Lois loves writing cover letters. She uses the opportunity to show off her writing prowess and tell her life story. Her letters aren’t focused on the opportunities to which she’s applying, and despite the creative writing, hiring managers tend to pass her over because she fails to position herself properly. Since she’s more focused on the writing than on the content, she’s actually even forgotten to change the name of the hiring manager and company when sending off the same letter to multiple employers! Peter is much more succinct in his cover letters. He opens with a statement positioning himself, adds a few lines about his interest and credentials, and closes with an intention of following up with the hiring manager. His cover letters are brief and relevant, which appeals to hiring managers who then want to learn more about his experience from his resume. As we learned earlier, it’s his resume that needs work!

Neither Lois nor Peter engages in a critical review of their resume. Though Peter can honestly stand behind everything he states in his resume, he fails to recognize that he is totally missing the opportunity to reveal his accomplishments. Lois certainly reveals many accomplishments, but a critical review would also reveal that many of the accomplishments are in fact shared, some even completely belonging to other colleagues. She’s not setting out to deceive anyone deliberately. If she took the time to critically review the claims stated on her resume, knowing she may be probed about them in an interview, she might be more accurate.

Both Lois and Peter will have to revisit their resumes and cover letters throughout their current job hunting process as well as throughout their careers. These are living documents, and need to be kept current and accurate and honest. In a future newsletter, we’ll see how Lois and Peter use feedback to analyze and revise their documents.

What can we learn from Lois and Peter about writing resumes and cover letters? Here's a summary:

Get organized.
Assemble all of your documents including academic information (degrees, diplomas, transcripts), work information (employment records, resumes) and any other information that may be relevant to your job search. Getting organized now will prime you for the task of actually sitting down to work on your resume.

Create the content.
Outline the main sections of your resume, including your work experience and education credentials in reverse chronological order. Then, add details about your experiences and achievements. Finally, edit your resume and proofread for content, style, grammar and spelling.

Craft your cover letter.
Keep your cover letter focused and concise. Open with a statement about why you want the job, then support your statement by highlighting your credentials without simply repeating your resume. Wrap up the letter with a thank you and an intention to follow up.

Do a critical review.
Make sure you can speak to each of the points in your resume with confidence and integrity. It’s important that you can substantiate your statements with examples if probed. You also want to be certain that your references will be able to support your claims.

Evolve your documents.
Your resume and cover letter will definitely change over time, capturing your new experiences and achievements. They will also change with every opportunity you are seeking. Use feedback and analysis to evolve your documents so that you are showcased in the best and most accurate light.

In our upcoming newsletters, we'll continue to follow Lois and Peter throughout their job search. Maybe you'll recognize yourself in one of them, and maybe you'll learn something along the way. For more tips to help you with your job search, including getting started, download ReadySet HIRED! A Practical Guide to Finding a Job. It's free!
Enjoy your job search. Our Career Centre section has great tips on career planning, resume writing, and interviewing. HAVE FUN!
Honesty is the only policy
Your resume follows you throughout the whole job search process, and even into your employee file at your new place of work. Make sure it's accurate. You don't want anything coming back to haunt you down the road. In terms of gaps in your resume, you'll have the opportunity to address these in your interview. Perhaps you went back to school, went travelling, were on parental leave, or unemployed for some other reason. The employer may ask you why you have gaps in your resume, and you should be prepared to discuss this. You don't have to go into detail or be apologetic about it; careers, and life for that matter, aren't always linear.
wwwork! values your opinion. Take part in this week's poll!

Is your resume up to date?

Click Here to vote.
Here is what you said...
Are you going to be looking for a new job this year?
Yes 97.43%
No 2.57%
"The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."
- Thomas Jefferson

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
- Spencer Johnson

“Organization is not an option, it is a fundamental survival skill and distinct competitive advantage.”
- Pam N. Woods

“Don't agonize. Organize.”
- Florynce Kennedy
ReadySet HIRED! A Practical Guide to Finding a Job
ReadySet HIRED! A Practical Guide to Finding a Job takes you through all stages of the job search process, from beginning to end. It provides you with 101 useful tips on getting started, resume & cover letter writing, interviewing, following up, using job boards, working with recruiters, networking, negotiating the job offer, resigning and starting your new job. Whether you need a full tutorial or just a refresher, this guide will help prepare and position you for the job you want.
Smucker Foods of Canada Inc.
Smucker Foods of Canada Inc.
The J.M. Smucker Company was founded in 1897 when the Company’s namesake and founder sold his first product -- apple butter -- from the back of a horse-drawn wagon. Today, over a century later, the Company is the market leader in fruit spreads, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, and health and natural foods beverages in North America under such icon brands as Smucker’s®, Jif® and Crisco®.
Click Here to learn more about Smucker Foods of Canada Inc.
Questions and Feedback

wwwork! welcomes your feedback!

If you have questions/comments, or topics you'd like us to touch upon in this newsletter, please email us at readysethired@wwwork.com If you'd like to find out more about our services, please CONTACT US at (416) 922-3800 or by email, at info@wwwork.com.

We look forward to working with you!
We Know. We Care. We Deliver.   Engaging People. Transforming Organizations.
wwwork! is proud to be part of FirstHCM, partners in
human capital management.
Subscribe to our newsletters
ReadySet HIRED!
wwwork! Alerts
First Name:
Last Name:
Email Address: