Most hiring managers spend very little time on any particular resume or cover letter. You have to grab their attention right away in order to be noticed. Here are some tips to help you develop the right resume and cover letter to land the interview.
Highlight Your Experience
Make your resume self-explanatory at a glance. This means that you need to organize it in such a way as to highlight your work history. Consider adding a specialized skill section at the top before getting into your education and job history. Tailor this section to meet with the required and optional skills of the job. Lay out the format similar to the job posting. You want to be able to catch their eye in the first few seconds so that they’ll read the rest of your resume.
Set Yourself Apart
Use your cover letter to provide additional information about yourself. This is the place to talk about your background and relevant experience. Relate how your experience will help with the job under consideration. If you’re searching at multiple companies, create a new cover letter for each organization. Personalize it to show that you have an interest in working at their company. Be concise and professional in your writing style.
You have to walk a careful line when it comes to your cover letter. Be as honest as possible without delving into too much personal detail. You may want to include the fact that your heritage gives you an advantage. List out how these traits will be beneficial in the workplace. This section should be short and to the point. Don’t draw it out because it can cause you to be placed in the reject pile. A well written resume and cover letter may get you in the door.
Get Some Help
If you’re unsure about where to start the process, ask for help. You can do this in a variety of ways. Consider attending some ESL classes to prepare you for the interview. Some agencies offer a service in which they will prep you for an important interview or help with your resume. Take advantage of these services so that you can make the most of your job hunt. Have someone else look over your resume and cover letter before you submit it. Misspellings and incorrect word usage make a bad first impression.
Just because English is your second language doesn’t mean that you’re not qualified for a job. Use these tips to help you be more competitive in the job market.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.