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6. Communicate three main concepts in your cover letter. The prospective employer wants to know anything that might help her make money; cut a cost; attract a new customer; retain an existing customer; or solve a problem. Make your self-promotion do that and you'll be on DO CALL list.
7. Flaunt it, baby! If you're a whiz with computer skills, don't be shy about saying so. Whether you learned a skill on job or went to school for four years to learn it, you do have skill. It doesn't matter how you acquired such valuable skills--just mention that you have them.
Resumes: 8. Write a single resume that is suitable for multiple employers.
9. Make your resume one page. Start by writing everything you want to say; then edit and cut. A two page resume can work too. Just remember, prospective employers are reading a lot of cover letters and resumes. Concise is better.
10. Put juicy stuff on page one of a multi-page resume.
11. Break resume into sections: education, training, computer skills and so forth. Your 'experience' section is prime real estate and should be half or more of a one page resume.
12. Write in chronological order. Start with most recent information.
13. Go back in your employment history as far as beneficial to you. Ten years is good. Experience beyond that can go in a summary under 'highlight of other experience' section, hitting just highlights without dates. This is where you can mention you've also worked in CPA and law firms, giving employer an indirect reminder that you're versatile.
14. Write a broad objective statement. Make it all purpose enough so that somebody reading it won't immediately say 'we're not what she's looking for.' Accentuate your personal qualities and some of your skills in statement.
15. Don't highlight that you've primarily worked in one industry or write that you're seeking an entry-level position. You may be looking for an administrative assistant job in aerospace industry but would you consider office manager in company's automotive industry sister company if offered to you?
16. Write your accomplishments. Your resume should mostly describe what you actually accomplished on job. Don't be boring! Say 'trained approximately 30 employees in word processing department in operation of Microsoft Word...' not 'responsibilities included switchboard, computer operations and customer service.' That first sentence says you trained people, communicated, presented in front of a group, worked one-on-one providing individual assistance and have lots of computer experience. The second phrasing just says you're boring. Yawn!
A scheduled interview means your resume is a success. Pop bubbly (but not right before your interview)!
© 2005 Karen Fritscher-Porter
Karen Fritscher-Porter is the publisher and editor of The Effective Admin, a free monthly e-zine for administrative support professionals who want practical tips to advance their career and simplify their daily job duties. Learn more about The Effective Admin at http://www.admin-ezine.com where you also can buy booklets and reports full of informational tips useful to administrative assistants and their managers.