How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You Hired

For most job candidates, the only thing worse than writing a resume is crafting a cover letter. What are you supposed to say in it? How long should it be? What are hiring managers on the lookout for?

You have questions; at ResumeSpice, we have answers on how to write a cover letter. Here are some tried-and-true tips for creating a cover letter that will get you hired:

Customize it.

You know your resume should be tailored to each job to which you’re applying. So should your cover letter. If it’s not, there’s a good chance you’re doing more harm than good by submitting one. 

So, before you begin writing a cover letter for a job application, make sure you review the job description and jot down some of the key qualities the company is seeking. Also, do your homework – research the company online so you can gain an understanding of what they do and the market they serve. With this knowledge in place, you should have a better understanding of why you want to work there, why you’d be a good fit for the position, and how to communicate that in your cover letter.

Talk about benefits.

In other words, what can you do for the company? Tie your background to the specifics you’ve found out about the company and where you can make the biggest impact.

For instance, explain how you can help them achieve a certain goal, or how you have experience with a certain obstacle they’ve been facing. When hiring managers are reviewing your cover letter, they’ll be wondering why they should hire you. Connect the dots and make it easy by focusing on the company’s needs and how you can meet them.

Check the basics.

When you’re writing your cover letter, format is key. Make sure you address it to the correct person and that their name is spelled right. Also, make sure you reference the name of the company accurately, using the job description as a guide. If you use the wrong name, or spell it incorrectly, hiring managers will take notice.

Proofread it.

Another tip when you’re wondering how to make your cover letter stand out? Proofread it. Just as you would your resume, make sure you carefully review your letter before sending it out. Even better, ask a friend or relative to do the same, so they can catch any errors you might have missed.

Need more help on how to write a cover letter for a job?

Call in the experts at ResumeSpice. We can help you identify your key strengths, write about them effectively in your cover letter, and increase your odds for landing the interview – and the job. Contact us at 832.930.7378 to learn more about how to write a cover letter.

How to Choose a Resume Writing Service

For most candidates, even the most experienced, writing a resume is a struggle. What do hiring managers want to see? How long should it be? What will help you stand out among other candidates? If you’re not a resume expert, it can be tough to know.

The good news is that there are resume writing services that can provide the answers to these and other questions. But with so many out there, how can you choose the one that’s right for you? Look for those that offer the following:

Customization.

The last thing you want is your resume to look and sound like everyone else’s. So look for resume writing services that take a consultative approach in which you work directly with a resume writer to discuss your skills and background. A resume expert can then develop a resume that is tailored to your unique experience.

Recruiting experience.

The best resume writing companies know the recruiting industry and understand what hiring managers look for on resumes. So when you’re searching for a resume writing service, ask about their experience in this area.

Quick turnaround.

You need a new resume – and fast. That’s why turnaround is key when it comes to picking a resume writing service. Look for those who can provide you with a draft in your desired time frame.

Knowledge of applicant tracking systems.

In today’s recruiting world, applicant tracking software is increasingly the first hurdle your resume must past through. Getting through these systems can be mystifying if you don’t know how they work. Enter an experienced resume writing service. A knowledgeable service will understand how they work and how to build your resume in a way that gives you the best possible chance of making it through.

Customer care and support.

When it comes to working with a resume writing company, you don’t want to feel like just another number. You want to work with a firm that actually cares about your career success and will go the extra mile to help and support you.

Service guarantee.

Finally, you should look for those resume writing services that offer a guarantee. If you’re not able to secure an interview, will they work with you to rewrite your resume?

Put ResumeSpice on your list of resume writing services to consider!

Whether you have a resume and just need some quick, professional feedback or don’t have a resume and need someone to write one from scratch, we can help. Contact us at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started. 

5 Critical Tips to Building a Top Resume That Stands Out

You know that most hiring managers only spend a few seconds scanning through resumes before deciding on whom to interview. The question is: how can you stand out with yours, especially in a sea of other candidates? It’s easier than you might think. Here are six top resume writing tips from the resume writing professionals at ResumeSpice to help you get there:

#1: Make an impact with your branding statement.

Want to create the best resume? Ditch the objective. Hiring managers know that your objective as a candidate is to get the job. Instead, use one line branding statement that summarizes your unique background in one (maximum, two) powerful sentences. You’re may need to customize the statement for each job. But, it’s the first thing hiring managers see, and a branding statement will go a long way in helping you stand out.

#2: Sprinkle in keywords.

In today’s world, resume scanning software, known as ATS systems, often filters out resumes before a hiring manager actually lays eyes on them. That’s why – if you want your resume to even be seen – it’s critically important that you use keywords from the job posting throughout it. Be careful not to “keyword stuff” your resume – applicant tracking systems are smart enough to identify candidates that are gaming thei system. Just a few mentions will do.

#3: Be succinct.

Being long-winded is easy. Being short and sweet – and still persuasive – will get you noticed by hiring managers. So even if you have to edit your resume a dozen times to make it as tight and articulate as possible, do it. It will pay off in the end with a top resume and more calls for interviews.

#4: Boast a little.

Most people hate self-promotion. So you’re certainly not alone there. And while no one wants to hear about how great you are at your next dinner party, you should boast (in moderation) about yourself on your resume. That simply means you should take an achievement-focused approach when discussing your current and past work experience. Rather than highlighting tasks, highlight accomplishments.

#5: Focus on facts and numbers.

Nobody likes fluff and hyperbole, but especially hiring managers. Rather than filling your resume with a bunch of adjectives, focus instead on facts. Wherever you can, quantify your accomplishments with hard numbers, from dollar figures to statistics, percentages and time saved.

Need more top resume tips – and help crafting a resume that doesn’t get lost in the crowd?

Call in the experts at ResumeSpice at 832.930.7378. We can help take your resume from good to great – so you stand out and get noticed by hiring managers.

What Format is Right for My Resume?

Whether you’re creating a new resume from scratch, or polishing an existing one, it’s vital you use the right format if you want to get noticed and stand out to hiring managers. But what’s the difference between different formats – and which is the best resume format to use? Here’s the information you need:

Chronological vs. Functional Resumes

There are two common types of resume formats:

  • Chronological Resume Format: This is where you list your most recent work experience first and then work backwards. This is the most common resume and for good reason: hiring managers prefer this approach.
  • Functional Resume Format: This format focuses more on skills and abilities, rather than listing a reverse chronological work history. It can be tempting to use this type of format to hide career gaps and/or job hopping. However, hiring managers are savvy and will quickly pick up on the tactic. In fact, we strongly recommend against using a functional resume format.

So now that we’ve ruled out a functional resume format, what does a chronological resume entail?

This is the best resume format to use because it’s simple and easy to follow for hiring managers. It includes:

  • Your name, email, phone and city/state at the top.
  • A one (maximum, two) sentence branding statement highlighting your unique background. 
  • Your work history listed in reverse chronological order, with bulleted points under each job title explaining your role and relevant achievements.
  • Your educational history, including the school where you went, the year you graduated and your degree.
  • Any other pertinent information, such as volunteer experience, technical skills, or other abilities that are important for a potential employer to know about.

Need more help with your resume?

Check out our resume templates for some great examples. Or simply give us a call. We know the best resume formats to use in 2018, all so you can stand out to employers and get a call for an interview. To get started or learn more, contact us today at 832.930.7378.

Top Resume Tips from the #1 Resume Writing Service

As a top resume writing service, ResumeSpice understands that unless you’re a pro at writing resumes, then you probably dread the process. Not to worry. You’re certainly not alone. It seems like in today’s competitive job market, one wrong word choice or small mistake on your resume could potentially cost you the job offer.

But, here’s the good news: there are some top resume tips you can put to use today to improve your resume and stand out in a sea of other job candidates. To help you, here are five of them:

Tip #1: Make your resume easy to read.

You can have all the experience in the world. But if your resume is verbose and convoluted, it’s not going to get read. Keep in mind that hiring managers only scan resumes for a few seconds. That’s why you need to make it as easy as possible for them to read at-a-glance the important details of yours. You can do this with the right formatting – boldface, bullet points, a professional-looking font, and plenty of white space.

Tip #2: Focus on accomplishments.

Another top resume tip? Focus on accomplishments. Hiring managers don’t need to know so much that you were responsible for answering phones and responding to emails. Instead, they want to know the impact your work performance had in the company, your colleagues, your manager, and the bottom line.

So, anytime you can, quantify your accomplishments with numbers and always talk about the effect you had. For instance, rather than just saying you “answered the phone,” instead say: “Answered service calls and worked with customers to resolve issues in a timely manner to their complete satisfaction.”

Tip #3: Customize your resume.

You can create one overall resume. But, if you want the best resume – and the best results – you should always customize it to the particular position and company. For instance, you might include certain responsibilities and achievements that are highly relevant for one employer, but not another. If you list a summary of qualifications, you can also re-order it so the attributes that are most important to each individual employer are listed at the top.

Tip #4: Don’t include irrelevant information.

When it comes to your resume, another top resume writing tip is that you don’t need to include information about hobbies. Nor do you need to report that “references are available upon request.”

Simply stick to a traditional approach, which includes a summary of qualifications; chronologically listing out your job history in reverse order; covering your educational background; and highlighting any other important skills, such as those related to computer proficiencies or volunteer experience.

Tip #5: Proofread it multiple times.

Before you hit the “send” button, you’re going to want to proofread your resume several times. Even better, ask someone you trust to proofread it for you. With their fresh eye and perspective, they’re more likely to catch inconsistencies and mistakes that are harder for you to notice.

Ready for professional help from the top resume writing team?

Call ResumeSpice at 832.930.7378. We can help take your resume from good to great – so you stand out and get noticed by hiring managers. 

Interested in a New Career, But Don’t Know Where to Start? Hire a Career Coach!

Are you feeling stuck in your career? Do you wake up each day and dread work? Or are you unemployed and uncertain what career step to take next? If this sounds familiar, then consider hiring a career coach. When you do, you can benefit in a variety of ways. For instance, a career coach can help you:

See yourself more objectively.

It’s hard for most people to objectively evaluate themselves as professionals. But when you’re in a career rut, it’s important for you to see things as they are – which is where a career coach can help. They can work with you to understand your background, experience, skills, and where you want to take them all. They can also look at the big picture, so you gain valuable insight on areas you need to improve upon and those you should promote more, all so you can achieve your ultimate career goals.

Identify the right career path.

If you’ve been working in a field you’re no longer happy in or satisfied by, it can be tough to know what step to take next. That’s where a career coach can help. They’ll take the time to get to know you as an individual first, including your passions, personality, and objectives. Rather than just looking at what fields or jobs would be most lucrative, they can guide you to the opportunities – and career path – that would be the best fit for you.

Give you a confidence boost.

Trying to figure out where to go with your career is never a fun process. It’s filled with uncertainty and a lot of soul-searching. As a result, your confidence level might be taking a hit. But a career coach can help you see the value you can offer to a potential employer. They can also offer you encouragement, so you stay motivated and positive as you go through a potential career change.

Make wise decisions.

If you’re trying to make an important career decision on your own, it can often feel like you’re spinning your wheels. But when you talk to a career coach about it, they can help you see the situation from a different perspective. They can also bring to light issues, or potential benefits or consequences you might not have considered. As a result, you can make a more confident decision about your career.

Interested in learning more about how a professional career coach can help your career? Contact ResumeSpice today. We can work with you on whatever career issues or challenges you’re facing, and put together a plan to help you get to where you want to go. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

Why Is a Cover Letter Important?

In today’s day and age of job searching on social media, video interviewing, and applying through LinkedIn, you may be wondering whether a cover letter is really needed – or if it’s outdated? At ResumeSpice, we can tell you that a cover letter still has plenty of value, if you take the right approach.

That means you can’t regurgitate what’s on your resume, or copy and paste a boilerplate letter from the Internet. However, if you put the following tips into action, you can create a cover letter that gets noticed – and gets results.

Tip #1: Tell a story.

One of the best ways to make an impression on a hiring manager is to tell a story in your cover letter. For instance, have you been a fan of the company for a while, or always wanted to work there? If that’s the case, talk about what attracts you to the organization and what value you can add to it. Stories are unique and compelling ways to bring your experience to life and stand out to a hiring manager.

Tip #2: Talk about the contributions you can make.

Hiring managers want to know what’s in it for them if they hire you. So don’t talk about what a great opportunity the job would be for your career. Instead, talk about the challenges or opportunities you see at the company – and how you can make a positive difference if hired.

Tip #3: Focus on a key accomplishment.

Think about a career accomplishment that you’re 1) proud of and 2) that’s relevant to the company and job opportunity. Write about what you learned, how you went out about solving the problem or producing positive results, and how you can do the same for the hiring company. Whenever possible, use facts and figures to underscore your claims.

Tip #4: Don’t talk about what you don’t have.

If there’s a skill the job posting lists that you don’t have, don’t focus on it. Instead, discuss the skills and experience that you do have that are most relevant to the opportunity. If the skill gap is important to the hiring manager, they’ll ask you about it during the interview.

Tip #5: Follow the right format.

When you send a cover letter in, hiring managers are expecting a business letter; not a quick email with a couple of sentences followed by a smiley face emoji. So make sure you follow standard guidelines, including keeping it to one page, including your name and contact information, using a professional-looking font and type size, and proofreading it carefully to catch any errors and typos.

Do you need more tips and advice on cover letter writing? You’ve come to the right place. At ResumeSpice, we’re not only resume experts, but cover letter specialists too. We can help you craft a letter that puts your skills and experience in the best possible light – and helps you get that coveted interview call. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more.

 

Tips from Professional Resume Writers

When it comes to creating an effective resume, even the most experienced professionals can get stumped. At ResumeSpice, we understand this and are here to help. Below are a few expert tips from our team of professional resume writers that can help, whether you’re starting from scratch or polishing an existing resume:

Keep it simple.

You don’t need to have a five-page resume to impress a hiring manager. One, two pages, and, in rare instances, three will do the trick. If you’re experienced, then your resume will probably fit best on two pages. If you’re on the entry level side of your career, then a one-page resume will most likely suffice. But keep in mind, hiring managers don’t actually read your resume word for word – at least initially. So, keep it simple, succinct, and focus on the most impactful elements of your background.

Make it easy to understand.

Within a few seconds of looking at your resume, a hiring manager should be able to grasp what you do and the value you can offer. You can’t do that if you have a long-winded resume with dense paragraphs and tiny print. Instead, when writing and formatting your resume, make sure you focus on ensuring everything is easy to understand. Avoid fluff and hyperbole. Utilize simple fonts and write in bullet points rather than flowing prose.

Use a reverse chronological order.

When working on your employment history, be sure to use the reverse chronological approach. This means listing your most recent place of employment, and then working backwards. Make sure to include the name of the company, your job title, and relevant accomplishments and responsibilities. Always begin bullets with action verbs.

Tell a story.

Hiring managers don’t want to hire robots. They want real people who can get the job done. So, wherever possible, use numbers, dollar amounts, timelines, percentages and statistics to demonstrate your accomplishments. Also, if there’s something unique to your background – such as you’re an Olympic athlete or speak three languages – don’t forget to include it on your resume to help you stand out.

When preparing your resume, also consider the following don’ts:

  • Don’t use fancy or script font. Stick to the tried-and-true ones.
  • Don’t italicize and underline everything for emphasis. Go easy on superfluous formatting.
  • Don’t include an objective at the top of your resume. The hiring manager knows your objective is to get the job, just like every other candidate who applies.
  • Don’t use templates or table formats. Instead, use a simple Word document that any hiring manager can easily open and view.
  • Don’t include personal information, such as whether you’re married or have kids. Also, skip the hobbies and personal interests, unless there’s a direct connection to the job you’re applying for or your hobby is truly unique (you’re a 5x Ironman finisher!).

Need more help and tips from top Houston resume writers?

Turn to the experts at ResumeSpice. Simply call us today at 832.930.7378. We can help you put your best foot forward on your resume.

 

5 Reasons to Use a Resume Writing Service

Writing a resume is a painful process for most job candidates. And for good reason. Most people aren’t properly trained to craft an effective resume. On top of that, they don’t understand how hiring managers read resumes, nor what they most want to see. That’s where a professional resume writing service comes in. Here are some tips from our top Houston resume writers and how they can help you:

1) Promoting your background

Your resume is supposed to be an overview of your background and accomplishments. At the same time, it also serves as a marketing document where you’re essentially selling and promoting your unique value.

For many candidates, though, self-promotion is hard. They want to focus on tasks and responsibilities. But hiring managers want to know about your accomplishments and track record. They want to be able to understand why they should consider you and how you will make a positive impact. If promoting yourself and your background in this way makes you uncomfortable, then consider getting tips and help from a resume writer.

2) Giving hiring managers the information they want

Do you know what a hiring manager wants to see on your resume? If you’re like most job applicants, once you apply to a job, you rarely hear why you didn’t receive an interview request. But when you use a professional resume writer, you get the inside scoop on what hiring managers want to know about you. From your resume’s formatting to the key terms hiring managers, HR, and applicant tracking systems are scanning for – it’s important for them to quickly get a sense of the value you offer.

3) Overcoming writer’s block

If you’re struggling to express yourself via the written word on your resume, you’re not alone. Plenty of professionals have a hard time writing about their experience and skills. That’s where a professional resume writer can help. With a fresh eye and a talent for writing, they can put present your unique background in the best light possible.

4) Learning how to overcome gaps and other employment issues

Do you have gaps in your employment history? Are you currently unemployed? Were you fired from your last job? Dealing with these issues on your resume can be a challenge. But a professional resume writer can help you overcome them, so you can put your best foot forward.

5) Getting help with editing and proofreading

When you’ve been staring at your resume for hours, it’s easy to miss typos and errors in grammar. But a professional resume writer can help ensure your resume sounds professional and flows well. They can also perform careful proofreading to make sure it’s error-free.

Your resume is your ticket into the interview process. So if you need help with yours, or you’re not getting interviews, get more tips from Houston’s resume writers at ResumeSpice. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

The Best Questions to Ask an Interviewer

When preparing for an interview, you’ve got to do more than know how to respond to tough interview questions. You also have to ask some of your own – so you can find out if the job, your potential boss, and the company are the right fit for you.

Beyond that, hiring managers expect you to ask good questions. If you don’t, they’ll be less-than-impressed by your preparation.

But when you have limited time in the interview, what are the best questions to ask? Here are some questions and tips from Houston’s top resume writers, ResumeSpice:

What are the most important qualities for someone to succeed in this role?

The hiring manager likely told you about the daily tasks and responsibilities associated with the job. But it’s also important to have an understanding of what it takes to succeed in the role. The hiring manager’s answer to this question will often give you insight beyond the position itself and into the company culture.

What are the biggest challenges of the job?

Hiring managers can sometimes paint a rosy picture of a position they’re trying to hire for. But to gain a clearer sense of what the role truly entails – and to assess whether it’s right for you-you to need to know about the good, the bad and the ugly, too.

What are your goals and expectations for the first month on the job? What about the first six months?

You want to ensure you’re able to meet expectations within the designated time period. Beyond that, asking this question ensures that you’re not blindsided by unrealistic goals once on the job.

How many people work in the department? What are the biggest opportunities and challenges in it?

Even if the company is a big one, you’re likely mostly going to be working alongside those in your department, day in and out. That’s why it’s important to get a sense of the team – how big it is and important projects, areas of focus, or trends coming up that impact it.

What’s the culture like at the company?

Many job seekers make the mistake of asking questions only about the job and the responsibilities, without also delving into the company’s culture. But if the culture is a poor fit for you and your personality, you’re not going to be happy there, even if you can do the work. 

What do you like most about working at this company?

Asking this question can offer you further insight into the company’s culture and what it’s really like to work there.

What’s the next step in your decision-making process?

Don’t forget to ask this question before you leave the interview. If the hiring manager isn’t going to be making a decision for three weeks, it’s important for you to know that. Otherwise, you might sit around, wondering, waiting and worrying. Asking this question will also give you a timeframe that’s appropriate in which to follow up.

Need more help getting the interview – and getting the job?                                           

At ResumeSpice, as Houston’s trusted resume writers, we do more than offer tips, but also interview preparation help along with resume and cover letter writing, career coaching, and LinkedIn assistance. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more.