Five Resume / Cover Letter Tips! (After reviewing a large batch of them in a selection committee)
I had the opportunity to review a large batch of law student resumes & cvr ltrs yesterday, as part of a selection committee.
I love doing batch reviews because it's easier to see what makes an application effective, when you review many at once.
Here are five tips based on what I saw:
❶ Cover letter ≠ Resume: ~1/2 of applicants wrote cvr ltrs that were repeats of parts of their resumes, just in a narrative form. If you duplicate info in 2 places, you convey 1/2 less info.
❷ Tell me *who* you are, not what you have done: Avoid tendency to list all your accomplishments & expertise, without opening a window into who you are.
❸ Mere fact of "overcoming" is not interesting in itself: Many applicants talk about all the challenges they've overcome, and stop there. But, what have *you* learned from that experience? About yourself, about the world?
❹ "Faking it" is so easy to tell: Applicants who've just copy / pasted the position info into the first & last paragraphs are behind applicants who truly engage with the position.
❺ Create win-wins: Say not just what the position can do for you ("I believe this position will help me grow..." etc.), but what you can do for the position!