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About Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters Course
How can you make sure your resume gets picked first? How can you talk about yourself to potential employers in the same language they already use at work? These questions will be answered in this course. You will learn how to turn a boring resume into an exciting asset statement that talks about your skills in a way that an employer can understand.
When this course is over, you will be able to:
- Figure out what a resume is really for.
- Figure out what skills are needed for a job.
- Make sure your resumes are formatted for Applicant Tracking Systems (resume screening software).
- Write powerful and convincing accomplishment statements by using your accomplishments inventory to strategically put together the most relevant proof of competency for a specific position.
- To make your resume stronger, use the “resume skills tier” method.
- Write job-specific summary sections and objective statements.
- Use the Internet to find powerful words to put on your resume.
- Make a strong resume in a format that fits both your background and the job you want.
- Write strong cover letters that help you reach your career goals by using A.I.D.A.
- Write effective follow-up letters that help you stand out from the competition.
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Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters Quiz Answers
Q1. What is a resume?
- A general summary of your accomplishments.
- A detailed summary of your accomplishments.
- A tool for marketing yourself.
Q2. What is the purpose of a resume?
- To land a job.
- To get an interview.
- To highlight your skills.
Q3. How many resumes should you have?
- One tailored to each job you apply for.
- Between 5 and 10 which cover the majority of companies.
Q4. A resume should:
- include as much personal information as possible to “humanize” you.
- omit no detail in telling a comprehensive story of your career.
- serve as a tool designed to market you to a prospective employer.
- focus on your past job duties and responsibilities.
Q5. Check all the following that describe a winning resume.
- Uses keywords from the job description.
- Makes extensive use of columns and tables.
- Uses bullets and small blocks of text.
- Uses vocabulary typical for the industry.
- Contains a complete history of all the jobs you’ve had.
Q6. Check all that apply about an effective resume.
- Shows that you are a close match for the position.
- Conveys your sense of humor and personality.
- Piques the interest of the employer.
- Communicates your personal qualities and background.
- Makes the employer want to find out more about you.
Q1. What are the three important areas you should focus on in a job ad to tailor your resume to that specific position?
- Skills Match
- Requirements Match
- Role Match
- Keyword Match
- Values Match
Q2. The job description is all you need to find the competencies the hiring manager is looking for.
Q3. Why should you rank your competencies in order of importance?
- To improve your resume relevancy.
- To better understand the market value of your skill set.
- To prioritize the elements of your resume.
Q4. How does the approach that is recommended in the lesson differ from most traditional resume writing approaches?
- It tries to match skills to a job opening.
- It focuses on your skills and accomplishments.
- It puts the needs of the hiring organization first.
Q5. Where can you find competencies that the hiring manager is looking for?
- Reflecting on what you would need if you were the hiring manager.
- The job description posted by the hiring organization.
- Advertisements and postings from competitors for similar positions.
- Looking up the job duties for the advertised title.
Q1. The most important information on your resume is…
- Contact information
- Job experience and education
- Specific accomplisments
Q2. The use of personal pronouns (ie. I, you, we) is highly recommended.
Q3. Accomplishment statements should be written in the past tense.
Q4. A resume should read like a job description.
Q5. It’s generally best to start your accomplishment statements with:
Q6. The best accomplishment statements…
- use specific examples and details
- are like a behavioral interview response
- use strong adjectives and adverbs
- provide details of job responsibilties
- use the power of numbers
Q7. Indicate those features of traditional resumes that are not applicable in competency-based resumes.
- describe the results that your actions produced
- provide a document of job history
- look like catalogs of job description
- list experiences and qualifications
Q1. When is an objective statement preferred over a summary section?
- You have experience in a field.
- You are undergoing a career change.
- You are returning to a career.
- You are just entering the workforce.
Q2. True or False: Your summary should contain a lot of buzzwords.
Q3. A good summary section…
- captures what defines you as a professional
- aligns with the requirements for the position
- conveys what you enjoy about your work
- uses personal pronouns with finite verbs
- acts as a headline for the resume
- appears above the fold on your resume
Q4. Mirroring an organization’s mission in your resume can help you…
- signal higher status
- convey professionalism
- convey belonging
- establish rapport
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Q1. What characteristics should an effective resume possess?
- There should be uniformity and consistency in the use of italics, capital letters, bullets, boldface, and underlining.
- Strengths and weaknesses should be highlighted.
- A resume should be targeted to your goal — to the ideal next step in your career.
Q2. You are planning to write your resume and take pride in your ability to describe your strengths. What do experts recommend when writing your resume?
- Write a statement of your potential, talents, and current responsibilities.
- If your skill has been used in the past and will continue to be used, use future tense on your resume.
- Write clear, strong statements of your accomplishments.
Q3. You are applying for different types of positions in diverse industries. How should you format your resume to represent your qualifications effectively for these positions?
- Have several versions of your resume, each with a different objective.
- Include a standard cover letter that tells the employer that you have many strengths and that you are a fast learner.
- Include only the work experience that is related to the job for which you are applying.
Q4. You are interested in jobs in three different career areas but are not sure which type of job you will finally select. What is your best resume strategy?
- Create a separate functional or direct competency-based resume for each job you target.
- Create a chronological resume that lists your education and work history, and change the objective for each type of job you pursue.
- Create a general functional resume that lists your various abilities, accomplishments, and interests.
Q5. When describing work experience, paragraph-style job descriptions are preferred over bulleted lists.
Q6. Hiring managers don’t like functional resumes, so chronological resumes should virtually always be used.
Q7. It’s okay to leave off dates from education and older work experience to help de-emphasize a job-seeker’s age.
Q8. Where should you put your education in a resume?
- At the top of the resume where it can be seen first.
- At the bottom of the resume after all your experience.
- At the top or the bottom depending on your circumstances.
Q9. What is the current resume page-number preference among employers?
- Readability is not as important an issue as page length, so reducing the type size to fit all the information on one page is better than having a two-page resume.
- Two pages or fewer. A two-page resume is fine if you have relevant material to fill two pages, but don’t go to more than two pages without an extremely good reason.
- Keeping your resume to one page is an ironclad rule.
- Employers expect the best candidates to have lengthy resumes of three to four pages.
Q10. Select the important elements to check in a resume.
- Includes a list of personal references.
- Makes liberal use of action verbs.
- Contact information is up front and easy to spot.
- Contains no more than one or two typos or spelling errors.
- Contains quantifiable results and accomplishments.
- Highlights your most relevant competencies.
- Contains keywords from the job description.
- Has bullets that highlight your accomplishments.
- Formatting is standard and easily readable.
Q11. You are reentering the workforce after a period of unemployment. Which resume format would you be advised to use?
Q12. What types of words are most important to include in your resume?
- Words that highlight your responsibilities and duties
- Polysyllabic words that make you sound sophisticated
- Colorful adjectives that describe you as a person
- Action verbs together with job-specific keywords
Q13. You are switching to a different industry. What resume format should you use?
- Combined Chrono-Functional
Q14. Within your professional history, what is the most important element to highlight?
- Job responsibilities
- Skills and capabilities
- Names of supervisors
Q15. When is a chronological resume format a good choice?
- You want to continue working in the same field you’ve been in.
- You’re a recent graduate who doesn’t have much experience.
- You have no significant periods of unemployment.
- Your career has moved in a steady, straight-line progression.
Q1. You are applying for a job that requires skills that you do not possess at this time. What resume formatting techniques can you use to obtain an interview?
- Create a chronological resume and explain in your cover letter why you are a good candidate for the job.
- Create a cover letter that identifies your strengths and accomplishments and omit a resume.
- Create a skills-based resume and draw attention to your strengths in your cover letter.
Q2. You have had several positions within the same company. What is the recommended way to format the “Work Experience” section of your resume?
- List only your most current position in the company
- List the separate jobs with specific years of experience.
- List the position which you held the longest in the company.
Q3. You plan to create two different resumes, one chronological and one skills-based, to apply for jobs in different industries. What information should appear on each resume?
- Career objective
- List of references
- Contact information
Q4. Check the elements that apply to a skills resume.
- Used to draw attention to your unique qualifications.
- Will likely run two or three pages.
- Used to highlight extensive experience and qualifications in one specific field.
- Uses a longer summary section.
- A pumped-up version of the functional resume.
Q5. Which of the following statements applies to a CV, in contrast to a standard resume?
- A CV is a concise marketing document that presents those competencies relevant to a particular position.
- A CV emphasizes the skills and experiences most relevant to that position.
- A CV is a fairly detailed overview of the accomplishments over a career.
Q6. What resume format can you use to best market your specialized expertise?
Q7. When is a creatives format a good choice?
- Any profession where gaps in employment are common and don’t need to be downplayed.
- Any profession where short-term contracts for special projects are the norm.
- When you need a resume as a cover to a portfolio of your work.
Q8. Given that employers screen resumes for as few as 6 seconds, any resume should show at a glance what you want to do and what you’re good at. What’s a good way to sharpen the focus of a resume and provide the reader with this vital information?
- A summary section.
- A headline.
- A keyword section.
Q9. You should give the complete name and address of any school, university or employer on a resume.
Q10. You do not have to put all the jobs you have had on your resume or CV.
Q1. It’s acceptable to have a standard cover letter for sending to all organization
Q2. You do not need to write a cover letter if you are emailing your resume to an employer.
Q3. Long paragraphs are expected in cover letters so job-seekers can present their skills and qualifications in great detail.
Q4. What’s important to mention in your first paragraph?
- The position you are applying for.
- Where you saw the job posting.
- Why you’re a good fit for the position.
Q5. Which of the following should NOT be included in the final paragraph of your cover letter
- Why you are applying for the position.
- A statement about your interest in the position.
- A call to action by the hiring organization.
Q6. It’s best to address your cover letter to:
- The organization
- The department or title
- A specific persion
Q7. What’s the ideal cover letter length?
- One perfect paragraph.
- One page.
- As many pages as you need.
Q8. What should you avoid in a cover letter?
- Stating your interest in “the open position.”
- Addressing the letter “Dear Hiring Manager.”
- Outlining how you meet the job qualifications.
Q9. What should you include in a cover letter?
- Sentences in the active voice.
- A friendly and informal writing style.
- References to specific skills and accomplishments.
Q10. How does your cover letter show the employer that you’ve read the job posting?
- Talks about what a great job you do.
- Specifically mentions qualifications listed in posting.
- Follows instructions regarding how to apply.
- Specifically mentions the job listed in the posting.
- Explains why the employer would be lucky to hire you.
Q1. You are creating your cover letter for your resume. What is a recommended best practice regarding cover letter writing?
- The cover letter should generally comprise three sections, or paragraphs.
- The cover letter is in essence a sales letter. Strike an aggressive tone to sell yourself.
- The cover letter should be limited to three pages, double spaced.
- The cover letter should indicate that a resume will arrive under separate cover.
Q2. You plan to send your resume to apply for a job for which you feel highly qualified. You have a chronological resume that indicates a strong work history in the field of your target job. Do you really need to include a cover letter?
- Yes. You want a cover letter to introduce you, explain your purpose for writing, and request an interview.
- No. If your resume speaks for itself, there is no need to include a cover letter.
- Yes. Just write a sentence or two to draw the screener’s attention to your resume.
- No. Resume screeners only look at the resume; the cover letter will not be read.
Q3. After the interview, you should do all of the following EXCEPT
- send a follow-up letter thanking the employer for the interview and reemphasizing your interest in the position.
- if you receive a job offer by phone, accept the offer by phone without any further action beyond showing up for your first day of work.
- write a follow-up letter to each person you spoke with or to the person in charge of the interview.
- decline job offers you do not want to take by writing a cordial letter of refusal.
Q4. When should you send a cover letter?
- Every time you send your resume to an employer.
- Only when it is specifically requested in a job posting.
- When you want to tell an employer your salary expectations.
- Only when your resume does not cover everything you want to say.
Q5. Which of the following should NOT be included in a cover letter?
- Why you are applying for the position.
- Your skills, qualifications and relevant experience.
- Why you are looking for a new position.
- Your interest in the organization.
Q6. Employers don’t expect perfection, so a typo in your cover letter isn’t sufficient reason for them to reject your resume.
Q7. Someone has opened your cover letter and begun to read. Your letter should now… (think carefully)
- arouse interest (I), build desire (D) and close with a call to action (A).
- secure attention (A), then arouse interest (I), build desire (D) and close with a call to action (A).
Q8. Follow-up letters notes can play a critical role in your being chosen for a position.
Q9. Using as a reference the name of a former manager with whom you didn’t get along will torpedo your chances of getting the job
Q10. In a competitive job market, persistence may be more useful than expertise.
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