What You Need to Know Before Uploading Your Resume

So, you’re ready to start looking for a new job. Good for you! 

But before you go jump into an ocean of applicants, let’s talk about what you will need to know before you start your job search. Whether you’re looking for an internal position or venturing down a new career path, there are a lot of things to consider before you upload your resume on a company website or job posting sites such as Linkedin, Monster, and CareerBuilder. 

It’s important to include a strong cover letter along with your resume when applying for a new job. Writing a cover letter is somewhat comparable to a professional bio or profile with a more in-depth synopsis about your experience that relates to the company you are applying.  

Here are some things to consider:


Never heard of ATS? Well, let me tell you about ATS, and pay attention this is important! 

ATS software applications are the new gatekeepers for businesses large and small. This electronic tracking system ciphers through thousands of resumes and cover letters looking for Keysearch Words (yes, this is an actual recruitment filter). 

person s hand on top of laptop while working
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Most ATS applications filter resumes and cover letters by using a ranking system. This system, along with the keysearch words, generally is set up by the hiring manager or department, Human Resources (HR). 

What are keysearch words? 

Specific skill sets, experience, certifications, degrees, and job descriptions. Some competencies can be used, but these will need to be a single word specific to the job posting. 

Keysearch words are strong verbs, no adjectives or adverbs, and nouns, such as a title:

  • Engineer
  • Marketing
  • Troubleshoot
  • Licensed (Job Title)

It’s imperative to research the company and when necessary, hire a professional writer to work a complete in-depth Cover Letter and Resume Analysis. Ranking low on a business’s ATS will get your application dismissed without any human oversight. 


Yes, size does matter. 

This is your time to shine and brag about yourself like a narcissistic teen. However, the documents are to be written in a professional context and shouldn’t be more than one page.

There are some exceptions to this rule:

  • Physicians applying for Chief Surgical Officer, Chief of Staff, etc.
  • Lawyers who have more than five years of experience and are applying for Regulatory Councils, Senior Litigation, Corporate Transactional Law, etc.

 It’s rarely appropriate to write a two or more-page resume or cover letter.  


Your cover letter is your introduction to the hiring manager. Before they see your resume, a well-crafted cover letter convinces the hiring manager to keep reading as this is the basis of your experience. The letter should include your contact information (on the top and bottom), company information, business name, address, phone, email, and hiring manager’s name and title.

          Contact Info

After the contact information, it’s time to hook the reader. The delivery of a hook is somewhat complicated because it’s imperative to match the voice tone of the hiring manager. After all, once the ATS moves your resume forward, a real human will be reading it.

Once again, this is where the research pays off. If the HR person has a sense of humor, then match it.

An example of using humor as a hook:

Good Day Madam,

I must admit, I was skeptical nonetheless intrigued, the first time I visited The Company Name and website.  With a persistent worry about something trivial, the keys on my laptop seemed smaller and more difficult to maneuver. Just then, this interesting popup, well popped up! It was an intended “advertisement” for a newsletter and a free Quick Start Guide eBook!

Using verbiage that is extremely laid back and playful is a gamble. Even if you are matching the tone of the job posting. But in this case, it worked and landed the freelance marketer a fun gig and a pad on the resume.

Another example is from an internal job posting for a Billing and Collections Department Manager. The hiring supervisor had read through more than twenty cover letters before coming across this applicant. Because the hook resonated with the reader, she continued to read through the entire cover letter and the applicant was moved forward for an interview:

Hello Regina,

You need a Credit and Collections Manager. I’m the one person who has gone above and beyond for Company Name since May 9th, 2011 and will continue to prove my worthiness as your next team member.

This is a bold statement. The hook is, Regina needs something specific and the applicant confidently (almost arrogant) suggested they can more than deliver.

Within the body of your cover letter, you should be candid and sell yourself with accomplishments and experiences not noted within the resume. But leave some element of surprise for when you land that interview.

The body of this document should be two paragraphs, no less than three sentences per paragraph, and includes specific work experience that directly relates to the posting. The following are great examples:

  • PMI-ACP Certification – the company’s and project accomplishments or benefits due to this certification
  • 3D Builder, MagicaVoxel, etc. – specific projects completed and explain the high-level results
  • Communication – Presentations, collaborations, and budgets (go into detail regarding analytics but no charts)

Don’t lose the reader in this segment! Keep it engaging, make them want to know more about you. Watch out for run-on sentences and fragmented thoughts. If using bulleted items, start with the experience in bold then define (reference the list above). This is a delicate art form, but one that can be done.

The final paragraph of your cover letter is the conclusion. The conclusion should warrant an urgency or action to call. Be sure to include a brief overview of why you are the perfect candidate for this job and straight up ask for the interview. You need to be candid regarding your desire for a personal demonstration of your skills without being demanding.

A great start to a conclusion, “In addition, you’ll find…

Along with your conclusion, you’ll want to add a polite yet engaging sentence and if known, use the hiring managers name. This builds a more personable and genuine rapport with the reader. Then sign off using Sincerely or Kindest Regards with your signature, yes, we can work that onto a digital cover letter, and printed version of your name with your email and phone number.

  • I’m confident I am the ideal candidate for Job Posting and I’m eager to speak with you to discuss my future involvement with your team
  • I’m confident my passion and skill sets will exceed all expectations
  • I am excited to learn more about this company and visit with you
  • I will call on Wednesday to follow up and schedule an interview

Professional Closing with Signature

Cover letters are one of the most difficult documents you will create. It can be overwhelming to write about yourself no, sell yourself and convince a hiring manager that your skill sets are without a doubt the perfect match for that job.

You can search online and use a cookie cutter template. However, if you truly want to stand out and can’t create the documents yourself, contact a professional writer (such as me).

  1. HELP

Here is a list of some services writing services I offer:

  • Full Resume and Cover Letter Analysis – Whether you’re looking for a professional writer or need a proofreader, I’m happy to help. Please bear in mind, analyses are to be taken as constructive criticism and in no way are meant to judge your writing abilities.
  • Research – I will examine your credentials, (certifications, degrees, etc.) and research the company and job posting you are interested in. This is to determine if there is additional information I need, such as:
    • – The position is in a different city or the company is global, are you willing to relocate
    • – Your skill sets suggest budget experience, but the job posting is more specific, “Must have experience in tracking costs, schedule and performance progress, must be able to identify and mitigate risks.” What, if any, experience can I add.
  • Write – You will need both a traditional and ATS resume and cover letter for digital and print.
  • Create & Manage – Professional and social network management such as LinkedIn are important to promote yourself. An exceptional portfolio or bio is vital in today’s job market. For employers, networking platforms are a great way to get to know a person without ever meeting them. A social media platform can be your best asset or your gravest disappointment.

Please feel free to email me for inquiries, pricing, and other related services.

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Professional Cover Letters

Writing cover letters can be one of the most daunting and difficult task job seekers are forced to do. Your cover letter isn’t just an introduction, it your first impression.
The document should be short and to the point, yet contain all the information necessary to get your foot in the door for that job interview. This is your time to shine! Brag about what you’re good at and passionate about, in reference to your career search. Be sure to include your personality but re-read and edit until it’s perfect.
It’s necessary to write or rewrite a cover letter for each position you are applying. This will show that your focus remains on the position while convincing the hiring team that you are the person they have been searching for.
Before you begin, it’s important to have your resume completed because you’ll be using it as a reference. You want the hiring administrator to be engaged and interested enough to keep reading. Remember, companies recieve hundreds of applicants who submit documentation with the same information they must read over and over. Your Cover Letter has to stand out so you aren’t rejected before given the chance to impress during an interview.
For those who are determined to write their own, here is a template/example that can be tailored made for just about any employment opportunity.

[Applicant Name]
Street Address
City, ST ZIP Code
Phone Number
Email Address

Month day, four digit year [July 11, 2017]

[Recipient Name]
[Company name[
[Street Address]
[City, ST ZIP Code]

Dear [Recipient Name]:

Your first paragraph should be engaging (not boring) while stating your claim (purpose of the letter). Example:

I am writing you today about the Physical Therapist Assistant position posted, personally referred, or classifieds. I’m in search of a long-term career and I’m asking for an opportunity to show you that I am the proficient individual you are seeking to join your team.

Research the company and say something that stands out yet relates directly with the business. Example: Company’s motto: “It’s your life. We help you live it.” You can share a personal experience and relate with the company:

Your company motto is a philosophy that I also hold dear. As an amateur athlete, I was injured and know firsthand the importance of receiving hands-on care from a knowledgeable staff who develops and implements treatment programs to help patients get back to their lives.

This is about your experience. This is information that’s under the “Employment” section of your resume. The difference from your resume is start with the oldest company first. Talk about one or two job duties that you are passionate about.

With seven years of progressive experience working in the field, I have set myself up for success as a Physical Therapy Assistant. With Company A, I have treated all age groups, including pediatrics. During my association with the Company B, I proudly cared for active duty military personnel. Passion inspired me to instruct and demonstrate home exercise programs and implement aquatic therapy for ROM and strengthening while employed with Company C. Working for Company D, I obtained skills to developed and instructed home exercise programs for patients in the comfort of their own homes.

Time to sum it up with a breakdown of your competencies:

With a can-do attitude, I communicate effectively, execute ideas, and I have a keen interest and passion for helping others working under the direction of Physical Therapists and staff members. I’m a fast learner with strong analytical skills, a self-starter, and work well on a team with minimal to no supervision. I understand responsibility, time management, and hold an intense work ethic. Taking initiative and striving to do my best in any situation has always been my career focus.

For the closing, it’s necessary to get to the point with no fluff. However; you must end with a short paragraph that’ll make them want to call you to schedule an interview:

I have demonstrated for my employers an exceptional facility for meeting organizational goals and demands. In addition to my skills, I am certain I will be an asset as your next team member. You may contact me anytime.

Thank you for your time,

First and Last Name
Phone Number
Email Address

Another option is to hire a professional writer to create the one page document that could land that dream job. It’s important to fill out the questionnaire in its entirety if this is the route you chose. Not only will this help the writer develop a better sense of who are, but accurately document your skills and abilities.

Open Your Cover Letter with a Catch Phrase

Writing a cover letter is just like writing a short story with the difference being, it’s all about you. The point of addressing a potential employer is to get their attention right away. The hiring manager reads many cover letters when looking to fill a position and a lot of those letters are boring. In today’s competitive market it’s absolutely necessary to stand out because if you don’t, that letter will end up in the no pile.

Along with a list of relevant skills, the most effective way in initiating an interview is creating a memorable catch phrase in your opening statement.  The first sentence of your cover letter should immediately grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more.

Dependent upon your personality and area of expertise, catch phrases could be funny, witty, or entertaining. Just keep it professional and be cautious that you do not offend the reader or the company.

Always have someone else read your cover letter and use constructive criticism to make it better. Remember, you’re selling yourself and the main goal is to get that person reading your cover letter and to read it in its entirety.

Here are examples of catch phrases that professionals used in their cover letters to get an interview:

– Dynamic Literary Contractor anticipating to create exceptional content for your readers.

– Ambitious college graduate ready to become [Company’s] next [Position].

– Having proven capacity, I’m not only qualified for the [Position] I enjoy it!

The important thing to remember is that the cover letter is your golden ticket to acquire that interview. It’s your opportunity to convince the hiring manager that you’re the ideal candidate they can’t pass up.