Resumes and Query Letters

For the last month, instead of writing, I have been tirelessly job searching!! Yes, due to a change in circumstance, I need to find some income. I’m looking for positions around town, but I am also researching working from home options. I may finally embark on the freelance editing I’ve always wanted to do.

One thing I’ve learned through all of this: writing query letters has really helped me to write cover letters for job applications. They are very similar forms. In both, you want to capture interest in the first few lines, keep the reader reading, and make them want to find out more. Highlight and pique interest–don’t give away the ending! Make sure everything is very correct and precise (for example, research which spelling of ‘pique’ to use to make sure you used the right one 😉 ). No errors. You should keep information to one page with short, readable sentences.

That means you shouldn’t mention on all of your wonderful qualities in the same letter. Emphasize your particular ability and experience that matches the position for which you are applying. I feel like I’m getting really good at this. I have a lot of experience, ability, knowledge, and expertise. But some of it isn’t really transferable between positions, so I focus on the ones I know will be useful for this particular position.

If you want some good info on writing resumes and CVs, check out Purdue’s career area, especially their handbook: https://www.cco.purdue.edu/Students/WhatWeOffer?tab=CCOHandbook. My resume writing skills improved exponentially when I read through their career booklet (although, I don’t really like what they say about cover letters . . .). I can’t vouch entirely for the current career booklet as mine is a couple of years old, but they seem to have the same information. Some of the information is geared toward recent college graduates, but it’s still useful.

So, if you’re out there job searching, you’re doing a different kind of writing. I hope it goes well for you! Happy Writing!

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