Best Of: Resume And Cover Letter Crafting

Your first impression depends on these two

Small businessman signing document on office desk
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Remember the first time you wrote a cover letter? It was eloquent and poignant, detailing all the things an employer drools over in a job candidate. Once you completed your masterpiece, you packaged it with your equally exceptional resume and flung it out into the ether, sparking an epic, gruesome war between ten of the top companies in your desired field over a chance to employ you, the most coveted worker in all the land.

This has probably never actually happened to you (or anyone), because job hunting is a learned skill that many find arduous to master. And today, the job seeker has become loaded with more responsibilities, like constant networking, social media upkeep and outsmarting resume-scanning robots.

But there's one thing that hasn't changed about the application process and it won't give you nostalgia: the resume-cover letter combo. Check out AOL Jobs' roundup of the best resume and cover letter advice below:

Resumes


What to include and exclude on your resume
Tighten up your resume with these dos and don'ts.

Never use these 10 words on your resume
You may be responsible, creative and effective – but so is the rest of the job-seeking world. Keep these words off your resume to avoid blending in with the job pool.

How to keep your resume from the applicant black hole
Almost every major midsize company uses an applicant tracking system to sift through the large volume of resumes they receive.

Make Facebook work for your job search
It's no secret that many employers are screening their candidates' social media profiles before making a final decision. Rather than looking like you've got something to hide, you can open up parts of your Facebook as a supplement to your application.

Resume tips for career changers
Getting a job in a field you've never worked in is tough. If you're pursuing a second or third career, you can still show a prospective employer that you have the chops to take on the challenge by being honest and playing up your strengths.

Explaining resume gaps to your employers
Employment gaps are red flags to hiring managers. Whatever your reason is for having one, you must address it on your resume. The employer will either toss it aside, as he or she likely would if it remained unexplained, or the honesty will give you a fighting chance.

Cover Letters


Is the cover letter obscelete?
The short answer is no. Most companies still require one, and even if they don't explicitly ask for it, look at it as your only chance distinguish yourself from another equally qualified candidate.

Cover letter mistakes that may cost you the interview
The cover letter is a chance to add some personality and discuss your interest in the company, but it should always remain professional.

How to write a cover letter
The video below is part of a video blog series Nika Harper does on writing. If you've tried many conventional cover letter writing guides without good results, I encourage you to hear out Harper's thoughts. It's some of the most current and creative help on writing cover letters that I've come across.

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