Resume & Cover Letter FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about resumes and cover letters.
What makes an effective resume or CV?
An effective resume presents a simple, concise, and organized format, with appropriate category headings, an easy-to-read font, and a header. A solid resume should showcase an applicant’s achievements and accomplishments, illustrated through clearly worded descriptions, specific details, active verbs, and quantifiable, measurable results. It must align with applicant tracking system (ATS) scanning requirements and align your expertise with your career goals. There are several resume formats to choose from, including reverse chronological order, functional, combined, and CV, depending on your background and career goals. Federal resumes contain more comprehensive employment details, including supervisors’ contact information, salaries, and hours.
Do I need a cover letter with my resume or CV?
Yes. Introducing your resume with a cover letter conveys a detail-oriented, professional applicant who is willing to go the extra step. It also serves as the perfect platform to include or explain any relevant information or extenuating circumstances that do not belong on the resume itself, such as a career change or lapses in employment. Here is where you connect your assets to the specific company and position at hand. You can also mention a few details that you find impressive about the company to show you have done your research about them and their work culture. A cover letter provides potential employers with a writing sample on your behalf.
Why do I need to complete a resume questionnaire?
Although we are the experts in crafting a winning resume for you, YOU are the expert in providing us with specific details about your job history, accomplishments, and other areas of relevant information. By jotting down dates, positions, and prior experiences before we meet in person, you are maximizing the benefits of our time together. It also you to review documents, check quantifiable results, and recall previous experiences at your own pace.
Once you have laid out the preliminary information, we can use our consultation time to delve deeper into areas that should be highlighted and expand on your initial intake. The questionnaire is just the first round of information-gathering, kind of like a map charting where we will need to go together to generate accurate, detailed content that aligns you with your career goals. With the basic information laid out, we can then ask further, targeted questions that will help develop effective strategies to improve your presentation. For clients who would like help completing the questionnaire, we can always tackle it together in person or speak over the phone.
What do colleges look for in an application essay?
Many applicants make the mistake of writing too much about the experience they are sharing and not enough about how it impacted their lives in the present and future (past, present, and future progression). The purpose of the essay is not to reiterate information already included on transcripts or applications, but rather to shed light on the applicant as a dynamic, interesting change agent who has the potential to make a difference on campus and in society.
Colleges want to see your lesson learned, how you handle life’s challenges, how you have evolved, and how you might positively impact their institution. The essay should focus on one moment in time or one story and its outcome; it should not be a long list of accomplishments or achievements. They are looking for critical analysis, contemplation, reflection, personal growth, and perspective.
How can website content, blogs, and social media posts benefit my business online?
Search engine optimization (SEO) relies upon frequent, organic content; therefore, your business will benefit from regularly updated website content, blogs, and social media posts. These online resources also provide an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your expertise and knowledge, so what you write should be meaningful, informative, and educational to your readers.
Align your blogs, e-blasts, social media campaigns, and newsletters for maximum effectiveness in reaching potential and current clients. In reality, you are never done producing online website content if you want to stay fresh, current, and ahead of your competition!
How do clients benefit from a one-on-one consultation with a professional writing consultant?
At the in-person, phone, or Zoom consultation (free with certain services), clients benefit from presenting their questions and concerns. We provide detailed responses and discuss the effective strategies we will implement to achieve your goals. We also share the knowledge and expertise we have cultivated through industry research and years of experience. Meeting one-on-one allows for candid communication; we can ask the appropriate questions that, in turn, will generate comprehensive information. Clients learn what we propose to do to get the job done as effectively as possible and why we make these choices.
In addition, it is nice to know who you are hiring and working with! With All About Writing, clients are never rushed or made to feel like anything less than our top priority. We can achieve the same thoroughness and clarity over the phone and through Zoom, at the client’s convenience.