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Old 07-21-2013, 12:39 PM
 
7 posts, read 8,654 times
Reputation: 11

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I am in desperate need of finding a new job, but I'm not feeling entirely confident about my cover letter and resume. The cover letter I've included is the one I usually send out via email and this is in hopes of finding an administrative job. Thank you!
Attached Files
File Type: zip Resume Review .pdf.zip (77.7 KB, 93 views)
File Type: zip Cover Letter Email.pdf.zip (36.7 KB, 84 views)
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:11 AM
 
Location: The hills of western Washington
251 posts, read 426,870 times
Reputation: 473
Jennifer,

My perspective is that of owner of two small companies. I typically don't get involved in any hiring until the very end, when I meet and get a feel of the candidate.

A few things I see that are red flags; primarily the high number of low level jobs you've had, and the lack of advancement. I would suggest stepping back and taking a hard look at this. No one but you will be a better advocate for your career, and you've got to learn how to do that. You made the right choice in getting the degree, not only for professional development but simply to become an educated person.

Step back, look deep and figure out who you really are, what you do best, what you love doing. Only then will you be able to fully excel at your job. You may well decide that the admin role isn't really for you, and head off into sales, management, tech, whatever. That's perfectly fine, but I urge you to figure out what you really want to do, and then figure out how to get into it. You deserve more than just a "job", don't you? You deserve a fulfilling, challenging career that can afford you the life you want.

Start spending time with folks who are up a station in life from you. Ask them to help you, mentor you, advocate for you. You probably have a better network of contacts than you realize. Connect with them. Get them working for you. I think you'll find that approach far better than shooting out a mass of resumes.

And never, NEVER turn yourself down for a job. Never assume you're not qualified or you don't have enough experience. If a company doesn't want you, let them tell you, but absolutely do not skip on applying to jobs you want because you don't think you'll get hired.

Now, go take over your own life!
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:06 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,494,039 times
Reputation: 19655
Typically, you want to customize your CL to match the job description/requirements but a generic CL based on yours would be more concise and confident, for example:

Quote:
I'm interested in speaking to you regarding the Administrative Assistant position advertised on [wherever]. I believe that my proven skills and experience make me an ideal candidate and can be an asset to your company.

I am a Western Michigan University graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Integrated Studies. I have about six
years of administrative experience in corporate settings where I have answered phones, created end of the month
accounting reports, interacted directly with clientele, completed data entry, maintained internal procedures, and other general office duties. I am proficient with Microsoft Office suite of programs and comfortable operating typical office phone systems.

I'm generally the go-to person in a busy office environment due to my multi-tasking capability and good judgement. In addition, I'm highly organized and bring impeccable written and verbal communication skills.

I look forward to speaking with you to review my resume and discuss my qualifications.
something like that ... sorry, I'm just thinking off the top of my head but you get the idea.

For the resume, embellish or specify what you did. For example, instead of "Worked on ...", mention what aspect you worked on.
"Create and edit document ..." What kind of documents?
"Make phone calls ..." Who are you calling and for what?
"Help children ... " In what manner? Do you mean to say "Teach children ..."?
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
35 posts, read 89,202 times
Reputation: 27
Just a few things stood out on the resume to me. What did you major in? It just says Bachelor's of Science and Associate's of Arts. Also, the descriptions of what you did in your last w positions seems to skim on details. I'm not clear on why. I'm a strong proponent of having an equal number of descriptions of tasks under each job, even if you have to get really creative with it like "Correlated and copied faxes and documents to facilitate timely conveyance of information to clients."
Otherwise, the format is nice. I've seen so many resumes where the format makes it difficult to read.

With the Cover Letter. I think you're second paragraph detailing what you do is strong but could be even more detailed. Explain how you used various programs and what reports you did. Just extend it a bit. My other suggestion is to shorten the initial paragraph. Just because I kind of feel like it's assumed you're interested in the position since you're applying for it. As someone hiring, I also would be more concerned with your second paragraph anyway, which is the meat-and-potatoes, so to speak. That's what I really want to know. I would say get detailed in the paragraph without making your cover letter too long.

Best to you
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:40 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,615 posts, read 50,510,351 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by jblock321 View Post
I am in desperate need of finding a new job, but I'm not feeling entirely confident about my cover letter and resume. The cover letter I've included is the one I usually send out via email and this is in hopes of finding an administrative job. Thank you!

I would change the opening of the cover letter to highlight your experience right away to catch the attention of the reader. Example below





My six years of administrative experience along with my knowledge of Microsoft Office makes me an ideal candidate for the Administrative Assistant position posted on the idealist.org website on August 18, 2013.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:15 PM
 
286 posts, read 716,407 times
Reputation: 181
Your resume just says I do this and I do that. You just go from job to job and do as you are told. Nothing more.

You need to show accomplishments. What things have you improved in the office. How have you been proactive. What goals were accomplished. What makes you stand out?

All I see is a resume that is no different from any other worker drone that punches into work and expects a paycheck. Sorry to be harsh, but you are competing against other people and your resume needs to stand out among the rest.

It just sounds like you hate being an administrative assistant and have no passion. FInd what you really want to do and that uses your skills. Like the other poster says, go into sales or marketing or something else.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:24 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,370,560 times
Reputation: 3571
The cover letter is okay. You could be a bit more firm, e.g. "I have about six years" vs. "I have over six years". The "I'd like you to know" sentence is a little awkward but not a deal-breaker.

The job-hopping, job gaps, and short duration of jobs would greatly concern me. Automobilist is so very right with the response above. Reread it - seriously good stuff.

Additionally, I agree with FredJung. Just repeating job descriptions doesn't tell me very much. Especially for administrative positions which are so incredibly competitive, you need to differentiate yourself with accomplishments, awards, etc.

Best of luck - you're on the right track and kudos for asking for help!
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