Writing Effective Resumes and Cover Letters

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STATE YOUR GOAL

Your resume must have an objective so that you and the person reading your resume clearly understand precisely what it is you want. Objectives like "Senior position enabling me to further my professional training and experience" say nothing, and should be avoided.

Your objective should be specific, but general enough to leave your options open, such as "On-site property management of multi-family apartments" or "Commercial property leasing, brokerage, and consulting."

RESUME AS SALES TOOL

Remember that a resume is not an autobiography; it is a sales tool, and you are the product it is representing. Everything on your resume should support and complement your objective, and anything that does not apply should be left out.

Avoid "catch phrases," "power words," or such vague phrases as "Acknowledged proficiency in the direction/coordination of tenant relations disciplines."

THINK LIKE THE EMPLOYER

Employers are concerned only with what you know, and how what you know can help them. Never underestimate, disregard, or disqualify any personal or professional experiences, training, or abilities that support your objective and/or may benefit your employer.

For example, if you are targeting an international firm, the fact that you are fluent in three languages is a big plus.

DON'T PITCH

Your cover letter should introduce you and flow smoothly to your resume. It should not 'pitch" your experiences or state your need for a job, but rather explain how your "features"--talents, training, and expertise--would translate into "benefits" for the employer. …

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