This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS. For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. DonorsChoose.org helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators. There are at least two situations in which you will need to provide a cover letter and resume. Your job is to summarize, highlight, and organize your experiences and skills so that it is easy for an employer or loan officer to see what you have to offer.
Initially, employers spend an average of less than one minute looking over a resume, so you need to sell yourself well by having a resume that stands apart from the rest. This chapter will provide valuable guidelines to help you create a well-designed and organized resume and cover letter. Many information systems projects are conceived of in a life cycle that progresses in stages from analysis to implementation.
A cover letter may be your first contact to an employer, or it could be a follow up from a previous meeting. Cover letters should be personalized and should be prepared individually with each job application.
Cover letters should be no more than one page long and should be produced on the same paper as your resume and reference sheet. A resume should contain your personal contact information so an employer can reach you for an interview. In this section, list all academic information in reverse chronological order with the most recent listed first, including each school you have attended, graduation or expected graduation date, degree(s) earned and major(s), and your GPA (if it is over a 3.0). Work experience should also be listed in reverse chronological order and can include any volunteer positions, internships, co-ops, field or practicum experiences, and major class projects. You may list courses that apply directly to your career goals, but list the full course title rather than the abbreviation. Most people are familiar with traditional interviews and can anticipate what type of questions they will be asked in the interview process. In a traditional interview, applicants are asked about themselves and their experiences found on their resume.
In a behavioral interview, the skills and characteristics desired for the chosen employee have already been decided, and the questions that will be asked will be based on those qualifications and will require interviewees to give specific examples of past experiences and how they have handled those situations.
Before an interview, you can prepare by planning to answer possible questions that may be asked.
Employers who ask behavior-based questions want interviewees to describe specific projects, situations, or experiences that can apply to the open position.
By including a problem or situation description, your actions, and a solution in your answer, you can respond to interview questions on PAR. R: Because they were both more comfortable with their new responsibilities, they were happier and more productive.
In a world where all resumes look about the same, applying graphic design principles can help your resume and cover letter stand out.
This exercise also helps you become more familiar with Word and how to format professional documents. Download the file Cover Letter Before.doc from the class web site and save it to your folder. Add your name at the bottom and use a script font for your a€?signature.a€? In real life you would print out and sign the letter.
Recreate the a€?Aftera€? example making sure that your alignment and spacing is similar to the example. Category headings: Same sans-serif font as your name, 2 points larger than body text size, bold. Customize a cover letter, resume, and answer interview questions to prepare for life outside of college. When youa€™re out looking for a job, youa€™ll need a resume (maybe several versions) and likely an individual cover letter for each position for which you apply.
Create a resume and cover letter tailored to your ideal job or internship and answer behavior-based interview questions.
Make sure to follow the formatting guidelines from the L1 and L2, although your content will obviously vary from the examples. Your resume does not have to be in the same exact layout as the L2, but it should follow all of the guidelines in this chapter.


Tell me about a skill or technique you learned in school and how you have put that to use in real life. Tell me about a time when a project was changed after you had already done a significant amount of work. Electronic submission: Submit the resume, cover letter (a€?signeda€?), and interview answer documents a€“totaling three separate documents, electronically. Paper submission: Create a printout of your resume, cover letter, and interview answer document, and sign your cover letter with black or blue ink. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. There are guidelines available to help you format your resume and cover letter in an organized and effective manner. We have done this so that you will be able to reference the chapter upon graduation to look for a job.
The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself, explain your reason for contacting the employer, and to sell yourself as a desirable candidate for employment. If it is a follow up, remind the employer about your interaction to help him or her recall the original meeting. Also, be sure to double check grammar and spelling to avoid unprofessional errors, and use an organized and neat letter format.
Before you start creating a resume, you will need to gather information concerning your skills and experiences and decide on a career goal.
You may also want to tweak your resume for specific positions for which you are applying to include your knowledge and skills pertaining to that particular job. It should be displayed prominently toward the top of your resume and should include your name, address, phone number, a personal website (if you have one) and an e-mail address. If you decide not to include an objective, be sure to state this information in your cover letter. For each listing, include the employer name and location, position title, dates of employment, and at least two points explaining your responsibilities. List any professional organizations, student organizations, athletic teams, or other clubs to which you belong. Many companies are now using behavioral interview questions in order to discover an applicanta€™s skills and capabilities. This helps the employer see how candidates are likely to perform in similar situations likely to occur in the new position. Since no two interviews are alike, it is wise to prepare for both behavioral and traditional interview questions. Before answering a behavior-based question, make sure you understand the question and do not be afraid to ask for clarification if something is vague or unclear. Your responses will help the interviewer understand how you behaved in a certain scenario and determine if you would be a good fit for the open position. Our roles in the assignment were delegated by our group leader, and one member of our team wasna€™t doing her portion of the work. I learned from that experience that laziness isna€™t always the reason that people dona€™t participate, and ita€™s important to find out what motivates people in order to help create a productive and cohesive team. I was taking a speech class that required us to give five minute speeches in front of the class every other week. I learned from this class that you always have to be open to adjusting your learning style as you take different classes during your time at the university.
A traditional interview normally uses open ended questions that ask you to reflect on your abilities. If it does become hyperlinked, right click on your e-mail address and select Delete Hyperlink.
It is important that you always keep an updated version of your resume, constantly adding to it each time you get a new job, master a new skill, or anything else that could have an impact on your future career. You should have your contact information, school details, and work experience on your resume. Spelling and grammar must be perfect, so make sure you proofread, and have someone else proofread for you. If it does become hyperlinked right click on your e-mail address and select Delete Hyperlink. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (164 MB) or just this chapter (3 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). Even the most impressive professional experiences can come across poorly if they are displayed on an unorganized resume.


However, the same lessons are equally useful in applying for a loan for the purposes of our iPhone assignment. During a job search, it is the most important tool you can use to get your foot in the door for an interview with a desired employer.
A letter of inquiry is written when you want more information regarding potential job openings. In a cover letter, you have much more space to highlight your skills and what you can contribute to the company. You can find employee addresses in directories on the company website or through a personal inquiry. Though each copy of your resume that you hand out may differ slightly, most resumes need to have the same basic content. An objective should be clear, concise, and should state what you can do for an organization rather than what it can do for you. You may also include any honors or awards you have received or any professional workshops you have attended. These questions may be interspersed in conversation or they may be in a set list of questions to be answered. By reading the positiona€™s description, you can often get a sense of what types of questions will be asked and which of your skills you should be prepared to discuss. Our group leader even confronted her during a group meeting, but she just shrugged and said she was trying, but I could tell she was embarrassed to talk about it. She explained that she wasna€™t confident about doing the research task she was given because she didna€™t know how to use many of the resources that were required by our professor. For my first speech, we were asked to evaluate our favorite Super Bowl commercial and explain why we felt it marketed so well to its audience. At this point, I felt since this was my first speech class that my approach and preparation for my speeches may not be working. The other categories that you choose to include are based on your experiences and career goals.
After all the bank wants to gauge whether or not you have the experience and talent to make the business a success. A letter of application is written when you know specifically which position you would like to obtain and to inform an employer of your qualifications for employment. You can use the letter to expand upon your best qualities or most important experiences or achievements.
CareerSearchA®, is a web-based employer research system, and the VAULTA  Online Career Library are two other ways to research companies and find contact information.
Also, be sure to review your resume before an interview to remind yourself of experiences you can talk about with the employer. I was nervous during my presentation, but felt I covered everything I needed and that it went well. I needed to make some adjustments to my presentation technique, and I started attending weekly help sessions with one of her teaching assistants. Many businesses are moving towards behavioral interviews on the theory that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. You can also emphasize information that directly relates to the position for which you are applying, furthering your chances for consideration. I told her that we could have a general discussion about the project tasks in the next group meeting so she wouldna€™t be singled out. In addition to those sections, I asked my professor for some additional feedback prior to each presentation.
An additional Word document should be submitted with answers to two behavioral-based questions, which will be graded on your clear and concise use of the PAR method.
This shows your interest and demonstrates that you have taken the time to research the company.
During that meeting, I suggested that everyone share their general strengths instead of weaknesses and encouraged everyone to participate. It turned out that her strength was editing and formatting, and the person formally responsible for that portion of the project had a knack for research, so they switched tasks.




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