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The Devil in the Details: Resumes and Cover Letters

- Mar 14, 2013

This is a short guide to some of the finer details of your resume and cover letter. This is the polish that you need to put on your work so that your career will shine.

The Font: Don’t use some hard to read or Silly font. This is fine for an invitation to a party! But for a professional document, none of these is acceptable. Choose a standard font, like Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial or Trebuchet. They are clean and look nice on the page. You want to stand out, but not for the wrong reasons.

The Size: Don’t make them squint, just so you can get a lot on a single page. Make the font size 10 or 12. Also, don’t make it huge. You are sending a resume, not a putting up a billboard.

The Paper: Use a nice resume paper or simple white paper. Don’t send something with some silly border. It doesn’t matter what others might say about how funky paper will get you noticed. It will only be the prettiest paper in a file. Also, you don’t need to spend $20 per page for the paper. It’s what’s on the page that matters, not the page you put it on. In fact, in a stack of applications, it will only be noticed if it is junk.

Make it the Same: Make sure that the font, size and paper are the same for your resume and cover letter. Nothing seems more out of place than receiving documents together that look they were written at two different times by two different people.

To Mail or Not to Mail: The answer here is simple. Follow the instructions. If it says to mail them, do that. If it says to email them, do that. If there are no instructions, try to drop everything in person. Be ready for an interview on the spot, so dress nice. It’s always nice to be ready when you are there.

Why does all of this matter? In the military, they have a mantra that is not as sexy as some, but is probably more important: Attention to detail saves lives. If you don’t notice that you left something in the middle of the deck, somebody could be over the side of the boat and in the water before they, or you know it.

It is this same attention to detail that can mean the difference between getting the job, or not. Having a great presentation of your paperwork will same to the person reading them, “This person is neat, meticulous and understands the importance of presentation.” In fact, this is usually so subconscious they don’t even know they’re thinking it. This is your very first impression, so make sure it’s a good one.

Good luck! And call us if you need some help. We want everyone to be working at their dream job. That’s why we want to help you find and get yours.


By: Bob Peryea

With great vision, you need great people

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