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Two must have resume books job seekers need

Looking for a new job this new year and need some tips on writing a good resume?

Changing or getting a job in the high-tech world we live in now involves more than just who and what you know. With so many companies placing their employment opportunities online and asking applicants to apply online, those who haven’t ever or haven’t in a very long time created a resume, need a bit of help.

The software that so many employers are using these days to accept resumes and applications is called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Resumes still needed to grab the attention of those reading and analyzing them, but now, resumes also need to get the attention of the ATS software before they even get to the human level in the hiring process. 

Two books offering help developing a resume and a cover letter (cover letters are still recommended to accompany resumes) include Stand Out Cover Letters by Mark Baker and The Resume Writing Guide by Lisa McGrimmon. Short reviews of each follow.

Stand Out Cover Letters, How to Write Winning Cover Letters That Get You Hired by Mark Baker  gets to the point quickly.  It includes chapters on getting into the right mindset before writing a cover letter, a step-by-step proven method of writing a cover letter, and tips and strategies on how to make a cover letter ATS compliant. It’s a quick read but I highly recommend it for job seekers. 

The author wants the reader to think of the cover letter as a sales letter. He believes job seekers “have to learn how to actively and deliberately sell yourself when you apply for a job.” Baker illustrates to the readers how to redefine and repurpose the cover letter as a sales letter. 

The book carries the reader forward in finding “what makes you stand out as a product and service so you can communicate this to your advantage when you write your letter.”

The Resume Writing Guide, A step-by-step workbook for creating a winning resume by Lisa McGrimmon is a great guide that’s easy to read and even easier to follow. It will help you get your resume up to today’s standards.

The author tells readers she has worked on over 2,000 resumes in her career. Readers will learn the difference between the different kinds of resumes (chronological, functional, or combination), and how to research jobs then develop a resume to target those jobs. 

The author has two chapters dedicated to defining ATS software. She details how it is used by employers, and how to write an ATS compliant resume. The ATS software is used by more and more employers these days and if the software doesn’t like the way a resume for any number of reasons, it is filtered out and denied.

From the way it is formatted or the keywords included on it or if dates, or other items are missing, the resume gets denied and the employer will never see it.There are sections with sample resumes including some in the ATS format. There’s also a section with lists of verbs to use on resumes to make them more effective and standout from the others. It’s a great book for those new to the job market or those looking for a new job or considering a career change. 

Both of these books are helpful and include the information needed to get your resume and cover letter into the 21st. century.


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