One of the most stressful aspects of applying for jobs is resume and cover letter writing.
Sure, the interview can provoke a lot of anxiety. But before you even have to face that hurdle, you’ve got to figure out how to write a good resume and cover letter.
Often, they are the first impression that potential employers will have of you. And one of the toughest parts of getting them right is the fact that you are trying to do everything yourself.
Well, in this post we’ll show you why it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ll answer some of the most important questions about resume and cover letter writing and show you how you can get professional help for every step of the way.
Looking for help right now? Check out these freelancers who specialize in writing and editing resumes and cover letters on Legiit.
What Makes a Good Resume?
Understanding the elements of a good resume can help you better gauge exactly what you need assistance with. So consider the following as you plan or edit your resume:
Effective Formatting. The perfect resume is going to stand out without seeming gaudy or over the top. Effective use of white space, bold, and font size helps chunk your information. And, if done well, a two-column resume is an eye-catching way to make the read even easier for your audience.
Relevant Education and Experience. Most resumes are arranged in reverse chronological order to give the reader a quick snapshot of your recent experience. For entry-level positions, it’s usually best to keep your entire resume to a single page. So if you need to cut down, only list the schooling and past jobs that are most relevant to the position you are seeking. Pro Tip: ONLY list your GPA at schools if it is at least a 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
Perfect Proofreading. We’ll talk more about this later in the post. But a single glaring grammar error could land your resume in the NO pile. If you’re not 100% confident in your proofreading skills, definitely consider hiring a professional editor before submitting applications.
Do I Really Need A Cover Letter?
As Clarence Worley (played by Christian Slater) said in that Quentin Tarantino classic True Romance: “It’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.”
In other words, a cover letter is never going to hurt your chances. Even a fast food worker can make a good impression with the hiring manager and stand out from other applicants with a very simple cover letter.
The worst that could happen is that the employer doesn’t actually read it. But that’s no skin off your back.
The only time you should not include a cover letter is if the job listing specifically states that they should be left out. Employers may do this to make things faster for the hiring committee or if they are more interested in verifiable credentials.
So What Goes In My Cover Letter?
Okay, so you’ve decided to include a cover letter in your application. But what exactly should you put in it?
Here’s a basic outline that you can start with and modify based on the position and any instructions provided by the employer:
Introduction: Start the letter by introducing yourself and stating the position you are applying for. Use this opportunity to demonstrate that you are excited about the opportunity and summarize why you are a qualified candidate.
Qualifications: Expand on the education, experience, and skills that you listed in your resume. Use concrete details and strong action verbs to communicate how these things will help you on the job.
Values/Goals: Spend a little time discussing how your values align with the company’s. Furthermore, show you are a go-getter by discussing how this position will help you achieve your own professional goals.
Conclusion: In your last paragraph, thank the reader for their time and make a call-to-action. Keep it straightforward and non-pushy. Something like “I look forward to discussing more at the interview”.
If you aren’t confident in your word choice, don’t know how to use concrete details, or just unsure about your writing in general—don’t fret. There are freelance cover letter writers on Legiit who can help you at every step of the process.
The Importance of Meticulous Editing
So why is it so important that your cover letter and resume are perfectly proofread?
It’s not like you’re applying for a position as an English teacher (unless you are, in which case the importance is pretty obvious).
Here’s the thing: employers want to know that you can get stuff done. And get it done well.
If your job is to fit pipes, they want you to make sure there are no leaks. If your job is to make sales, they want you to do it without hurting the company brand.
And if your job is to write two pages as part of an application to make a good first impression, they want you to do it without a single mistake.
After all, if you are too lazy to proofread those two pages before you are even hired, why should an employer trust that you’ll be any less lazy once you have the job?
Is It Okay To Hire Someone To Write My Resume And Cover Letter?
This isn’t an academic essay. You aren’t going to be sent to the dean’s office for cheating.
Your potential employer doesn’t care who writes and edits your application materials, as long as they are an accurate reflection of your actual skills.
So, yes, it is ethical to hire someone else to edit—or even write from scratch—your resume and cover letter. As long as you aren’t lying about your experience or other things, there is no reason an employer would care.
In fact, some might even consider a vote in your favor. It takes humility to recognize you are lacking in certain skills. It takes commitment to invest in getting the job done right.
So whether you need a second pair of eyes, a little help with word choice, a meticulous editor, or even someone to take care of the whole shebang—don’t hesitate to hire a freelancer on Legiit.