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Old 06-12-2019, 10:53 PM
sandhandsman sandhandsman is offline
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Default Resume/Cover Letter Critique

Hi,

I know I have only been at my current company for less than a year but the culture is not a good fit and there is not much room for growth. I originally started in sales so I tried to focus on why that is good in my cover letter.

I appreciate any critiques/advice in advance.

Thank you!

Last edited by sandhandsman; 06-13-2019 at 07:40 AM..
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:05 AM
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vjvj vjvj is offline
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I'd indent all the text under the section headings. That makes the format stand out more. Most of it's already that way. The exams and the blacked out portions aren't, though. When you do that, I'd try to keep an even indentation down the resume. Right now some of your bullets don't line up.

If you do that indentation, you don't need the all-caps or underlining of the section headings.

I'd leave the exam descriptions off. If you have dates on the right margin, they should be right justified. Your right edge is uneven.

I'd abbreviate months everywhere. It's just a little easier to read.

Good gosh, don't use the word "routine". Especially in your first bullet. Also, don't make the focus the reports. Again, they seem routine. You're better off keeping the focus on the bigger picture. Or results, even better. The point isn't the report. The point is what is achieved through the report. It sound in part like the wording was there to mention Excel and Access. If you put the focus on results, or the big picture, that really isn't necessary and will pretty much be assumed (and you mention Excel and Access later).

Utilizing means exactly the same as use, but use is easier to read. But I'd not start a bullet with it, anyway. Again, the point shouldn't be the use of the tool, the point should be what you accomplished with the tool. How come you don't mention the "actuarial modeling software" in the skills?

Mentioning a frequency isn't beneficial. All it tends to do is point out routine-ness.

"to present to CEO" isn't really beneficial. All it tends to do is point out that you're not the one making the decisions. And don't leave out articles. They're very small and aid greatly in readability. So, "the CEO".

Put the result first. "Decreased the benefit calculation time by x% by ...".

Attending and learning aren't bulletworthy, imo.

Collaborated isn't a good start. The point isn't who you worked with, it is what you accomplished.

I'm not sure about the compiled and maintained. First, I'd think a lot of people would think Excel is the wrong tool for effectively maintaining a database. Plus, doing anything 300+ times in a year makes it sound trivial.

The analyzed cash flow and income bullet again doesn't put the emphasis on the bigger picture. You get that later in the bullet, but it should be up front.

Gathered probably isn't worth mentioning and just pointing out that you input data into Excel lowers my expectations of your Excel skills. If you're hyping that, how good can you be? Also, I don't get the point of a "custom" spreadsheet. Isn't that the point of Excel?

The initiated bullet is difficult to read.

I'd not bullet the education section. You don't need "Graduated". I'd abbreviate B.S. I'd simplify to "GPA: 3.37". Cumulative will be assumed. Relevant coursework is filler - you've already passed/taken exams that cover most of what's on there.

The volunteer stuff is way too wordy. It's never beneficial to say "various". It either says you're not telling or forces you to just tell anyway. Yours is the 2nd case. So just tell. If you leave that out, you have the much more straightforward feeding the homeless, volunteeering at a nursing home, and raising money for special olympics. You don't need the filler city, downtown, etc. I"m not sure about including the hours. tbh, it made me think along the lines of it being part of a sentence - 200 hours of community service. Maybe part of it is just that it just seems odd to me that you'd count. But maybe that's all just me.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:11 AM
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vjvj vjvj is offline
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Oh, I should also mention, since I haven't done it in a while and it might be relevant to your jobs.

I'd give thought to the one-off things you've done. A lot of times that one-time thing will result in a way better bullet than the stuff you typically do every day, as that's the kind of stuff that more likely has easier-to-define results. The point of a resume is to get the reader to contact you. It's a sales document. If the stuff you did that one day is more likely to get you a call than the stuff you did the other 364 days, you cover the one day.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:17 AM
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The cover letter literally doesn't say why you're writing. I'd make that the 1st paragraph. It doesn't have to be long. One sentence usually works.

The rest uses a lot of words to be fairly vague. I'd be selling the experience you have, but you're focusing on working while taking exams and communication skills.

The wording of the last paragraph is really weird. It sounds like you already have the job.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:09 AM
Kalium Kalium is offline
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If your sales experience improved your verbal/written communication skills, then you want to get that into your resume rather than the CL.

That paragraph in the CL also makes it a bit unclear if you are looking to return to a role that is more sales-orientated? If you are then you might want to be thinking more about consultancy than insurance.

(And if you don't want to be identified, and ensure your current employer doesn't become aware that you think "the culture is not a good fit", take a bit more care over anonymising your resume/CL. Just setting some background to black is insufficient. And leaving information in the document properties doesn't help either!)
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