Resume and Cover Letter Writing for Seniors - Resume Editing
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What do you, as a Senior, need in a good Resume?

Is there anything special, a senior should put into his resume? We don't think so. But, you should see that your resume is relevant to the job you are applying for. As a senior, you will have had a lot of different experiences. Don't fill your resume with irrelevant job experience. Try to concentrate on the essential skills. Ask yourself what the employer wants and only then, put to paper what you can offer. Make it short and concise!

The resume is primarily a means to sell your capabilities and services. The Resume provides details of your skills and experiences to a potential employer so that he can see, in a short summary, how your skills are relevant to the potential job and how you could contribute something of value in your future workplace.

Age discrimination, unfortunately, exists and with your college degree 30 or 40 years back, there is no way that you can hide your age.You should not have to do that either, because what you sell to the prospective employer and his human resources manager is relevant experience. And the word
" r e l e v a n t " is the key here. Remember, the resume is a marketing document and not an autobiography. Some important points you should remember are shown below:

Concentrate your relevant experience which you want to emphazise on the last ten to 15 years. Most of the rest will not have much impact on you getting the job. Therefore, keep the summary of job experiences before that very short. You might still mention relevant experiences, without date, during that period in your summary as "Other experiences gained were....."
If you spent a long time with the same employer rising through the ranks, you might as well summarize this in one or two sentences, without going into to much detail. Only emphasize relevant and recent experience.
Do give dates of your education. Even, if it has been back some time, it was an achievement that is relevant!
Emphasize the relevant achievements in your professional life. This is often not easy to do!
Try to link the achievements to the qualities you offer and which are relevant to the job that you apply for.

A resume is your advertising and selling tool.You might fulfill all the requirements for a specific position, but your resume fails, if the employer does not, on the basis of what he sees, immediately conclude that you are the person for the job. Remember, your first priority is to create a resume that attracts the readers immediate attention. The initial twenty seconds will decide whether it ends up in the "under consideration" or the "rejected" file.

The most effective resumes are focused specifically on a job and address the potential employer's stated requirements for the position. The more you know about the duties and skills the job demands the better you can organize your resume around these requirements and the more effective the resume will be. This is a specially important point for seniors. You want to show your experience and make it "shine". Because what you have more than younger people is, experience and maturity!

The primary requirement for writing a good resume is, information about the job on offer. It is not enough to regurgitate what you have done in the past, since that information, with all its accomplishments, skills and experiences is only relevant within the requirements of the position for which you want to be considered.The more you know about the job and the employer the more likely you can "cut the cloth to the right size" and create a resume, that explains how you will be an asset for your future employer in the job he offers.

How important is the Cover Letter?

The cover letter is your introduction to a potential employer. What you write in it, is the first impression the person gains about, your capabilities and your personality. Therefore everyone who sends out a resume needs a cover letter. Whether you send it by mail, e-mail, fax or delivered by hand, is immaterial.

Every job offered has different requirements and it is therefore essential that you write a specific cover letter for every job application. There is no such thing as a "general cover letter". Most potential employers see a general cover letter as a sign of a lack of genuine interest in the job and, your chances of being considered for the offered position will be significantly hurt. Therefore, take the time and make the effort to send a cover letter that is tailored to the specific job and to the company you are applying to.

Although, it creates additional work, the positive side of the cover letter is that it provides you with an additional chance to emphasize what you have to contribute to the job, the company or organization. Remember, the person looking at your submission will ask himself: "How can this person help us?" Your cover letter has to answer that question in your own words. Your resume will provide the detailed support of the answer.

The Essential Rules for creating an effective Cover Letter

  • The Cover letter must not have any spelling or typing errors. Have it read by someone else and checked before you send it.
  • Is is important to get the hiring manager's name so that you can address your application to a specific person. If you send your resumes uninvited to the personnel department, make every attempt to find his details . Sometimes a phone call will give you the information about who makes the hiring decisions. Be sure the person's name is spelled correctly and that you have his or her correct title. Address the person with his or her proper social title, e.g. "Mr.," "Ms.," "Mrs.," "Miss," "Dr.," or "Professor." Keep the Cover Letter formal and to the point.
  • Write the Cover Letter in your own words and do not use a standardized "copied format letter". Do not be chatty or too personal: Keep it formal! In order to be effective, the Cover Letter should transmit and highlight your relevant experience, knowledge, enthusiasm, and focus on the potential job in a logical and systematic manner. Group the items you specifically want to address and be concise within each paragraph.
  • Do not use slang, "Internet jargon ", or other expressions which some people consider "natural" (as opposed to academic or formal!). Today, many employers are seriously concerned about the "sloppy" and inappropriate use of language. They may deduce, once you become an employee, you will communicate using inappropriate language. On the other hand, do not use words you picked from the Thesaurus without being absolutely sure, that you understand their proper meaning and the context in which a word or expression is used. If you are not sure about your grammar, there are books you can purchase. If you submit an application for an international job, remember that writing styles and grammar differs from one English speaking country to another.
  • Indicate in your Cover Letter that you have acquired some knowledge about the company and/or the industry. Do some research, before you write the resume and the cover letter. But keep the communication of this knowledge within clearly defined limits. The purpose of showing your potential employer that you know something about them, is to make it clear, that you did not pick the company at random. You want to show the hiring manager, that you know, who they are and that you have deliberately chosen them!
  • Use language that is appropriate and relevant to the employer. If you are applying for an advertised position, use the advertised requirements and work them into your resume or cover letter, if necessary emphasize them in bold script. Be sure to address the specific requirements and shortly indicate how you can fulfill them.


Resume Writers, Resume Appraisers and why they are useful and worth their money

We thought long and hard about this question! After all, "everyone can write a resume", so, why use someone else who is not familiar with your particular circumstances and who does not know your ambitions job wise? Maybe, the answer is in this very sentence: In your own eagerness to present yourself in the best possible light to a future employer, you overlook what the employer sees or wants to see from you! You present in your resume what you want, rather than what the employer requires or what he is looking for.

A professional resume writer is not the prisoner of his own representation. He or she looks at the task of writing a resume in a neutral fashion, dispassionate and with distance to your own past. As a consequence, that resume writer might see strengths and weaknesses that are not seen as important by you. The distance creates a balanced picture of yourself.

Most people argue that each resume has to be written as a response to a specific job, because only some of the things, you might offer, will be useful in that job. Therefore, the resume as a response to a job vacancy, has to be tailor-made. That is absolutely correct! However, if you start off with a well written generic resume that projects your abilities and your strengths, while it puts your weaknesses somewhat in the background, you are starting out with an advantage.

A Resume Appraiser, as opposed to a writer, will look at your resume and recommend, if required, changes. There are numerous free sites for that, but you have to remember that the business of the appraiser comes from resume writing and the free appraisal is one way to get clients. That does not reduce their usefulness in creating a good resume, but you have to be aware of it.

There are a number of sites offering Resume Writing Services. Jobs4work and JobLine International also have a team of highly experienced resume writers that offer resume and Cover letter writing. Below is a comparative analysis of some of the services offered on the net. Click on the names on the far left, if you want to know more. Prices may vary from time to time.

Specialist Resume Writing Services

Jobs4work $169.00
We have a resume writing Service that offers a written resume sent to you by e-mail based on your data, plus a generic Cover Letter (or specific, if you want that) . Turn around is usually 24-72 hours. MS Word format or html. Recommended!
* $114.00 the group offers resume writing including a cover letter with a six hours turnaround. They also rewrite your resume, if you do not get a job within six weeks of using it.
* $119-245 This services offers a variety of specialist resume products including updates, thank you letters, interview coaching and employment testing. Recommended!
* $150-295 By providing powerful, distinctive resumes that consistently win interviews, our hand-picked team of certified resume writers have helped thousands of clients articulate their qualifications and land jobs at the nation's top employers, from Microsoft, Cisco, and Goldman Sachs to McKinsey, AT&T, and the federal government. Price Range varies with importance of jobs.
* $119-395 Monster is not only a large job board, but also offers a variety of support services for job seekers. One of them is Resume editing ($119) and Resume writing (from $215) . In their own words: We know what employers want. We market your strengths to edge out the competition. We tailor your resume to meet your specific needs.

We have had direct experience with the above services we recommend. Other services are by no means inferior, but we have not had any direct experience with them.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae Editing

If you do not want to spend the money for a rewrite of your resume or CV you can always have it edited. Remember, other people, especially those who deal with resumes every day see other things than you, the writer. Maybe what to you looks like some clever statement is not so great when read by an outsider. Resume editing is an effective way to have an "uninterested third party" look at the impact of your resume. And for US$ 49.00, you are certainly not losing a lot!

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