Creating job application materials asks you to blend persuasion, plain language, document design, audience analysis and many of the other skills we’ve learned throughout this course. When you first start writing them, it can feel strange to have to promote yourself in this way. With a little practice, however, you can set yourself apart from other candidates and get an interview.
- When you create a cover letter and resume, you’re communicating first to an algorithm (which will look for key phrases and how long you’ve been at particular companies) and then to a human.
- When you read a job posting, pick out key phrases. Look especially for phrases that have been repeated. Make sure that you use the language of the job posting.
- A resume is a “marketing document” (Green, 2013, pg 13) that convinces employers that they should interview you. It contains a summary of your skills, work experience, education and accomplishments. Use plain language and a clear format.
- When writing your resume and cover letter, focus on your accomplishments, not your job duties. What did you do that someone else in the role wouldn’t have done?
- A cover letter is your chance to speak directly to an employer and say why you want this particular job. It shouldn’t repeat your resume, complement it. Make sure to be specific about why you want this particular job, and why they should hire you.
- Make sure to proofread your job materials before you send them out.