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Preparing Your Résumé and Cover Letter

Regardless of your occupation, work history, or objective, you need a résumé in order to get a job.

The handwritten application, in which you had to squeeze the required information into very small boxes, is largely out of use. Applying for a job today means submitting an electronic résumé via the Internet or completing an application form via a company’s Web site or at a kiosk in the employer’s offices.

A résumé is mandatory if part of your job-search plan is to place your application on file at an employer’s career site or a job-posting board. Think of your résumé as a personal advertisement and request for an interview.

General Portrayal of Age

Write your résumé to reflect a strongly positive and proud portrayal of your depth of capabilities and talents. Make no attempt to mislead or misinform the reader about your age. Most résumés require no more than 10 to 20 years of recent and relevant work history. Include earlier positions if they show qualifications for the position of interest. Generally avoid or minimize use of the word, "experience." Instead, emphasize  capabilities, qualifications, and achievements—not previous titles, duties, and length of service.

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