Parts Of A Resume By Jeremy Cyrus 07/17/2012
Putting a great resume together is your first step in getting a job—but it's not the last one, and while most job posts just say "send us your resume," they really are looking for a bit more than that. Along with your resume you'll need to provide a cover letter at the time of your application. After you apply for the job—assuming you get an interview—you'll also need to send a thank-you letter. You may want to draft a follow up letter as well in case you don't hear back from the employer after you apply. Sometimes following up on an application can result in an interview—simply because you've shown extra interest in the position. Here is an overview of these documents and why each of them is so important.
- Your resume. Obviously this is how you communicate your skills and work experience to potential employers. It's a summary of your professional life to date and the main deciding factor in whether you are granted an interview. It's not the only factor, however—your cover letter is also very important.
- Your cover letter (CV). You may wonder why you need a cover letter if your resume lists all your qualifications. Your resume really doesn't list all your qualifications though—it just lists your skills and the things you can do—nothing about who you really are as a person. Your cover letter gives you some space to tell an employer why you think their company is exciting, or why a particular position appeals to you. This is your chance to show a potential employer that you are a unique individual, and that the reason you want the job is important.
- Follow-up letter. A follow-up letter is sent to an employer in situations where you don't hear back but are really interested in the job. Sometimes follow-up letters will alert employers that you are more motivated than other candidates and more interested in the job. A follow-up letter which is well written may result in an interview.
- Thank-you letter. You send a thank-you letter after an interview to tell a hiring manager that you are grateful for the time which he or she took to speak to you, show you around the workplace, and so on. Communicating gratitude is an important step to take because it shows that you are a thoughtful person who can relate meaningfully to others. This is important in any workplace or job capacity, and will cause hiring managers to look upon you with more respect. If you thank a hiring manager and another candidate doesn't bother, who do you think is more likely to get the job?
The importance of follow-up letters, thank you letters, and cover letters is frequently overlooked by candidates applying for jobs, but they can be as important as your resume. After you generate a resume, make sure to take the time to create a cover letter, and draft a thank you letter and follow-up letter as well. You'll be just that far ahead of all the candidates who neglect these extra steps!