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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Coppola

Navigating Resume and Cover Letter Challenges: Dos and Don'ts

Writing effective resumes and cover letters can be challenging, but avoiding common pitfalls can help you present yourself in the best possible light. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind:

Resume Dos:

  1. Do Prioritize Relevance: Focus on the most relevant experiences, skills, and achievements for the job you're applying for.

  2. Do Use Action Verbs: Start bullet points with strong action verbs to describe your accomplishments. This makes your resume more engaging.

  3. Do Include Keywords: Incorporate keywords from the job description to increase your chances of passing ATS screening.

  4. Do Quantify Achievements: Use numbers and metrics to quantify your accomplishments and showcase your impact.

  5. Do Keep it Concise: Aim for a one-page resume, especially if you have less than 10 years of experience. Two pages are acceptable for more extensive backgrounds.

Resume Don'ts:

  1. Don't Include Irrelevant Information: Avoid listing experiences or skills that aren't relevant to the job you're applying for.

  2. Don't Use Generic Language: Tailor each resume to the specific role; avoid using generic templates or language.

  3. Don't Overdesign: While a well-organized format is crucial, avoid excessive design elements that can distract from the content.

Cover Letter Dos:

  1. Do Personalize: Customize each cover letter for the company and role, showing your genuine interest.

  2. Do Address Gaps Positively: If explaining gaps, focus on the skills you gained during those periods and how they make you a stronger candidate.

  3. Do Showcase Personality: Let your personality shine through in a professional and respectful manner.

Cover Letter Don'ts:

  1. Don't Regurgitate the Resume: Your cover letter should complement your resume, not repeat it verbatim.

  2. Don't Use a Generic Template: Craft each cover letter from scratch to ensure it's tailored to the specific opportunity.

  3. Don't Be Negative: Avoid negative language or discussing shortcomings. Keep the focus on your strengths and contributions.

By following these dos and don'ts, you'll be better equipped to create impactful resumes and cover letters that capture the attention of employers and help you land your desired job.



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