Writing-Winning-Resumes-and-Cover-Letters-University-of-Maryland.docx.pdf

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WRITING WINNING RESUMES AND COVER LETTERSProfessor Charles Duquette | University of Maryland, College ParkWEEK 1:1.1 The Real Purpose of a ResumeThat tells you that a resume has one primarypurpose. To convince an organization to inviteyou in for an interview. Or at least for a phoneinterview. If that happens, you have an effectiveresume.This means your resume is a marketingdocument. It matches the keywords for thecompetencies the organization has advertisedfor.Many people mistakenly think of a resume as asummary of their entire life and career.That isan unfortunate mistake. It produces genericresumes that fail to target the hiringorganization.Don't ever forget that your resume is anadvertisement.It needs to target a specificcustomer, namely, the hiringorganization.It mirrors the environment of the hiringorganization. Objectives, experience andaccomplishments match the keywords inthe job description.A winning resume simply feels right tothe hiring organization.It will contain the best evidence tosupport that claim. It will be free of anyirrelevant information that distractsfrom that claim.A winning resume will be focused.Focusedon a specific organization, a specific position,and a specific audience. White space will serve tohelp focus the reader's attention. Fonts that areeasy to read also serve to focus the resume.A winning resume is powerful,it usespotent action words that make you sound like adoer and an achiever. It uses explicit numbersand specific details that add credibility to youraccomplishments.A winning resume is concise.It makes apoint and makes it clearly. It uses bullets to helpthe reader zero in on your most outstandingachievements. It uses small blocks of text thatare easy to scan.1.2 Focusing Your ResumeTo move your resume to the top of the applicantpile and land an interview, your resume must befocused. Focused on the competencies desiredby the hiring organization.Competencesinclude skills but they alsoinclude abilities and behaviors as well asknowledge that is fundamental to the use of askill.Most importantly competencies describethose successful behaviors in terms thatare observable.*Use Competency Dictionary-nih/competencies/competencies-dictionaryAcompetency architecturecan guide thedevelopment of job descriptions.It gives organizations objective criteriathey can use to evaluate performance.It also gives everyone in an organizationa shared language for talking about jobrequirements and work performance.The simple fact is the hiring process has evolved,just like other technologies. And one of the keyevolutions is what you've been learning about,competency-based systems.Most candidates think about themselves, theirneeds, their wants.But if you can think fromthe perspective of the hiring organization,you'd be that much smarter and thatmuch further ahead of the competition.

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