To add an objective, or not to add an objective…that is the question Tuesday, Apr 27 2010 

This seems to be an area where people in the field are split – some like an objective on a resume and some do not.  So, the question is, do you include one?  In my opinion, I’m not a huge fan in general, but do find them useful if you are trying to fill space or if you are switching career fields and want to show how your work experience can pertain to the current position.  But, there are others that feel just as strongly in the opposite direction as I do.  My advice, read the articles below and make your own decision.

If you do decide to add an objective, make it a good one.  Many people simply state the obvious “Objective: to obtain a position as a paralegal”…this tells me nothing that I don’t already know and is too generic.  The other common mistake is to add too much to the objective, “Objective: A highly motivated, ambitious, intelligent person with great analytical skills, reading comprehension skills and typing abilities seeking a position as a paralegal at XXX firm which will enable me to learn about the law and grow in the field.”  This is way too long – I feel like your throwing yourself at me trying to cram as many positive descriptors in as possible.  The trick is find the balance.  Be sure to include the place you are applying if you are going to use the objective and personalize/tailor it to the specific job you are seeking – remember, once again, think of it from the employers perspective, not your own and tell what you can contribute to this position, but keep it concise.

Sample resume objectives:

Resume Objective Examples – 15 Top Resume Objectives Examples

Sample Resume Objectives – What is a resume objective?

Articles continuing the debate further on whether or not to include an objective:

Should You Use a Career Objective on Your Resume?

Career Objective

Cover This! Cover Letters… Monday, Apr 26 2010 

So, all this time I’ve been preaching on the importance of a great resume.  Well, guess what?  Just as important, if not more important, is the cover letter.  If you don’t have a good cover letter, your resume may not get looked at or may only be glanced at.  I find writing about myself and making it sound sincere, yet at the same time selling myself to be really hard.  But, this is basically the combination you are looking to achieve  in a cover letter. Don’t fear, I have some samples and some tips for you so that you will be able to write a great cover letter and hopefully it won’t be as painful for you as it was for me.

My Top 10 Checklist for Writing a Great Resume…

1.  Proofread, proofread, proofread.  Then have someone else proofread for you.

2.  The basics: use the same paper that you use for your resume, keep the letter to one page, and use the traditional business format to the letter.

3.  Include the specific job you are seeking to be hired for and the company’s name.

4. Show that you have researched the company by including some company information in at least one of your sentences.

5.  Sell yourself (but do not use “I” at the beginning of every sentence)!

6. Focus on the employer. Think of the question “what can I do for the company?” and answer it in the cover letter.

7. Explain anything in your resume that might cause concern, such as gaps in employment history. Do not dwell on these, keep them brief – keep the focus on the positive.

8.  Request an interview.

9.  Use a large envelope so you don’t have to fold your resume and cover letter – it will look better than everyone else’s in a pile.

10.  Proofread!! (yes, I realize this is on the list twice.  I did proof read, I just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it.)

Ok, so now you’re thinking you have all my tips down, but how do you write it?  Fear not, below are some samples/formats that will help you…

Cover Letters: Types and Samples

50 Sample Cover Letters

Cover Letter Samples/ Examples Categorized by Industry

Cover Letter Article- “Winning Cover Letters”