An Effective Resume and Cover Letter for the New Millennium

By Parker, Linda Bates | Diversity Employers, October 1999 | Go to article overview

An Effective Resume and Cover Letter for the New Millennium


Parker, Linda Bates, Diversity Employers


The beginning of a new millennium occurs once in a thousand years. The start of a new century occurs once in a hundred years. Clearly, the year 2000 is a major benchmark in the history of the world. Such an historical moment evokes excitement, confusion, reflection and anticipation. One of the single most important things that such a change promises is even more change in all aspects of our world.

College students are already experiencing these change dynamics. Technology has become a major part of college life, very different from the past. Today, 88% of college bound students have internet access and 80% use it frequently. Fifty-one percent have an active e-mail address. On my campus, all students can obtain an e-mail by simply applying for it. Much of campus information is now obtained through on-line communications.

Technology is changing how, when and where we do work. Consistent with this demand for change is the change that college graduates and other job seekers must master to effectively manage a job search in the next millennium / the next century.

Thousands enter the job market annually, including college and high school graduates, professionals changing jobs for advancement, displaced and laid off workers, immigrants and the chronically unemployed. Individuals seeking professional opportunities must understand today's competitive job search environment. Despite a booming economy, employers receive thousands of resumes from college grads. AT&T and IBM receive over one million resumes a year. From November to April, many large companies receive over 1,000 resumes a week. Amid this torrent of job seekers, African-American collegians must become adept at using the most current professional tools for presenting themselves in the changing world of the new millennium.

The best jobs in the next century will require a college education, technical proficiency, analytical thinking, problem-solving and strong, interpersonal communication skills. Job seekers will need to be entrepreneurial in their quest for success, able to sell their skills in diverse work settings, and adaptable to change. Today's and tomorrow's job seeker will pursue employment through new and exciting technologies.

The successful job candidate in the new century/new millennium will communicate with employers through the internet, video conferencing and digital phone systems. They will also use electronic resumes and cover letters to respond to employer demands. To be competitive, black college students and graduates must understand and utilize today's technology to design appropriate job search correspondences for the 21st Century.

Increasingly, due to the worldwide access, speed and versatility of technology, employers can communicate instantly with potential job seekers worldwide. The U.S. economy of the new millennium is dependent upon global, educational, environmental, business, cultural and political exchange. The college-educated job seeker must understand that the competition is not just the college student sitting next to him / her in class on campus, not only the college student sitting in class on another U.S. campus, but also the college student sitting in a classroom in Dakar, Paris or Salvador da Bahia.

To translate job search correspondence for the new millennium requires a careful review of what's hot and what's not in the traditional tools used in the job search.

What's Hot

* Conducting employer research on-line using various search engines such as INFOSEEK to tailor your resume to a specific employer's needs

* Scannable re.sume devices to help employers automatically review thousands of resumes instantly by programming for key words.

* Job search engines on the Internet that direct job seekers to employment opportunities everywhere, such as THE BLACK COLLEGIAN's JASS (Job Assistance Selection Service).

* Conference and video telephones and video computers that will allow worldwide voice-to-voice and face-to-face interface between employers and job seekers transmitting resumes and other key information instantly. …

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