Help with resume and cover letter please?

I am applying for jobs but not having much luck… I’m just applying for general entry level jobs, anything that I would qualify for that pays a decent wage (not willing to work for less than $10/hour). Some positions I am or have applied for include receptionist/admin assistant, customer service, call center, leasing agent, teacher’s assistant, to name a few. Can someone look over my resume and cover letter and give me some suggestions?

5555 73rd Ave. N., SOMWHERE, MN 55555 ∙ 555-555-5555 ∙jane_somebody@somewhere.com

OBJECTIVE: To obtain a position as a Receptionist


So and So University, Somewhere, USA Sept. 2003-Aug. 2008
•Two Bachelor of Arts in French and Communication Studies
•Graduated cum laude


Professional Fundraiser May 2006 – Aug. 2007
Some Company, Somewhere, USA
•Raised funds for various non-profit organizations
•Trained new employees in operating the automated phone system
•Strengthened problem-solving skills through overcoming objections

Deli Clerk Jan. 2005-Dec. 2005
Cub Foods, Somewhere, USA
•Provided superior customer service
•Worked as part of a team to ensure the deli ran efficiently

Customer Service Representative May 2002- Jan. 2005
ShopKo, Somewhere, USA
•Processed customers’ returns and exchanges
•Answered multi-line phone and directed calls


English Language Tutor Sept. 2007-Dec. 2007
Some University, Somewhere, USA
•Met weekly with five first-year international students
•Assisted students with individual English language goals
•Communicated student progress with director of tutor program

English Language Tutor
Mar. 2007-May 2007; Jul. 2007
Some Adult Education Center, Somewhere, USA
•Assisted ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher with instruction of courses
•Assisted students in aquiring language skills for work and everyday life


•Experience with Microsoft Office, typing speed of 70 WPM, strong 10 key skills

Here is a sample cover letter I have sent:

January 6, 2009

Some Company
11238 86th Ave N
Somewhere, USA 55555

Dear Sir or Ma’am,

This letter is to express my interest in the Receptionist position listed on CareerBuilder.com. With approximately five years of customer service experience, I feel I would be the ideal candidate for this position.

My resume that highlights my strong communication and customer service skills is enclosed. During my time at Aria Communications, I continually improved my customer service and communication skills; I received recognition from my supervisors for my outstanding performance, including an award for the highest sales for the month of May 2007 in the challenging University of Minnesota Alumni Association campaign. With the skills I have gained in previous employment and through my education, I firmly believe I could help your company succeed.

I am excited about the Receptionist position and would like to thank you for considering me for this position. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions regarding my experience or qualifications. I would appreciate the opportunity to review my qualifications in more detail and will contact you within the following week.

Respectfully yours,

Jane Somebody


Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Thanks for the advice everyone. I’ll try to incorporate your suggestions and hopefully will have some better luck landing a job. I’m also going to try emailing it to my college’s career services center, though I’m not sure they’ll help if I don’t come in to see them (I’m out of the area now). Thanks again for the suggestions!

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3 Responses to “Help with resume and cover letter please?”

  1. Beth says:

    your objective could be better. here’s mine: “To gain employment of a supervisory nature that would allow me to serve as a key member of a team that promotes leadership and encourages professional development.”
    most resumes are skimmed over and employers are looking for key points that make YOU the best person for the job. its okay to tweak your resume a little to better fit the job description you are applying for. make your resume irresistable to a potential employer. yours is “so far, so good..” however its very generic. tell me what you did at each job that is almost or just like the position you’re applying for. for instance: if you worked in customer service before, and you’re applying for an HR type position you might phrase your job duties like this: “Managed and maintained current clients insuring all aspects of processing and service were perfect. Served as the liaison between X Company, Inc. and their customers in regards to, but not limited to, inter-office procedure enforcement, processing of new accounts and orders, cold calling and sales, auditing, customer disputes, and new employee training.”
    and last, make your resume visually appealing. use fancy little bullets for each job you held and for each volunteer entry. the more effort you put into the detail of the resume will convey your attention to detail that will be your new job.

  2. G A says:

    Your resume:

    You’ve got a LOT of actual real-world experience, but the resume format you are using is essentially for a person who has none or very limited experience. Whether you are applying for an entry level job or not really isn’t going to matter if you don’t meet the basic format expectations for the job you are applying for. Remove your “OBJECTIVE” heading, which is used only for a resume with no experience, and begin with your “WORK EXPERIENCE” or “VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE” instead. Keep in mind that, from the perspective of an employer, a volunteer job is still a job, so highlighting it as volunteer might not be to your advantage. I suppose that would depend on what type of job you are applying for.

    Also, your employment experience should always come before your educational background. You are applying for a job, and the employer wants to know what you’ve done lately for work. Your education is important, but not as important as real world experience.

    Also, check your spelling. It’s “acquiring”, not “aquiring”. Nothing will turn employer’s away from you quicker than a resume or cover letter you haven’t taken the time to spell check, punctuation check, and grammar check thoroughly.

    Also, you’ve listed three separate computer skills on one line. These should be separate bullet points, though you can probably format that on the same line with a good word processor.

    Now, to your cover letter:

    You show no excitement about the job until your third paragraph. By the time an employer gets there, if they get there, they think you’ve applied to them as a last resort. Show them how REALLY excited you are to apply for the job. Make all of your words and ideas strong.

    The idea of a cover letter is not just to summarize a resume, but to clarify it and add details you wouldn’t normally include in something as formal as a resume. Provide an example or two of some real world problems you solved and how you solved them. You’ve written some really good things in your cover letter, but it reads a bit like a collection of post-it notes put together in random order without any real flow or excitement to your cover letter.

    Now for the good news: All of these problems are fixable. I happen to be in the business of writing letters for people and revising resumes to fit an expected format. If you need some help with this, I’ll be happy to assist you. Contact me through Yahoo Answers and I’ll be happy to provide you my contact information and some examples of some of what I have done.

  3. Pete B says:

    You have a lot of great qualifications and experience, but your résumé could use some tightening up. Here’s what I would do:

    Remove the word “assisted” from your ESL gig.

    Just because you assisted the teacher doesn’t mean you didn’t have any responsibilities of your own. I would talk about the duties you actually performed.

    “Raised funds for various non-profit organizations.” — How many funds? $10,000? $1,000,000? Which organizations? Stating how much you’ve raised and for whom adds credibility.

    “Provided superior customer service” — That’s great, but elaborate.

    As far as your cover letter:

    You talk a lot about your customer service skills which is great, and congratulations on your awards! But would I would do is spell out how these particular skills would benefit the potential employer (see: http://lifeninjas.com/work/the-real-way-to-talk-about-skills-on-your-resume).

    It’s great that you were recognized for the highest sales of May 07, but what does it mean to your future employer? Maybe it means that you understand the ins and outs of the sales process and know how to instantly qualify a lead. If you’re applying for a position with a non-profit, maybe it means you know how to build relationships with constituents in order to encourage giving.