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Sample Resumes

11 Oct

Sample Resume, Theron M. Weisz

EDUCATION:
B.S. Electrical Engineering with Computer Emphasis, North Dakota State University (ABET accredited)
Graduated in Dec. 1995.
Math/Pre-Engineering, Jamestown College, Jamestown, ND.
Jan. 1990 – May 1992.

RELATED SKILLS:

Computer Languages: C/VC++ using MFC and Borland libraries, Assembly Language for the Motorola 68000 and 6811 series, Pascal, BASIC/VBASIC.

Computer Software: Borland Builder, MS Visual Studio 6.0, Continuus, Source Safe, CVS, LabWindows/CVI, Microsoft Office 2000.

Operating Systems: Linux (RedHat 6.0), Windows NT 4.0/2000, IBM PC (MS-DOS/Windows).

WORK EXPERIENCE:

Jun 2000 – Oct 2001 Sr. Software Engineer
TestQuest, Inc., Eden Prairie/Chanhassen, MN

Use C++ in the Borland Builder IDE developing code to recognize anti-aliased font characters within bitmaps captured on graphical based test equipment.

Use C to develop firmware for test modules communicating serially to PC test equipment.

Use COM with C++ to develop code to “plug in�? module to main test suite.

Use C++ to develop DLL’s to be used within our contracting department.

Nov 1999 – Jun 2000 Software Engineer
Digi International, Minnetonka, MN

Use C and C++ to develop embedded code for firmware used on a high density modem card. This card has up to 48 modems running simultaneously and is used as a Remote Access Server.

Work with technical support and systems assurance to resolve problem issues.

June 1998 – Sept 1999 Software Engineer
Management Graphics, Inc., Bloomington, MN.

Use C++ to create new project implementing a Varware solution to print to HP ink jet printers.

Use C++ to maintain code manipulating digital image files for output to imaging devices.

Develop embedded software for the Motorola 68320 microprocessor for use in a high-resolution film recorder.

Jan. 1996 – May 1998 Design Engineer
Rosemount, Inc., Eden Prairie, MN.

Design and build hardware and complete software of functional test station for new product PCBs.

Reduce cost and simplify electronics using surface mount technology.

Maintain the functionality of test stations including software and hardware.

Engineering contact between Rosemount and Asian manufacturer.

Provided work direction for electrical technician

Support manufacturing at Rosemount plant.

Joe Bauer Resume

Joe Bauer

Led marketing creative for a Nasdaq 100 company during 400% revenue growth.

Wrote telecom marketing material in 30 million phone books.

Produced ads, collateral and user manuals for print, web, radio, direct mail and TV.

Originated internal newspaper now serving 9,000 employees.

Designed and coded the first online editions of gazetteonline.com newspaper.

Led editing of hypertext and hardcopy manuals for IBM AIX V4.0 operating system.

Wrote, edited and redesigned computer trade journals.

Wrote proprietary style manuals.

Timeline

2000-2001
Freelance writer and producer

1995-2000
McLeodUSA, telecommunications company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Creative services manager
Communications editor

1994-1995
The Gazette daily newspaper, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Online editor
Copy editor

1991-1994
Century Design, contract writing firm, Austin, Texas
Lead editor
Technical writer

1989-1991
Publications and Communications Inc., magazine publisher, Austin, Texas
Computer trade journal editor
Writer

1986-1989
The Monitor daily newspaper, McAllen, TX
Assistant managing editor
Reporter

Education and Training

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design, The University of Iowa

Brand Asset Management seminar, American Management Association

“Seven Habits??? seminar, Covey Leadership Center

Management Training, McLeodUSA

Things TO DO During Interview

11 Oct

Carriage is important
– When you entered into the interview room, it is customary for you to greet your interviewer first.
– If possible, ask permission to be seated or usually the interviewer will invite you to take a seat.
– If you are seated and the interviewer walks in, you should get up and when the interviewer sits, then you can only seat.
– If you have came late for the interview, apologize to the interviewer for being late.

The questions
– During the course of the interview, listen carefully and ask if you need further clarification.
– The interviewee should answer the question to the best he or she could.
– The interviewee should also ask any inquiries he or she wants to know about the job as well as the company.

Introduce yourself in a courteous manner with a firm handshake.

Listen to what is being said, make notes and ask questions later.

Use body language to show interest – sit up and make frequent eye contact.

Smile, nod, give non-verbal feedback to the interviewer to show you’re keen.

Show an interest in and ask questions about ongoing projects the successful candidate will be handling.

Ask only the relevant questions. Your pre-interview research would have answered the rest. Use your interviewer’s time wisely and to your advantage.

Ask about the next step in the process.

Ask the interviewer what qualities he sees in you as being value-add factors to the hire. And what you could have done better (if you’re not getting the job, you may as well know why).

· 3, Treat everyone you come in contact with at the company as if they have authority to hire you (in fact, they might have, you never know.) It isn’t rare for the hiring authority to ask the receptionist/secretary after the interview has been concluded how friendly the potential employee was while waiting for the interview.

· 4, Make and maintain good eye contact.

· 5, If you are nervous, feel free to say so. Say something like: “I find myself very nervous because I’m very interested in your organization.??? Acknowledging your nervousness and anxiety often reduces it and interviewers are usually very understanding. (Remember, it has been known that people hire people who they feel comfortable with. So, make yourself as comfortable as possible!)

· 6, Ask questions, don’t just sit there waiting to be interrogated. You have just as much right to find out everything about the company as they have finding out about you. Sample questions: “In your opinion, what are the most relevant abilities for this job???? “Would you describe the long-term goals of the company???? “Is there anything from my previous experiences that you would like me to elaborate on????

· 7, Make sure you indicate that you want the job! One of the top 10 reasons why a person doesn’t get hired is the lack of enthusiasm and interest in both the company and the particular position.

Be sure to look the interviewer in the eye when greeting him/her. Shake hands in a firm but not overbearing manner.
Unless the interviewer immediately takes the lead, you may want to say something to establish rapport and break the ice. Comments on a picture or a piece of office furniture, the weather, a current well-known community or sports event can all be appropriate. You can also mention a mutual friend or acquaintance.
When answering a question, be sure to maintain eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking. This is important, as it is indicative of both sincerity and commitment on your part. If you’re being interviewed by more than one person, concentrate primarily on the one who asked you the question, but also look at all of the others, each for a few seconds.
Keep in mind that every interview is a sales situation with you as the seller and the employer as the prospect. You think you fit this position? Fine, but so does every other applicant. You are not selling yourself so much as your ability to do a good job based on a combination of your specific skills, talent, aptitudes, experience, intelligence, character, work ethic, reputation, personality, academic achievements and possibly other factors as well. It is important not to come across as anxious or desperate. Realize you have significant skills and other specific attributes that are of value, whether to the company with which you are now interviewing or another company.
As those who have had sales training know, the seller should assume the sale. When you are discussing what you would do in the job, speak as if you know you are the one who is going to get the position.
Nearly every hiring situation has to do with the employer’s need to solve a problem. Find out why the position is vacant and what are the main problems that the employer needs you to solve. You may ask how and why the position became open. Explain how you will solve the problems and how and why you will do a better job than the former occupant of the position.
You will be asked a number of questions. You may be asked to describe your weaknesses as well as your strengths. We all have weaknesses. However, your weaknesses ought not to reflect on your ability to do an effective job. For example, a terrific sales professional may be weak at handling paperwork. A gifted artist may be a poor public speaker. A capable writer may be poor with numbers, but a bank employee should not be. You may be ask why you left previous positions and what former employers liked and disliked about you. Again, whatever they disliked should be irrelevant to your ability to do a good job for the company.
Not every employer is a great interviewer. Do not depend on the interviewer to bring up all the issues that are significant to you and your ability to demonstrate what you have to offer. Here are some questions you may need to ask:
What are the main responsibilities for the person in this position?
What are the key attributes you are looking for?
What are the primary results you want me to produce?
What do you consider ideal experience?
What else can I tell you to help you evaluate my background?

In other words, you have to know what the employer’s needs are before you are able to demonstrate that you can fully meet and hopefully even exceed those needs.

What are the questions to ask?

Only ask the questions if they will turn the conversation in the direction you want . Suppose you have a major strength you believe might be relevant to the job but you have not discussed it. An elementary school teacher could ask, for example, if he or she would have the opportunity to utilize his or her musical ability they happen to have. A young attorney could point to his strong computer skills, etc. It is important to bring up anything that might give you an edgeand would make the employers that think they would be getting more for their money if they hired you.
Be sure to show the interviewer tangible proof of your ability.
Besides questions intended to enable you to emphasize your strengths and what you have to offer, there are questions you can ask that serve to show both knowledge of the position and an interest in it. Here are some examples:
Questions about the specific nature of the business. For example, if it’s a law firm: What type or types of law do you specialize in?
To whom will I report to?
Why did this position become vacant?
Are there any specific problems you would need me to solve? (Then explain how you can solve them.)
What changes do you foresee for this company (or department) in the near future?
Can you share some insight regarding the company’s long-range plans and goals?
Would you be willing to try me out on a freelance basis? (Ask this only if you don’t think they’re going to offer you a regular position.)
When would it be ideal for me to start?
DO NOT ASK ABOUT SALARY, VACATIONS, MEDICAL OR OTHER BENEFITS UNTIL YOU ARE OFFERED THE POSITION OR KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE OFFERED THE POSITION.
Have your list of references at hand in case you are asked for them but donot be the one to bring up the subject. Many companies do not check references until they have made someone a job offer.
Be confident. Present yourself as competent, capable and very professional, but at the same time, NON-THREATENING. Often people are concerned about hiring the wrong person for many reasons. One of the reason is that they perceive someone to be a potential threat to them in their present position. The last thing that most employersseek is a person who will “rock the boat.??? Too often job applicants feel they need to come across as eager, ambitious “hot shots???. It is fine if you are applying for a job in sales and all that drive and zeal are going to be directed at customers and potential customers .To give the impression that you are out to “take over??? when you are being hired for a supportive position is usually a big turn-off. If you are being considered for a managerial or executive position, it is another matter. Even then, some caution is advised as it is important to fit into the existing corporate culture. A quiet, self-controlled inner confidence is indicative of a consummate professional. Keep in mind that people who appear non-threatening but are effective, capable professionals tend to be the ones who are frequently promoted within an organization.

The close of the interview

Effective salespeople try to close every deal as quickly as possible. They frequently employ “trial closes??? to see if it is time to clinch the deal. Job interviews are usually more complex in this regard. The employer may have set up a two-stage or three-stage interview process involving multiple candidates, which would preclude a final close on the first interview. However, if the interview is a result of an unsolicited “cold??? proposal letter you sent to a company, you may be the only one being interviewed and an attempt to close would be in order. Here is a trial close that would be effective in various circumstances:

“I’m very much interested in the position, Ms. Jones, as it is precisely what I would like to do career-wise. I just need to ask you, based on where we currently stand, is there anything in my resumé or anything we have talked about today that might indicate to you that I would not be ideal for this position????

If she says there is, then you have just gotten an important opportunity to clear up a misunderstanding that could cost you the position. If she says there is not, it indicates you are either the frontrunner or at least a serious contender for the job. You can then ask, “Where do we go from here????
At the end of the interview thank the interviewers for their time and indicate that you look forward to being in touch.

Sources : Anna Murphy, Resume.com, CareerChangeResumes.com

PC Problem Solving

30 Sep

By Computeractive staff [17-03-2003]

The most annoying thing about a PC going wrong is trying to identify exactly what the problem is. Telephone help lines can only get you so far and take up precious time, not to mention money.
Most PC problems, however, are easy enough to pinpoint, providing you know what to look for.

That’s where our PC problem-solving guides come in. Each one addresses a specific symptom and, by working through the step-by-step instructions, you should be able to find where the fault lies.

Where possible, we’ve also provided solutions to glitches, but some rather more serious problems can only be fixed by the manufacturer or a specialist repair service.

MY COMPUTER WON’T SWITCH ON

Is the PC or monitor plugged in and the power switched on?
Obvious, yes, but you’d be surprised how many people this catches out. Check that the PC or monitor power lead is firmly inserted into the socket at the back of the case and that the mains plug at the other end of the lead is firmly plugged into the mains socket.

Some PC power supplies also have an on/off switch, so check that this and the mains plug socket are switched to ‘on’.

Has the fuse in the plug blown?
Just like any other electrical device, the fuse in the mains plug on a PC or monitor’s power lead can blow. Your power lead will almost certainly have a moulded plug with a small hole for the fuse. You’ll need a small, flat screwdriver to lever off the fuse cap and prise out the fuse.

There’s no way to tell if a fuse has blown just by looking at it, so simply replace it with a three-amp fuse. Replace the fuse cap and reconnect the cable to the mains socket.

If you’re using a gang plug adapter, check the fuse in its plug too. These usually use a 13-amp fuse, so be sure to replace it with one of the same type.

Is the plug socket working?
It’s possible that the mains socket on the wall isn’t working. Try another electrical device in the socket, such as a lamp, to see if it is carrying a mains supply. Alternatively, try the PC power lead in another socket, if possible.

If none of your mains sockets are working, the chances are that the mains circuit breaker has been tripped. You’ll need to look at the main fuse box in your house and check to see if one of the switches has been tripped.

If it has, move the switch back to the ‘on’ position and try your PC again. If your fuse box uses fuses with fuse wire, turn off the fuse box and remove fuses until you find a blown one.

You will have to replace the fuse wire with new wire rated at the same amperage. If a fuse hasn’t blown, you will need to call an electrician out to take a look at the wall socket.

Monitor or graphics card problem
If you’re still not getting a picture, you may have a problem with the monitor or graphics card. If your monitor doesn’t have a captive monitor cable, you can try replacing this. Otherwise, you need to take your PC for repair.

Did the PC make any beeps?
If a PC fails the self-test that’s performed automatically when it’s switched on, it will emit a series of beeps that give some clue as to what is wrong.

Problems that typically produce ‘beep codes’ relate to the processor, memory and graphics card but they don’t have to be serious; a memory module that isn’t fitted properly can cause them, as can an improperly fitted processor.

Beep codes vary, depending on the BIOS the PC uses. Your motherboard manual should tell you the make of your PC’s BIOS and possibly even what the beep codes mean. Alternatively, look at the sites below for more help.

http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/sys/beep
http://www.pchell.com/hardware/beepcodes

Is the monitor power light on?
The power light on a monitor has two states: green and steady when the monitor is powered and receiving a signal from the PC; and either amber or flashing green when it’s powered but has no signal. If there’s no light, the monitor isn’t getting any power.

Is the monitor cable connected?
Make sure that the monitor cable is still connected to the VGA or DVI socket on your graphics card at the back of the PC. Also check the end that connects to the monitor.

Potentially serious problem
Following the steps will have told you if the problem lies with your monitor or your PC. If it’s your PC, the likely causes are a damaged power supply, motherboard or processor. Armed with this information, you should take your PC for repair.

I’M HAVING TROUBLE LOADING WINDOWS

Does it successfully complete the memory and hard disk test?
The first thing you’ll see on your monitor when you switch on your PC are the results of its automatic self-test.

The memory will be checked (usually as a count up from 0Mb), as will the presence of the hard disk and other drives. Some PCs will hide this information behind a manufacturer logo but, in either case, if your PC seems to get no further, there’s a problem.

Potentially severe problem
You have a problem with your hardware. As the screen comes on, the likely culprit is an expansion card (but not the graphics card), memory or hard disk.

If you know how, you can check inside the PC to see that everything is connected properly or look in the BIOS screens to ensure that a setting hasn’t been inadvertently changed. Otherwise, contact your PC’s manufacturer for assistance.

Have you installed any new hardware recently?
New hardware can play havoc with a previously working PC. If you’ve installed any hardware, including a new mouse or keyboard, remove it and, if appropriate, replace the original hardware and see if your PC works.

Is the keyboard connected?
A PC usually checks for a connected keyboard as part of its initial self-test and, if one isn’t found, it can prevent it from booting. Check that the keyboard hasn’t become disconnected from the PC.

There are two types of keyboard connector: USB and PS/2. USB keyboards should be plugged into any USB port; PS/2 keyboards should be connected to the keyboard PS/2 port, not the mouse PS/2 port. Some keyboard PS/2 ports are purple (mouse ones are often green).

Is there anything resting on the keyboard?
An object resting on the keyboard and holding a key down can cause an error when the PC is turned on. Make sure that there’s nothing on the keyboard or that no keys are stuck in the down position.

Memory problem
If your PC reports a memory problem, this means that one or more of the memory modules on the motherboard has a fault. This could be as simple as a module not being fitted in its slot properly or that the module has failed completely.

Floppy disk problem
Floppy disk drive errors can be caused by anything from a loose connection to a broken drive but this is seldom a serious problem.

The problem can usually be bypassed by pressing the F1 key at the ‘Press F1 to continue’ message on-screen.

You can check inside your PC to see that the floppy disk drive is properly connected to the motherboard by its IDE cable (a flat, grey cable with black rectangular plugs at each end) and that it is also connected to the PC’s power supply.

Otherwise, you can simply disable the drive in the BIOS so that the PC doesn’t check for it. Look in your motherboard manual.

Is there disk in a drive?
Your PC’s BIOS may be set to check to see if it can boot from the floppy and/or CD-Rom drives before the hard disk.

If there’s a disk in either of these drives, this can prevent the PC from booting. Remove all CDs and floppy disks and restart the PC.

Was your hard disk detected?
A PC will check for the presence of a hard disk during its self-test and will display its findings on-screen. If no hard disk is found, this will only cause an error when it comes to booting.

If no hard disk is detected, it may be down to a loose connection. Check the hard disk connections inside the PC.

If the connections appear to be correct, the hard disk itself may be faulty and you should contact the PC’s manufacturer.

Hard disk problem
If your hard disk is detected but Windows refuses to load, there are three possibilities. First, the BIOS could be set to boot from a disk other than the hard disk. Second, the hard disk itself may be faulty.

Most likely is that your Windows installation may have become corrupt and this is one for your PC’s manufacturer to sort out.

I HAVE INTERNET CONNECTION PROBLEMS

Setting up
If your PC is new, it may not be set up to access the internet. The simplest way to do this is to use a CD-Rom from an internet service provider (ISP) and go through its set-up procedure.

Alternatively, if you have both your ISP’s and your account details, you can set up a connection manually. Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel and double-click on the Network Connections icon.

Then, either click on the ‘Create a new connection’ in the Task Pane or double-click on the New Connection Wizard icon.

Click on Next twice and on the next page select the option ‘Set up my connection manually’ and click on Next. If you are using a dial-up modem, leave the next page as it is and click on Next.

Make sure that there is a tick by your modem in this window, click on Next again and then give your new connection a name.

The next page prompts you for the telephone number that the modem must dial. In the next window you must decide whether to restrict the connection to your use only or for everyone who uses the computer.

The next step is to enter your ISP account details. Click on Finish and your new connection is now ready to use.

Connections
If your ISP connection has been set up but Windows isn’t using it, go to Control Panel and double-click on Internet Properties.

There are several tabs along the top of the dialogue box that appears. Click on one labelled Connections. There are three options about halfway down. Select the one for ‘Always dial my default connection’ and then click on OK.

Connection failures
If your PC tries to make an internet connection but fails, the telephone line may be at fault. Check that your modem cable is properly connected to both the modem socket and the telephone socket.

It’s also worth checking that the socket itself is working by plugging in a telephone. You can try connecting the modem to a different telephone socket.

Some telephone voicemail services change the dial tone when there are new messages waiting and this can confuse some modems.

The simplest solution is to delete any waiting messages to restore the dial tone but you can tell the modem not to check for a dial tone before dialling.

Go to Device Manager and right-click on the modem entry. In the dialogue box that appears, look for a ‘Wait for dial tone before dialling’ option and deselect it.

Driver problems
A problem with the modem driver is indicated by a yellow exclamation mark next to its entry in the Device Manager. Reinstalling the driver may fix this but you should uninstall the modem driver first by right-clicking on its Device Manager entry and choosing Uninstall.

To do this right-click on My Computer on the Desktop and choose Properties. On the dialogue box that appears, click the Hardware tab and then the Device Manager button.

To reinstall the driver, you’ll need the original modem driver CD-Rom. Restart your PC and, when Windows starts, it will display a message to say that it has found new hardware. Put the CD-Rom into the drive and work through the steps to install the driver.

Connection confusion
Sometimes Internet Explorer can become about whether or not you are connected to the internet. This is because Windows handles the connection to the internet separately to Internet Explorer.

The definitive way of checking that you are connected to the internet is to look for a small picture of two computers in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

If it is there your PC is connected to the internet. If it isn’t, open the File menu and click on the option to Work Offline if it has a tick by it. Explorer will now accept that it is connected.

PRINTER ISN’T WORKING

Check the cables
Before you make any changes to the printer software, make sure that the power and printer cables are properly connected and that your printer has power.

If you’re using a parallel printer, make sure that it is directly connected to the PC and not through any other device, such as a scanner or Zip drive.

If a USB printer is connected to a hub, make sure that it is connected to the PC and powered.

Flashing lights
If your printer is displaying a flashing light, it’s likely that is has a problem. First make sure that there aren’t any foreign objects inside the printer case (ballpoint pens are a favourite).

If your printer has a paper jam, follow the manual’s instructions on how to remove it.

Many printers won’t work if there is an error light displayed and other printers won’t work if they run out of ink. Check the manual to see if the error lights mean there is a problem with the ink cartridges. You will probably have to replace the cartridge before your printer will work again.

Is your printer set as default?
Click on the Windows Start menu and go to Settings, Printers. When the Printers window appears, make sure there is a black circle with a white tick displayed on-top of your printer icon (or the icon for the printer you are trying to use). If there’s no tick, right-click on the icon and select ‘Set as Default’.

Printer not installed
If your printer is not displayed in this window, you need to install the drivers and software supplied with the printer. If you no longer have the software, you should be able to download it from the manufacturer’s website.

Print quality
Click on the Windows Start menu and go to Settings, Printers. Right-click on the icon for your printer and choose Properties.

If the print quality is not as you expected, you should check the paper you are printing on and the print quality and paper settings within this dialogue box.

Error messages
If your PC displays an error message when trying to print, it might be sending the information meant for your printer to the wrong place.

Open your printer settings and click on the tabs to locate a menu that is usually labelled ‘Print to the following Port’.

If your Printer is connected to the printer port you should select ‘LPT1′ in the driver. If your printer is attached to your PC using a USB cable, select one of the USB options and try printing again.

Clean the nozzles
If your prints are not up to the quality you expect, the print cartridge nozzles may need cleaning or aligning, or the cartridges may be running out of ink.

Typical symptoms of these problems are white streaks across the page or missing colours. Refer to your printer’s manual for advice on cleaning or aligning the print heads, or replacing the cartridges.

Related articles
Setting up your new PC
http://www.vnunet.com/Features/1146140 [28-10-2003]

http://www.vnunet.com/Features/1139611

Car Monthly expenses

30 Sep

Monthly Installment = X
RoadTax = R/12 = T
Carpark = C
Petrol = P
Insurance I/12 = S

Winning Cover Letters

30 Sep

Do you really need Cover Letter? Read this article why you need one.

Top Ten Reasons Why You Need a Cover Letter

by Peter Newfield

Your cover letter presents your intentions, qualifications, and availability to a prospective employer in a succinct, appealing format. It’s your first chance to make a great impression, a personalised letter indicates you are serious about your job search. Your resume can give the nitty-gritty of dates, places of employment, and education but your cover letter must entice the reader to take the extra few minutes to consider you when faced with hundreds and thousands of candidates for any one job opening.

1) Do you really need a cover letter?
You bet! Just as you would never just show up unannounced at a prospective employer’s door, your resume should Never just appear solo on a decision- maker’s desk. Your cover letter is your first opportunity to introduce yourself, present your qualifications, and show the search committee you are a potential candidate for the advertised position.

2) Personalise it to the company.
Anyone can reproduce a “canned??? cover letter and hope for the best. Instead, take a few minutes to personalise your letter by showing that you are really serious about working for the companies you are contacting. State the reason that you are interested in working for that particular company. Mention a department, a new project the company is involved in, an acquisition the company has made. Show that you have done your homework. Address the cover letter to a specific individual whenever possible.

3) Why are you sending your resume and cover letter?
Cover letters should be clear and to the point. Include the specific job title, two to three reasons why your experience makes a good fit, and a brief outline of career highlights.

4) Highlight your strengths!
You may be a great person and never call in sick, but prospective employers really want to know why they should consider you for this position. Brag a little! Give a few facts, list relevant skills, and state accomplishments on your present or most recent jobs that will be impressive. Increased overseas sales by 93%? Negotiated new financial leases/loans? Implemented new training programs which reduced staff turnover by 15%?

5) State your intentions and qualifications right up front.
If you expect a senior personnel manager or recruiter to wade through a mish-mash of information on your cover letter before understanding why you are sending your resume, chances are, it will never happen.

6) What makes you different?
Emphasise your skills, talents, and experiences to show how you would be a valuable addition to the team. If you have relevant volunteer or professional experience include it briefly in your cover letter. Example: An accountant who serves as volunteer treasurer for a non-profit community health organisation; an international sales rep who has lived in Europe and Asia and speaks several languages.

7) No negative information!
Never include personality conflicts with previous employers, pending litigation suits, or sarcastic remarks in your cover letter. If you are bad-mouthing your present place of employment, interviewers may fear a repeat performance if they hire you.

8 ) When should you include salary/relocation information?
The rule of thumb is to always include salary requirements and/or salary history in the cover letter if a prospective employer requests it. For example: My salary requirements are $60,000-$75000 (negotiable). Or: My current salary is $53,000 at XYZ corporation. To eliminate this information from your cover letter may justify your resume getting tossed out. Never include salary and relocation information on your resume, only address this information in your cover letter.

9) Action Steps to Take
Take a proactive approach in your cover letter. State the fact that you are available for a personal interview; give your home, work, e-mail, and/or cell phone numbers where you can be reached; note that you will follow up by phone (where possible) to provide any additional information required.

10) Be direct!
A professionally written cover letter and resume can open the doors to your next position on the corporate ladder, as well as a new career in a different field. A clean, error-free presentation combined with strong phrasing and solid facts will encourage the reader to review the attached resume and call you in for an interview.

Peter Newfield is President of resume writing service Career Resumes.