There are many reasons why you might want to update your resume. Perhaps you are seeking a promotion, or want to shift to another division of your company. Maybe the role and responsibilities of your current position aren’t what you expected, and you need to begin looking for a different job. Wherever you’re at in the workplace world, it’s essential to have a solid resume.
Your resume is how you speak to potential employers. What is your resume saying about you? Here are six tips to consider when building your resume.
- To Embellish, or Not to Embellish
In a study by Career Builder, over 2,500 hiring managers discovered applicants doing more than dress up a few things. 56% found applicants lying, with 54% taking liberties describing their responsibilities. A quarter caught people adding credits from companies for whom they had never worked! While it’s important to highlight your duties with a position, it’s vital to be straightforward when describing the scope of your responsibilities on your resume.
- Does Your Resume Reflect Career Progression?
Your resume should be the story of your career; ideally one with an upward trajectory. Set the tone of the resume by including relevant experience or training for the job listing. Hopefully, your most recent job will fit; but if you’re still working on gaining career highlights, pull from another credit instead.
If you’re switching career paths, or you already have varied work experience, it’s okay to structure your resume; for example, you might have one category outlining your research-based work, and a different group highlighting your people skills. Organizing your experience into categories allows you to present a fuller picture of your abilities.
- First Impressions are Important
Many recruiters say that it takes them a mere six seconds to decide if they’re putting your resume in the “yes” or “no” pile. This is why first impressions are so crucial. You don’t need to use coloured paper or wild fonts, but you should give your resume some style. Remember, you aren’t trying to convince them of your design sense; you’re trying to avoid being tossed in the “no” pile after a cursory glance.
Does your resume look original, and not based on a template? Even if you used a model to start, you can still give it a clean, polished look that doesn’t feel like a stark template. Are the length and overall appearance appropriate for the job? You want to make it easy to process with a quick look, as the person reading it might easily be looking at upwards of hundreds of resumes.
Points to consider regarding appearance:
- Clear design with white space between sections
- Clean copy, with no typos or spelling errors
- Un-cluttered paragraphs
- Simple, effective bullet points
- Font Matters
How you present your choice of words also matters. Font choice is such a vital part of displaying a favourable appearance that it deserves its own mention. The main point when choosing a font style is making your resume easier to read. There are a couple of essential points to be made regarding font choice:
- Choose a serif font for print – “Serif” refers to those little tails or flags at the end of a letter — like this. Those tails are supposed to lead the eye forward to the next letter, making it easier to read, especially when you are reading a large number of pages. “Sans serif” means without a serif, meaning there are no added tails to the letters.
- Don’t be fashionable – A common wisecrack is “Don’t use Comic Sans.” That’s because this niche font was momentarily very trendy and was vastly over-used.
- Know how it will be read – Some fonts work better on paper; some fonts look better on screen. If you know how your resume will be read, then select a font that makes the most of that medium. If you’re not sure, fonts like Cambria work equally well in both media.
Top Three Fonts for Print:
- Bookman Old Style
Top Three Fonts for Online:
If you want to delve deeper into it, there are many visually pleasing fonts that will assist in giving your resume some life and voice. Choose a font that is easy to read and pleasing to the eye, and your resume is likelier to end up in the “yes” pile for a second glance.
- Don’t Say Too Much
It’s important not to bog down your resume with unnecessary details. Tailor make your resume to include specifics that make you a more desirable candidate. If a credit isn’t relevant to the job, remove it. There’s no need to clutter up your resume with experiences that don’t apply.
Keep your resume clean; don’t add unnecessary flourishes. The same goes for introductions and cover letters. The ability to be concise will set you apart.
- Hobbies and Interests
If your hobbies and interests are genuinely applicable to the job, by all means, add them. Be specific. Saying that you like music isn’t descriptive; saying that you have a membership to the symphony, or that you play with a band that goes to retirement homes is. Membership in groups like Toastmasters demonstrates a willingness for self-improvement, as well as an interest in public speaking.
Bonus tip: Managing Your Online Presence
Depending on your field, having an online presence could help you stand out. However, your online presence can also be a drawback. Companies and their clients don’t want to work with someone who will potentially bring them unwanted negative attention. Having a positive, work-relevant social media presence shows potential employers you know how to be professional. Always remember, anything that you put up online is trackable and could be noticed by the watchful eye of someone in your industry.
Three ways to use social media positively:
- LinkedIn – Make connections with business and colleagues
- Twitter – Post relevant industry content on your @twitter account
- Facebook – Have a separate Facebook account for work colleagues and your personal friends
Follow these ideas and suggestions when you update your cover letter and resume. We’ve covered a lot, but taking it step-by-step will make the process less overwhelming.
If your current circumstances leave you with little time, or you need help putting your best foot forward in print, Masters Essay can help. Whether you require basic editing assistance or are starting from scratch, our writing staff can help set you apart from other candidates. With over 200 professional, MA, MSc, JD, MBA & Ph.D. accelerated writers, we can ensure that your resume is a step above the competition.
A strong introduction grabs the reader’s attention and gets them hooked.
When it comes to writing quality research papers and essays, a good introduction is essential. It’s where you introduce your ideas and make them look intriguing. Think of it as a first impression to convince readers your work is worth reading. It’s the high-stakes section of the essay.
When you write your essay, there’s plenty to do. First, you have to build your ideas and present your thesis statement. This gives the reader an idea of what you want to say and the point you want to make. Creating a good introduction is a priority when writing. Do it right, and readers will want to continue. Use these tips to master the process and make a compelling introduction to your main points.
Hook your reader right away
Your first sentence sets the tone for the entire essay. Take some time to make a compelling hook. There are different strategies available to hook your readers from the get-go. For example, you might introduce facts or statistics to demonstrate why your topic matters. For a historical essay, you could use an anecdote about your subject. You could ask a thought-provoking question. These approaches get the reader actively thinking about your theme.
A good introduction is engaging. Make your reader think about your topic and how you will frame your arguments. Audiences are more likely to engage with the rest of your essay once you’ve got them thinking.
Contextualize the topic
Give your readers the information they will need to understand your essay. For example, you might define technical terms you will use, to bring readers up to speed, or introduce points you plan to bring up later. How much information you give depends on the length of the paper and the complexity of your ideas.
Be specific; avoid overwhelming the reader with unnecessary detail. Save the details for the body and conclusion of the work. Keep in mind that your introduction gives an idea of what to expect from your essay as a whole. Start relatively broadly, then narrow the focus down to your thesis.
Present relevant information
When offering background for your hook (e.g. anecdotes or statistics), keep it relevant. If you are writing a biographical essay, an incident from childhood can be a charming way to engage the reader. However, if you’re writing a book report, a story about a friend who did not like it may not be relevant or useful.
Stay focused; the object is to make things clearer to the reader. Keep your focus on the task at hand to avoid unnecessary detours.
Offer a clear thesis statement
One good rule for essay-writing is summarizing your main point with a thesis statement. In essence, a thesis statement summarizes your overall argument. A thesis for a literature essay might introduce your analysis of the author’s themes. Do not use your thesis statement to explain your position; save your arguments for the body, where you have space to express your ideas and proof in detail.
Traditionally, many writers place thesis statements near the end of their introduction. While you can do that, it’s not a rule. You can put your thesis statement wherever you think it would be most effective. If you think it would be more appropriate to state your case at the outset, feel free.
Summarize your essay
After presenting your thesis statement, it’s a good idea to explain to the reader how you plan to prove it. Provide a quick summary of your main points and what you will have to say in the body. Keep your sentences simple and clear. Instead of discussing your supporting points, sum them up by stating “how” or “why” your theme is correct.
For example, if your essay is a review of a book or movie, you might enumerate your critiques here. Keep it simple. The time for multi-syllable words and complex arguments comes later. The introduction is meant to be a prelude to the essay. For now, the summary helps your readers understand what you’re telling them and what your evidence is.
Avoid using cliches and generalizations. In most cases, they look unimaginative and unoriginal. For example, starting an essay with a flat definition can bore your reader. If you must define a term in your introduction, find a creative and engaging way to present the information. Avoid broad, sweeping generalizations (words like “always” or “everyone”). They may ring false with some readers and alienate them.
One good example of cliches in action is the college entrance essay. The purpose of this kind of composition is to attract the attention of the adjudicator and separate yourself from other applicants in their mind. However, many writers fall into the trap of presenting the topic instead of exploring the purpose or theme of the essay. For instance, rather than describing a hardship that you overcame or a success that you achieved, use it as an opportunity for self-reflection. Explore how the event or individual affected you, and what you learned about yourself because of it.
In an academic paper, it’s more important to introduce your main idea or theme and to lead readers into the essay. Present your idea as the clever hook that engages the reader. Make your point without overgeneralizing or giving away too much information.
Write the intro last
The introduction might be the opening part of your paper, but it doesn’t have to be the part you write first. If you’re having difficulty making it work, write the essay first, and then come back to the introduction.
Some writers find it easier to write the body and their main points first. It can be easier to summarize the essay if you’ve already done most of the work earlier. You may also find it easier to write after giving yourself time to get used to the piece as a whole. Jot down notes for your introduction as you write. These notes can help inform how you write the introduction later. For example, you may find a term that you need to define at the beginning.
Transition into the body
Sometimes you can segue smoothly from the introduction and into the body. Other times you may need a transitional sentence to flow naturally into the rest of the essay. Test your essay after you finish to see how well it flows. Read the introduction and the first paragraph of the body out loud. If the transition feels awkward, add a bridge sentence to make the flow smoother.
Ask someone to read it, too. Another pair of eyes can help you spot mistakes before editing and proofreading. Consult a trusted source for suggestions on how to polish your introduction further.
The introduction has plenty riding on it. A strong opening will engage your readers and get them about your ideas from the beginning. Take advantage of these tips to make your introduction more striking, engaging, and compelling.
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A case study is a research design or method of analysis that seeks to investigate an individual, group, or phenomenon. It lays out key themes and results to understand past and future trends, and aims to explain a problem with more clarity.
Often, a case study examines in detail a single subject to arrive at a clear understanding of the matter. It can include a comparative investigation to show relationships between two or more subjects.
Before you begin to write your case study, read this guide to help you prepare and understand how to do it properly and effectively.
Step 1: Determine the topic of your study.
Identify what you would like to investigate. What issues have you discussed in class? Is there something currently trending on social media or in the news that is of interest to you? Once you decide upon a subject, do further research and interviews to narrow down your focus. Look for information in books, magazines, newspapers, and online journals. Remember to take as many notes as you can as you go along and keep a list of all your resource materials. (You will need this list when citing your references at the end of your study.)
Determine whether anyone has done the same study in the past; this will allow you to refine your work or find a different angle. Reviewing similar studies will provide style and investigative ideas that you might like to try on your own.
Step 2: Choose your study type.
There are four types of case studies, depending on your goal and purpose. These include:
- Illustrative – An illustrative (or descriptive) study uses one or two instances of an event or phenomenon to give readers a clearer overall picture. It aims to give readers a common language and understanding about the given topic.
- Exploratory – Exploratory (or pilot) case studies aim to find patterns in the data gathered and create a model for easier visualization of that data. They rely on a pre-existing collection of information from which to make an interpretation. The main goal of an exploratory study is to identify questions and select methods of measurement prior to the main investigation.
- Cumulative – A cumulative study combines information from several sources gathered at different times for greater generalization. This reduces costs and time spent on repetitive studies.
- Critical instance – The purpose of this study is to examine one or more situations to scrutinize a generalized or universal assumption. Critical instance case studies are typically used in cause and effect situations.
Step 3: Have a clear structure and style.
A case study seeks to discover new understandings about a particular issue. It can also contribute to an existing body of knowledge. Therefore, your work should have a clear and organized structure and writing style.
Here are some key elements to take note of as you begin writing your study:
Introduction – The introduction captures the scope and purpose of your idea; it addresses why and how the case will address the chosen topic. When writing your introduction, try to answer these four questions:
- What am I studying? Describe the subject of analysis. Briefly explain what elements of the case will help broaden knowledge about it.
- Why is it important to investigate this topic? Explain the significance of your research issue. Describe why you believe your study design and subject of analysis are essential in understanding the chosen topic.
- What was presently known before this study was conducted? Give your readers the background information they need to understand why you are writing this study. Describe how your case will prove useful in exploring new knowledge about the topic at hand.
- How will this study advance further knowledge? Describe why your case study will provide new ways of understanding your topic and how it will expand currently documented knowledge.
These questions should be answered in a few paragraphs. (If you are addressing a complex problem, more elaborate background information is required.)
Literature Review – A literature review includes a historical interpretation of your subject. Background information included here should be well-organized to help your readers better understand the issue.
Here are some tips for writing a solid literature review:
- Cite and summarize studies that used a similar subject of analysis to tackle a research problem.
- Include a description of any recent work that supports your analysis and the questions you are asking.
- Explain how it introduces new ideas that can pave the way for future research, or how it provides a new understanding.
- Synthesize or combine any literature that pertains to unanswered questions and unresolved concerns about the topic. Describe how your subject of analysis will help address these concerns.
Method – In this section, explain your reasons for selecting the topic and the strategy used in answering research questions. Descriptions of the method can vary according to the type of analysis in which your case study is framed.
The four subjects of analysis and how to describe your method according to each subject are:
- Incident/event – The incident looks at a rare happening in order to find new ways of thinking about the broader problem or to test a hypothesis. For a case study about a critical incident, describe the method used to highlight the event. Explain how you determined the validity of the case to discover broader perspectives or new findings with respect to the research.
- Person – Describe why you chose to focus on this individual. What experience does he or she have that provides an opportunity to promote new knowledge? Include the person’s background information; this will help readers understand the importance of his/her experiences to your study. (When mentioning more than one person, clearly differentiate them from others and explain how they are useful to your research.)
- Place – Describe the essential attributes of the place or arena in which the topic exists (physical, social, economic, cultural, political, etc.). Explain the method used for choosing this place and how it sheds light on new knowledge. Clearly establish why it has been chosen as the topic.
- Phenomenon – Any fact or circumstance that can be observed or studied but is not clearly understood can be a phenomenon. In social and behavioral sciences, this may focus on human interaction within a complex social, economic, cultural, or physical setting.
Discussion – The discussion section should focus on interpreting and drawing conclusions about the significant findings you’ve gathered. This section should have the following objectives:
- State the major findings – Restate why you focused on the research problem or subject of analysis. In a declarative, straightforward, and succinct statement, describe your findings. Emphasize unexpected data and present it clearly.
- Explain the essence of the findings – Describe the meaning of your findings and why they are significant. Start with the most important or unexpected findings and review each one.
- Link the findings to similar existing studies – Acknowledge the relationship of your findings to that of prior studies, especially if your subject of analysis was inspired by others. Comparing and contrasting helps to establish the importance of your results and differentiates your analysis from previous research.
- Identify the limitations of your study – Explain the limitations of your study as well as any unanswered questions that could not be addressed (or why they are not significant).
- Suggest areas for future research – Lead the way for future research on your topic. There may be additional questions related to the topic that can lend themselves to further investigation.
Conclusion – Using direct, simple language, summarize your conclusion and highlight how your results differ from or strengthen the conclusion of previous studies. Synthesize the key findings and clearly state how they answer the research questions.
Writing a case study requires time and a great deal of research. If you are unsure of how to get started, consider hiring a writing professional.
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A compelling university admissions essay can be the difference between acceptance and rejection. Grades are an important part of your application, but they are not the only key component. Your writing will help set you apart from other applicants with similar scores. Knowing how to write an essay will leave a good impression. Think of it as an opportunity to show admissions officers what qualities you have that would make you a good candidate for their school.
You have a unique background and set of experiences; your university admissions essay is a way to share all that with prospective schools. The trick is to write a thoughtful, personal paper about a topic that matters to you. Many applicants try too hard to sound smart, or write about topics they don’t care about to look impressive. All you have to do is show yourself as thoughtful and motivated, and that will demonstrate that you have something to add to a class.
Use these tips to help craft a strong essay that highlights what you have to offer:
- Read the instructions – In all the excitement, you might forget to thoroughly heed the instructions. Follow the application directions to the letter. Failing to comply with guidelines could lead admissions officers to assume you wouldn’t follow the program’s directions. Stick to page and word count limits. The idea is to organize your thoughts according to the rules.
- Organize your thoughts – Start by brainstorming. Take a piece of paper and jot down ideas. Do some research on different topics and ideas that you might find interesting. Then consider which ideas could combine with one another. For example, you can compare and contrast different ideas. Write a rough outline. Think about how long each paragraph should be to express your ideas clearly. Finally, create a schedule as a guide for how much time to devote to your work.
- Be controversial – Many applicants submit bland, safe essays that don’t take a stand on anything. Discussing politics or religion can be a valid approach! Remember to stay balanced and thoughtful, regardless of your opinion. Present your views on the subject, but be fair and logical. Give reasons to support your position. “Avoid speechifying.”
Higher education is the place for discussion of ideas. Your essay is a tool to present your ideas to an interested panel. Some people look for diversity of ideas, so consider sharing some of yours.
- Avoid using cliches – Looking at other essays as research is generally an excellent idea. However, be wary of other writers’ influence. Precise word choices and unique phrases will help your paper stand out from the crowd. Review your work and delete any “old hat” statements. Give admissions something that’s all yours and make them take notice.
- Be careful with humour – Jokes can be an excellent way to get yourself noticed–but use this technique carefully. Your idea of “funny” may differ from that of an admissions’ officer. Avoid one-liners, limericks, and off-colour humour. They may be perceived as unprofessional.
- Show, don’t tell – Avoid simply stating facts and ideas. Admissions officers are more concerned with your perspective on events than with the events themselves. Include specific details and examples. For example, don’t merely mention extracurricular activities. Describe how they made you feel, and what you learned from participating in them. The officers don’t know you personally. Use your words to paint a picture of who you are and what you can contribute to the college or university.
- Know your vocabulary – The words you use demonstrate your mastery of writing, and how well you can make an argument. A university-level essay should display a similar level of vocabulary. Make certain you are using words correctly. Synonyms can have different shades of meaning; the wrong one could sully your message.
Find examples of how words are used before using them. Use plain language most of the time. Overusing big words can make your writing seem pretentious. Think of advanced words as a spice, and your ideas as the main dish.
- Write distinct essays – Every university has a distinct culture. An admission essay is a statement that you are a good fit for that particular school. If you’re applying for more than one place, write a distinct essay for each. Some of your points may not apply to every university. Research and learn about their individual cultures, values, and awards. Tailor your work to make it relevant to each unique mission and values.
- Be concise – Applying to university is much like applying for a job. You are given only so much space to show why you deserve a spot. Meet their specifications, but be brief. Admissions officers have to read several essays each day. You have a few hundred words to grab their attention. Be precise, organize your thoughts, and show that you’re respectful of others’ time.
- Edit – The job isn’t done when you have finished writing. Proofreading and editing your essay is an essential step, and can play a major role in separating your work from the crowd. Check the word count and make sure it complies with requirements. Read each sentence to ensure that your thoughts are expressed clearly. Check for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. A thorough read-through will help spot errors, and result in a better submission.
- Seek a second opinion – Before submitting the essay, ask for advice from someone qualified. Sometimes others can spot mistakes a writer might miss. If you can, ask someone with expertise in the admissions process. Ask a teacher you trust to give feedback. Ask only a few select people for help; too much feedback can affect the quality of your writing. Remember, the essay should present your thoughts the way you want them heard.
One of the most important things you can do is to start writing early. Give yourself plenty of time to write and finish well ahead of the deadline. Use extra time to fine-tune the essay and make it the best it can be. In case of any setbacks, you have time to edit and rewrite your work.
Good writing skills can help in any facet of life, and they are essential for success at university. A good admissions essay is only the first step. Once you are in school, you’ll need those skills to write quality research papers and other projects. Sometimes, a university workload can be difficult to handle. In that case, give Masters Essay a call for help with writing papers and presentations.
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If you’re still asking yourself what you should do after graduation, know that the job of your dreams may, in fact, be within your reach. A well-written, comprehensive resume is the first step in getting there. (Consider using a professional resume writing service to help craft a winning one!) However, a good cover letter is just as important—perhaps moreso, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience to put on a resume. The cover letter shows off your personality and makes employers curious to know more about you. It allows you to expand on points in your resume that pertain to the position of interest. With specific keywords, your cover letter matches your qualifications and shows that you’re a good candidate.
A cover letter is the first thing a potential employer sees, so you want to make a good impression. It may not be read it if it’s long or rambling, so get to the point quickly and limit yours to one page or less. It should also give a good indication of your communication and writing skills. A clear and organized cover letter that’s free of grammatical errors says a lot about the applicant—even with just a quick glance. The tone of your cover letter should be positive, friendly, and confident.
A cover letter has several specific goals:
- To introduce yourself and give the employer an idea of who you are
- To show that you have the skills and qualifications to do the job
- To provide additional information or expand on items listed on your resume
- To request a meeting or interview
Address and Letterhead
On the upper right corner of the page, put your name, address, phone number, email address, and a link to your website or LinkedIn profile. (You can also design your own letterhead to give your cover letter a more professional look.) The address of the company you are writing to goes on the left side underneath your personal information. Remember to leave space beneath this information before starting your letter.
Your resume and cover letter are best formatted in size 12 font so they’re easy to read. Also use a font that looks professional, like Calibri or Times New Roman. Leave the Comic Sans or other childish fonts for another time.
A salutation can be confusing for job applicants. Is ‘To Whom it May Concern’ or ‘Dear Hiring Manager’ correct, or is it better to include the name of someone specific? If the hiring manager’s name isn’t mentioned in the job posting, make the effort to find out what it is. If possible, also use the person’s correct title, i.e. Ms., Dr., or Mr. Look for this information on the organization’s official website, LinkedIn profile, or simply call the company and ask for the person’s name and official title. If you don’t address the employer correctly, your cover letter could seem like a form letter instead. A proper salutation will show that you are someone who takes the initiative (and it could be a positive point in your favour).
The goal of the first paragraph is to express your interest in the position, so clearly state the title of the job for which you are applying. (It’s not necessary to explain where you saw the position advertised.) Then write a few sentences about why the position interests you. Make your statements brief and concise; you’ll expand on these points later in the letter.
The middle paragraph is important because this is where you’ll explain your resume in more detail. Show the reader that you match all or most of their requirements. It’s also important to know if you’ll fit in with the company, so learn about the organization and have a good understanding of who they are and what they do. Perhaps research the hiring manager (or whoever will receive your letter) as well.
Employers often match job applications to specific keywords from their ad, so use those words in your cover letter. (Keywords can be anything related to the position or its requirements.) Let your letter reflect the tone of the ad and highlight how your goals match the company’s mission.
If you think you’re well-suited for the job, you may want to add another paragraph here. Once you’ve learned about the company, you can express how you think your specific goals and experience fit in with its mission and future plans. Comment on what you think you could specifically accomplish for them in light of all this information.
The final paragraph of the cover letter should be about two to four sentences long. The purpose of this section is primarily to mention the attached resume and stress that you’re open to meeting for an interview. Phrase the final sentence or two as a call to action, such as “Please give me a call at your convenience at 555-2020 so we can set up a meeting to discuss the position further.” Finally, thank the potential employer for taking your application into consideration.
Include a closing that’s both professional and polite. (“Sincerely” or “Best Regards” are appropriate options.) After your closing, skip a few lines and then write and sign your full name. If your application is being submitted electronically, create a digital signature and add it to your letter. Use a digital writing pad or buy software that will allow you to make a digital signature stamp.
If you’ve been following this series of blogs, you now have a better idea of how to write a good resume and a strong cover letter. Remember to tailor both to the specific job you’re applying for and avoid sending out form letters. Now you’re ready to start the job hunt. Good luck!
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As graduation day approaches, you may be thinking about what to do after school ends and perhaps setting goals for the next stage of life. Starting a new chapter can be both exciting and challenging, but it’s perfectly normal to ask yourself, “What do I do now?” Some people will be starting out for the first time in a career, and others may be pursuing second or even third careers. Whatever your age, profession, salary level, or experience, your resume is a key factor in gaining employment. It must be prepared using the correct format and set of standards for resumes. Applicants are also expected to use specific keywords related to their profession.
This information is very important, so you might consider going to a resume expert for help. Before anything though, you will need some information to build your resume and cover letter. Here is a helpful guide to creating a chronological resume meeting specific standards. These tips will guide you through the steps in writing a good first draft. To gain further expertise, consider taking a course in resume and cover letter writing.
Preparing a Resume
A resume is the first step in getting a job interview at your targeted company. It must show who you are in a way that will catch people’s attention and make you stand out. Employers often spend only a few seconds looking at a resume before moving on, so make them really want to keep reading. Focus on how you would fit the position and the company rather than just describing your related experience. A cover letter also plays a big role in that process.
In most of North America, there are specific sections you must include in a resume and they have to be in a specific order:
- Contact information
- Career summary
- Employment experience
- Education or professional development
- Volunteer work, community service, or technical skills (optional and where suitable)
Keep the length limited to one to two pages (the majority of professionals have a two-page document). It’s also standard to format both your cover letter and resume into the same document and convert it to a PDF file before submitting. Develop a standard resume and then tailor it based on the position for which you’re applying. The same is true of cover letters.
Sections of the Resume
- Contact Information
Your contact information has to be printed clearly at the top of the resume in the header, and it should contain your full name, address and phone number (in Canada), email address, and a link to your Linkedin profile. What you are not required to include is your date of birth, gender, parents’ names, and marital status. (In Canada, it’s not part of the standard format to include this information, and it’s illegal to ask about some of these aspects in an interview.) Your email address should sound professional; you may even want to set up a separate account for job hunting.
This section is crucial because it’s the employer’s first look at who you are professionally. Write a paragraph or two summarizing your main skills and why you’re right for the position. It should begin with a stated objective and how it pertains to the potential job position or role. This is the place to summarize your past and current experience and your career goals.
- Employment Experience
List each of your past job positions from most to least current. Include the time period you were in the role and your general responsibilities. List (as bullet points) two or three of your main accomplishments within the position. This gives employers a much better idea of your performance and strengths. Notice the difference between “Management skills in the publishing industry” and “Successfully managed a large-scale international publishing project, securing a future two-million-dollar contract with the client.” The second statement tells the company much more about what you could accomplish if hired.
Below each position, highlight any major projects you completed while you were there. Similar to when you list your overall accomplishments, give one or two brief sentences about what the project entailed and what you personally accomplished.
- Education or Professional Development
Educational degrees or professional development courses should be listed in order with the most recent first, along with the year of completion and the institution you attended. Provide information about awards or distinctions you received and any theses or dissertations you completed.
- Additional Information
Some people like to add a section to their resume outlining volunteer work or community involvement. If it pertains to the position you want, feel free to do this. However, if it’s irrelevant, be careful not to overdo it. Briefly list no more than three or four experiences. If the job you’re applying for is a technical position, you could add a section called “Technical Skills.”
One fairly new development in the world of employment and job searching is the requirement to use keywords specific to your profession in your cover letter and resume. Keywords are search words or terms that employers type into employment websites to look for potential applicants. When your resume includes these keywords, there’s a greater chance that potential employers will see it and contact you. In an interview, those keywords will show them that you have all of the specified job qualifications.
Keywords should be spread throughout every section of your resume. If you want to determine what the keywords should be, think about key skills and terms in your profession and look at the specific job advertisement. Pick keywords out of the ad and use them in the resume and cover letter. Those are the words the employer will want to see.
Keywords include: school names, names of employers, profession-specific awards, soft skills, foreign languages, job-specific skills and knowledge, job titles, affiliations and union memberships, industry credentials, licenses, degrees, tools, equipment, and technical applications.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you put together a solid draft of your resume. If you’re new to a field, consider writing a functional resume that highlights skills rather than experience in a specific area. The next step is to write the perfect cover letter so you can start looking and applying for job opportunities—and get hired!
At Masters Essay, we are here to help you with all of your academic needs. In addition to resume writing services, we also provide assistance in academic areas like essay writing and editing and proofreading.
Call us 24/7 for live support:
- Toll-Free: (800) 573-0840
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As every doctoral student knows, writing and completing a dissertation is a major challenge. It is common to struggle throughout the process and question whether you are making enough progress. The undertaking can be much easier if a few principles are followed, no matter which stage of the dissertation process you’re in. This will ensure that you will reach your goal of successfully defending your dissertation and getting that hard-earned PhD.
Here are some tips to help you write a dissertation:
Eliminate any hint of self-doubt
Everyone struggles with self-doubt at some point in their lives. As a doctoral student, when you are struggling to complete your dissertation you may start to think you are bad at research, writing, gathering data, presentations, statistical analysis, or public speaking. You may also start comparing yourself to other doctoral students, especially if they are further along in the process. The key to changing your mindset is to remind yourself that you are at the post-graduate level and have already achieved so much. Take things one day at a time, focus on your abilities, and tell yourself you have what it takes to acquire that PhD.
Set goals and deadlines
As a doctoral student, you are already familiar with working toward deadlines for your professors. Setting deadlines for yourself at the outset of the dissertation writing process will keep you focused and motivated. The process is long and involved, but having tangible goals to strive toward will help break down the project into manageable sections and give you a sense of completion along the way. Having set deadlines will also allow you to identify any problem areas and give you ample time to have these resolved.
Your goals and deadlines must be flexible
Setting deadlines and goals is key to completing your dissertation. However, things don’t always go as planned; life may throw some unexpected obstacles at you. When this happens, you will be required to make adjustments to your schedule and deadlines. Be prepared and open to changes in the progress you are making in your dissertation and adjust your timelines as needed.
Request feedback often
An important part of the dissertation writing process involves obtaining feedback. Getting feedback about your writing will save you valuable time as it will ensure you are on the right track and that you are doing the proper research. It will also alleviate feelings of isolation and keep you motivated.
At the beginning, approach faculty members to determine how much feedback they are able and willing to provide. As they are often busy with a wide variety of tasks, a clear understanding of how they will manage the feedback process is essential. Some may be willing to read several drafts of each chapter, others may only want to read the entire dissertation at the end. There are no rules with how faculty provide feedback so ensure that you negotiate what you need at the outset.
Understand what your committee expects from you
The most relevant audience for your dissertation is your committee. Requesting feedback from committee members will give you an idea of the type of writing they want and are expecting from you. Keeping the lines of communication open will help you throughout the process.
Request to review dissertations written by students who have worked with the same committee. Ask the students the types of things that were expected for their chapters, how footnotes and endnotes should be utilized, the types of sources that need to be used, how to structure chapters, and other relevant details. This will give you a clearer understanding of what is expected of you.
Rest whenever you need
Give yourself short breaks or take time off from writing when you need it. Spend time with family, watch a movie, or have coffee with friends without feeling guilty. Getting enough rest is important if you want to succeed in completing your dissertation. Taking a break can also refresh your mind and provide new objectivity, especially if you are experiencing writer’s block. Once the break is over, get back to writing again. Extending the break may lead to writing that is rushed; this will affect the quality of the dissertation. It may be challenging to balance your academic responsibilities with other obligations, but finding that balance is key. Make time to write but take breaks when you need them.
Saying “No” Saves Time
One of the obstacles you face while writing your dissertation is a lack of free time. Friends and family often don’t understand what is involved in the process and may unintentionally try to distract you from your work. Keeping to your schedule and staying focused on your writing often means saying no to invitations. Decline gracefully and remind people that the demand on your time is temporary until you complete your dissertation.
Divide your writing into small batches
You’ve most likely heard that dissertation writing is a marathon, not a sprint. The writing happens in small pieces over a long period of time. No matter how busy you are during the day, always set a specific amount of time to write. This will provide a daily routine and will ensure that you stay focused and on track. Writing a specific amount per day will also make it easier for you to complete the journey in a timely fashion.
Do not make excuses
Writing a dissertation is difficult. There are many excuses not to write, including:
- “I don’t have time.”
- “I have a migraine.”
- I have more important work to do.
- “I have people to see, TV shows to watch, and meetings to attend.”
There will always be reasons not to write; that is the challenge. Force yourself to disregard these excuses and focus on the task at hand. Stick to your schedule as this is the only way to get anything done.
Celebrate small accomplishments
Rewarding yourself for small accomplishments while writing your dissertation will make you happier and allow you to better enjoy the process. Did you just finish a page? Did you overcome a difficult section? Treat yourself to something you enjoy. Go for a walk, have a special snack, or chat with a friend. Make yourself feel good about the progress you’ve made so far.
Writing a dissertation is a long and involved process. All that had work will eventually pay off. If you need help along the way, Masters Essay can assist with every aspect including research, proofreading, and editing. Contact us today at 1-800-573-0840.
Writing a great cover letter isn’t easy for everyone. Creating strong sentence structure and highlighting your background and skills are key points. Depending upon the strength of your letter, you may get a call for an interview or be outdone by another applicant.
The goal is to expand upon your resume in a way that reflects your personality. Your resume/CV highlights your education, skills, and experience. The cover letter supports your resume with examples of your relevant working experience and success stories.
Here are several pointers on writing a killer cover letter:
Personalize – Add your own style and use examples that suit the job for which you’re applying. You can start with a generic cover letter and personalize it based on the job. This effort takes more than swapping company names and adding random thoughts. You can only stand out if your wording reflects you have the experience to fulfill the job description supplied by the employer.
Be honest – When promoting yourself don’t stray from the truth. Be sure you can live up to your promises and back up any claims of experience. If you’re found to have been dishonest in your application, you may be out of a job pretty quickly.
Don’t make it all about you – In addition to sharing your academic degrees and skill sets that are relevant to the job, outline your unique abilities that can benefit the company. Do some research about the company and who’s doing the hiring. Instead of writing “to whom it may concern,” use LinkedIn to identify the personnel who’ll review your application.
Keep it to one page – Avoid being redundant. Write with a professional tone, with one page of text that has three to four paragraphs. If you find cover letters challenging to write, explore ideas and tips provided on the Internet.
Avoid spamming – Follow up must be done respectfully and not too often. If the company doesn’t specify that they don’t want to hear from applicants, send one follow-up email after the submission deadline. If you don’t get a response, continue your job search.
Proofread – Avoid sloppy typos; your potential employer will remember such errors, and likely discard your application. Consider hiring a proofreading service to check your work before it is submitted.
Writing an effective cover letter is not a simple task. It requires time and plenty of effort. Always aim to stay relevant to the position for which you’re applying. For help with cover letters, contact Masters Essay at (647) 436-7280. We’ll strengthen your writing and help you put your best foot forward.
Most of us face challenges in writing essays, particularly during the first draft. Essay writing is a crucial part of both high school and university curriculums, and is often the difference between a pass and a fail. Here are some effective techniques for writing consistently outstanding essays.
Before writing your essay, gather your resources and take into account the following:
- Plan on how you will source the information for your essay. Do you feel more comfortable at a library, or working from home?
- The Internet is an excellent resource, but social media and other platforms can be distracting. Limit your Internet usage to enhance your concentration and assure better quality of work.
- Gather the necessary materials before you begin writing. Think about how much time it will take to complete your essay. Remember to leave at least three days before the deadline to make any last-minute changes.
Your professor may offer preliminary information, but it’s valuable to seek additional information on your own to add depth to your essay. Take notes and make sure that each source is relevant and reliable.
Common sources include:
- Online blogs
- Newspaper articles
- History books
- Academic articles
Planning is a crucial first step in improving your writing. This step is often overlooked, and can be rushed or neglected. If you’ve ever been critiqued for poor line structure or vague arguments, you need to bring better focus to your planning. Here are some tips for creating a succinct essay plan:
- Read your notes multiple times and highlight important or relevant points. On a sheet of paper, section your ideas in separate columns, connecting them together to form a diagram.
- Look at your diagram and notes, and determine your primary argument. Having a clear vision for your main argument will help you maintain focus.
- Re-read the notes and diagram from conclusion to introduction. What aspects of your essay validate your argument? What needs to be expanded?
- Include additional information and ideas from your notes. Strong analysis, bullet points, and introductions will support your argument.
- Contact a friend who doesn’t know about your topic. If your essay makes sense to them, it’s a good sign that you’re on the right track.
The writing itself can be stressful for several reasons:
Writing on a blank page – Staring at a blank page can be daunting. The key to beginning the writing process is to write anything that comes to mind.
Writer’s block – If you encounter writer’s block, reread your plan and your argument. If you still can’t link your thoughts, try writing as simplistically as possible (e.g. in bullet points). Take breaks whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.
Writing leads to nowhere – If you feel as though you have lost the overall vision of your essay, go back to your diagram. A renewal of perspective can help you discover how your writing needs to change.
Everyone has their own writing style, but in essay writing, it’s important to be precise. Complicating your essay with vague phrasing may result in confusion for the reader. Keep your vocabulary clear and concise. Make sure that the words you use are understandable and are presented in the correct context.
If you are unsure of your completed essay, hire a proofreader to verify the overall structure of your work. Masters Essay in Toronto, Ontario, can help you achieve academic excellence in writing through their professional proofreading services. Call us today at (647) 436-7280, or contact our toll-free number at 1-800-573-0840.
Teachers commonly require academic papers to assess a student’s comprehension of a topic. Academic assessments often come in the form of research papers, which are defined as a person’s thoughts or perception of a topic based on thorough analysis. When writing an academic paper, be mindful of the following things.
Common Types of Academic Papers
Definition papers describe an idea from a factual perspective. These papers do not contain opinion or emotion. Although you may gather facts from different sources, the information is simply stated and supported. However, a definition paper can provide a good framework for persuasive, argumentative, or analytical papers.
Argumentative papers present two sides of a scenario in one paper. Most good argumentative papers include in-text citations from different researchers and logical facts in support of both sides of the argument. Ultimately, these facts should conclude and culminate your analysis with the pros and cons of each side. The challenge in writing an argumentative paper is that while you are advocating for one side over the other, the way in which you present both arguments must remain neutral and factual.
Persuasive papers choose a stance and provide logical arguments to defend that stance. Unlike argumentative papers, persuasive papers do not need to present ideas that support any opposing stance. It can also include more emotional and perspective-based opinions.
Purpose of Academic Paper Formats
When writing academic papers, the way you present your paper is crucial. Using the proper citing, referencing, and quoting of your sources allow for you to communicate your ideas in a manner that is shared by others in your field.
Some of these formats include:
Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is predominantly used in humanities, particularly literature, history, or the arts.
Modern Language Association Style
The Modern Language Association Style (MLA) is also popular with students of humanities. Artists, linguists, and theatre students have been using MLA for over 500 years.
American Psychological Association Style
The American Psychological Association Style (APA) is a set of rules and guidelines established by the American Psychological Association. This format is popular among students and practitioners of psychology, sociology, social work, and medicine.
When working on your research paper, remember to pay extra attention to the way you format your source materials. Use the handouts that your teachers give you, or any online reference materials to ensure that all formatting is accurate.
For expert advice in formatting your research paper, Masters Essay is here to help. Call us at (647) 436-7280 for our Toronto and GTA location, (587)-880-4707 for our Calgary location, and (604) 245-5865 for our Vancouver location. You can also reach us toll-free at 1-800-573-0840.