Resume, Cover Letter and CV Frequently Asked Questions
Find all the answers you need to know about how to use My Perfect Resume to easily create professional resumes, CVs and cover letters.
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My Perfect Resume Expertise
What does My Perfect Resume do?
My Perfect Resume is here to help you get hired for the job you want. Our career experts and certified professional writers provide recruiter-approved, job-specific resume and cover letter templates and examples, as well as resume advice and resources, job search tools, and an award-winning Resume Builder.
What do I get with Full Access?
Joining a Full Access plan on My Perfect Resume gives you the following benefits:
- Save, download, and print an unlimited number of resumes and cover letters in all the major formats, including MS Word, PDF and .TXT.
- Access your resumes and cover letters and edit them anytime, anywhere.
- Use dozens of our professionally designed resume and cover letter templates, suitable for every industry and job.
- Copy and paste a job description from any listing and get a job-specific resume match score. We’ll guide you through tailoring your resume for the job!
- Search our extensive jobs network by industry, location or company with our Chrome extension, and apply for jobs with just one click.
- Use our tools to check your resume for grammar, spelling and other common mistakes.
Is your staff experienced resume writers?
Yes! The writing staff at My Perfect Resume features certified professional resume writers who specialize in providing user-friendly tips to create top-notch resumes and cover letters, as well as helpful career guidance.
Learn how our examples and templates can help you.
What is a resume template?
Resume templates serve as a foundation for your resume:
- They provide a structure and layout for your resume.
- They organize your professional information with employer-ready sections.
- They give your resume a polished, streamlined look.
How do I use a resume template?
Once you know what type of resume template fits your needs, go to our Resume Builder, pick the template you want, and we’ll guide you through the rest, section by section. Our builder goes the extra mile by suggesting job-specific keywords and phrases you can use, and ensuring your resume has no spelling or grammatical errors. You can save your work at any point, and preview and edit your resume before you save and download it.
Are My Perfect Resume templates recruiter-approved?
My Perfect Resume’s resume and cover letter templates are designed and created by certified professional resume writers. Any template you use is “employer-ready.”
What is an applicant tracking system?
Employers often use software called applicant tracking systems (also known as ATS) to scan resumes and cover letters. ATS searches for keywords and phrases that match what the job needs, and grades candidates based on how well their resumes and cover letters meet these requirements.
Are your resume templates capable of passing ATS?
My Perfect Resume’s templates are professionally designed with ATS software in mind. Our resume templates are easy to scan, use headers and footers correctly, and employ appropriate and readable fonts, as well as clear margins. These elements make it easy for ATS programs to accept your resume.
What is a resume example?
Resume examples are resume “mock-ups” that show you how a resume should look. We provide resume examples for hundreds of specific jobs and industries, showing you how to best organize and write your document.
How do I use a resume example?
Get the best out of our examples by following these guidelines:
- Think about the type of job you want. Is it in a creative field? Is the industry more traditional?
- Consider your work experience, and the best resume format for highlighting your strengths and accomplishments.
- Review our resume templates for a layout that fits your needs.
- Select the resume example you want, and use our builder to create your resume.
What are the main resume formats?
The three standard resume formats are chronological, functional and combination.
The chronological resume format is the most common, and is a good fit for job candidates with extensive work experience. A functional resume is more skills-based, and places job seekers’ training and abilities front and center — ideal for candidates with less experience or first-time job seekers. The combination resume format, as the name suggests, presents a robust mix of work history and skills.
How do I select a resume format?
Choose your format based on these factors:
- What is your current career level?
- How much work history do you have?
- Do you have plenty of skills that fit the job?
Your format should display your best attributes, whether it’s work experiences that match what the job needs, or in-demand skills that set you apart from other job seekers.
How long should a resume be?
Resumes should be two pages long, at maximum. If you can communicate your most important qualifications and experiences within one page, this gives you an advantage, as recruiters and hiring managers usually spend less than a minute reviewing your information. The one major exception to the two-page rule: a resume for a job that requires extensive work history (e.g., over 10 years of experience). For more details, see our How Long Should a Resume Be article.
How does your Resume Builder work?
My Perfect Resume’s Resume Builder helps you create an eye-catching resume that earns you a job interview in minutes:
- Choose a resume template, using our examples as a guide.
- Answer a few questions, such as how many years of work experience you have.
- Fill out each section of the template at your own pace — we provide suggestions every step of the way.
- Customize your resume to fit the job you want.
- Preview, proofread and edit your document.
- Save and download it.
- Send it to the employer, along with your cover letter.
Do I need a different resume for each job?
Yes! We always recommend that you create a new resume for every job you apply to. No two jobs are exactly alike — even a position with the same job title can be very different depending on the company. Customizing your resume for every job increases your chances of passing ATS, and featuring information that answers each employer’s specific requirements.
Can I easily customize my resume for different jobs?
Customizing or creating different versions of your resume is a breeze in My Perfect Resume’s Resume Builder. You can start over from the beginning and use as many templates as you want, or save your current resume under a different name, and edit and rewrite it as much as you need.
How long does it take to write a resume in your builder?
It takes an average of 15 minutes to write a resume using our Resume Builder.
Should I add my photo to my resume?
Typically, you don’t need to add a photo, and here’s why:
- It’s not necessary. You’re usually better off using your resume space to detail your best traits and accomplishments, rather than taking up valuable space with a photo.
- It’s distracting. You want hiring managers and recruiters to focus on your relevant skills and work experience, not your photo.
- It can be used to discriminate. Whether intentional or not, a hiring manager might discriminate against you based on race, gender and age. In fact, many companies reject resumes with photos instantly to avoid accusations of discrimination down the line.
- It’s not ATS-friendly. ATS can have a hard time with images, and if it claims it can’t read your otherwise perfect resume correctly, it hurts your chance to get the job.
Should I use graphics and fancy fonts to stand out?
Your resume isn’t the place to use flashy graphics and fonts. Here’s why:
- Applicant tracking systems (ATS) can have trouble scanning resumes filled with unusual design touches.
- Some hiring managers may find “over-designed” resumes too showy or unprofessional, and might suspect all the visual flash is camouflaging a lack of good qualifications.
- Graphics can distract from your content: Employers are often busy reviewing multiple applications, and need to be able to read your resume quickly, so don’t throw them off with extravagant visuals.
Our resume templates and examples are designed to have some visual flair while also being readable and organized.
How do I show my accomplishments on my resume?
Don’t just list responsibilities and everyday tasks in your work history section. Instead, focus on accomplishments. Use active verbs to describe them, and add metrics and numbers to give them greater impact.
How do I determine the skills to show on my resume?
Always start with the job description. Go through the job’s requirements and skills needed, and take note of abilities that match your own. Then include those skills on your resume, making sure to feature both soft (intangible) and hard (technical) resume skills
How many years of experience should I show on my resume?
Limit your work history to the past 10 years, but you can go beyond that if you have relevant experience. But above all, keep your work history concise.
Curriculum Vitae (CVs):
Build a top-notch CV using our examples and tools.
What is a CV?
A CV is a detailed document that lists your entire academic and professional history, including everything from publications to research projects, affiliations with professional organizations, fellowships and scholarships, lectures and awards. They tend to be used by graduate students, or for academic, scientific or medical jobs.
What is the difference between a resume and CV?
In the U.S., a resume is a concise document (a couple of pages at most) that focuses on your work history, skills and top achievements. On the other hand, a CV is a comprehensive document that can be multiple pages long, and includes professional and academic achievements. In countries other than the U.S. and UK, CVs are the equivalent of an American resume.
How many pages should a CV be?
A CV can be as long as needed, as long as you’re providing all the educational and professional information the employer needs to see.
When do I need a CV?
It’s rare for a U.S. company to request a CV, but Ph.D. candidates, professors, academics, scientists, researchers or medical doctors often need it to apply for specific jobs. A CV is also usually needed for a fellowship, grant, teaching position or a job in an academic or research field.
What is a CV template?
A CV template is a useful tool that provides the layout required to give a CV a professional look and feel. My Perfect Resume’s professionally designed CV templates come in different styles and are customizable, so you can add sections to suit your needs, background and goals.
How do I use a CV template?
Visit our CV templates page and pick a template that best fits your needs. Then use our Resume Builder to help you complete each section of the CV quickly and easily. Just create additional sections as needed for all your information (e.g., “Certifications” or “Publications”).
What is a CV example?
We provide CV examples for all types of jobs and industries — use them as a guide for writing your own, based on how we utilize clean, crisp layouts, and provide content that fits what the job is looking for.
How do I use a CV example?
To get the best use of a CV example:
- Assemble a list of skills, accomplishments, and professional and academic experiences that fits the job you want, or the grant you seek.
- Review our CV examples, and apply their approach to your own CV.
- Better yet, select an example and our builder will help you create your CV.
How do I use the Resume Builder to create my CV?
Writing a professional CV using our Resume Builder is a snap:
- Go directly to our Resume Builder, then choose a template that suits your needs.
- Follow the builder instructions to enter your contact information and work experience.
- After completing the primary sections (education), you’ll have the opportunity to add other important sections, such as “Scholarships and Grants,” with our “add a section” function.
- Preview/edit your work, and adjust your document margins, fonts and colors as needed.
- Review and spell check your CV, then save and download it. Create as many CVs (or new versions of your CV) as you want.
We’ll help you write every kind of cover letter.
What is a cover letter template?
Cover letter templates help you write your own cover letter, by doing the following:
- Providing a professional look and layout for your cover letter.
- Providing an example of content you can use to create your letter.
- Serving as a “blueprint” for your cover letter.
How do I use a cover letter template?
Just choose a cover letter template, or use our Cover Letter Builder, which will guide you through each section. Throughout the process, we’ll suggest phrases and provide tips that will help polish your letter. You can edit, save and download as many cover letters as you like.
What is a cover letter example?
Our cover letter examples show you how to write cover letters for a variety of situations, from applying to a job to networking with a prospective employer. Use these examples to help format and create your own letter.
How do I use a cover letter example?
To get the most out of our examples, follow these tips:
- Think about the type of job you want, your skills and your work experience.
- Think about how you want to present your best attributes in your letter.
- Pick one of our cover letter examples that best fits what you want to write.
- Use the content in our example as a foundation for writing your own cover letter.
What is a cover letter format?
The cover letter format is the layout of your letter, or how it will look to the reader — everything from colors and graphic elements to its fonts, line spacing and margins. Our examples and templates are perfectly formatted for any use.
How should I address my cover letter if I can’t find the hiring manager’s name?
You can address your letter using the person’s job title, such as “Product Department Hiring Manager.” Stay away from phrases like “Dear Sir or Madam,” or “To Whom it May Concern” — they’re too generic, and only make you look outdated.
How does your Cover Letter Builder work?
My Perfect Resume’s Cover Letter Builder helps you write an attention-grabbing cover letter in minutes. Here’s how:
- Choose a cover letter template or cover letter example to work with (you can also upload an existing cover letter).
- Use our Builder’s job-specific examples to help build each section of your letter, from the greeting to the conclusion.
- Review and edit your document using our formatting tools and spell-checker.
- Save and download your letter, and send it to the employer along with your resume.
How long does it take to write a cover letter in your builder?
From start to finish, it takes about 15 minutes to create a letter using My Perfect Resume’s Cover Letter Builder.
Do I need a cover letter?
Unless the job application specifically requests you not to send a cover letter, it’s good practice to send one. When written correctly, a good cover letter can be a strong companion to your resume, and be a critical factor in getting you a job interview. The best cover letters give you the chance to introduce yourself and your skills, explain why you’re a good fit for the job opportunity, and provide more depth and context on your achievements.
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