When it Comes to a Resume/Cover Letter, Neatness Counts

In looking for a job, it is, or should be, pretty common knowledge that the resume and cover letter are very important. They are in effect an advertisement for your skills, knowledge, experience, and performance capabilities. Naturally, you know you should spend a good deal of time figuring out exactly what you want put into them and how you want them organized.

But, after you have gone through all of the trouble of figuring out what you want to say, you need to be careful – because a lack of attention to neatness could make all of that hard work useless. Neatness in this case refers to how you have written your cover letter and resume – things such as spelling, punctuation and grammar.

If you are part of the digital generation, raised on a steady diet of texting, email and Facebook, spelling and punctuation are things you may not ordinarily pay much attention to, things that you may even feel aren’t really that important. But to hiring managers, they are important, because they signal how well you communicate, whether you pay attention to detail.

So, when you put together that cover letter and resume, make sure that everything is spelled correctly and that periods and commas are where they belong. Check your grammar as well. It’s not difficult to do with software that will help you. But you must take the time to do it.

But don’t rely exclusively on the software – it’s not foolproof. You should have an understanding of these things to guide you. It may be worthwhile to take another look at Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr., and E.B. White, a well-known, basic grammar and usage primer that can prevent you from making errors in your correspondence.

When doing the job search you need to reorient your thinking regarding your writing. A cover letter that is well written – compelling and interesting – will go a long way toward making a favorable impression on hiring managers. By contrast, a wooden cover letter, one filled with sentences all written the same way, the same length, with wording that is awkward or stilted, may easily get your letter tossed into the nearest trash container.

Bring your resume and cover letter to the Opti Staffing Group. If you’re looking for work in Portland, Seattle, Lake Oswego, Tacoma, Anchorage or Chicago, we can help you find terrific long- and short-term temporary as well as direct-hire assignments. Contact us today!

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