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.

What does My Perfect Resume do?

At My Perfect Resume, our career development experts, certified professional resume and cover letter writers, and recruitment specialists are here to help job seekers get hired. We offer recruiter-approved, job-specific resume and cover letter examples, a variety of resume templates and cover letter designs, expert reviews, advice, resources, job search tools, and an award-winning Resume Builder.

What do I get with Full Access?

A Full-Access My Perfect Resume plan includes the following benefits:

  • Download and print unlimited resumes and cover letters in any format (PDF, MS Word, .TXT, Rich Text, web page).
  • Access your resumes and cover letters anytime from anywhere.
  • View dozens of resumes and cover letter templates for a range of industries.
  • 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, and apply with just one click.
  • Check your resume for grammar, spelling and other common mistakes instantly.
  • Build your unique and personalized story to persuade employers you’re right for the job, with the “Talk About My Resume” feature.
  • “Personalized Questions from Resume” feature, in which you receive a personalized list of interview questions that you’ll most likely be asked, along with expert answers.
  • “Job Offer Calculator” feature, in which you can check if your job offer is competitive with the market and learn how to negotiate a better offer.

Is your staff experienced resume writers?

Yes! My Perfect Resume has certified professional resume writers who create all the information about resumes and cover letters on the site.

Resume Writters

 

My Perfect Resume Expertise Updated

My Perfect Resume Expertise

What is a resume template?

A resume template is a useful tool that:

  • Gives you the overall structure and design of a resume.
  • Organizes your professional information within a professionally designed framework.
  • Gives your resume a polished look.
  • Is a reliable blueprint for a successful resume.

How do I use a resume template?

Once you know what resume template fits your needs, it’s time to write your resume.

My Perfect Resume’s Resume Builder guides you by section quickly and easily, until you complete your document. Just click “Start resume builder,” and we will walk you through the steps to fill out everything. Our builder goes the extra mile and provides relevant keywords and industry-specific phrasing, gives you tips through the process, and then helps you make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. You can save your progress along the way and edit your work before you save and download your final resume.

Are My Perfect Resume templates recruiter-approved?

Yes! My Perfect Resume’s professional resume and cover letter templates are created by certified professional resume writers and are recruiter-approved.

What is an applicant tracking system?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software program that scans resumes and cover letters for relevance to job openings. They help recruiters and hiring managers by searching for keywords and phrases that match the job description and ranking candidates based on how much their resumes and cover letters meet the employer’s requirements for the position.

Are your resume templates capable of passing ATS?

Yes! My Perfect Resume’s resume templates are professionally designed with applicant tracking system software in mind. They ensure proper placement of your information, correct use of headers and footers, appropriate and readable fonts, and clear margins. These elements together make it easy for ATS programs to accept resumes.

What is a resume example?

A resume example is a guide for job seekers who are looking for inspiration to write their own resume. Resume examples show candidates how to format their resume, what their resume will look like with each design, help them choose the best design for their experience level, industry and job title, and provide insight into the best resume-writing practices.

How do I use a resume example?

There are a couple of things you should consider to get the best use of a resume example:

  • Think about the type of job you want. Is it in a creative field? Is the industry more traditional?
  • Consider your years of work experience.
  • Select the appropriate format to showcase your accomplishments.
  • Review the design, the template used to build your resume.
  • Study the resume example and apply what you learn to your resume.

What are the main resume formats?

The three standard resume formats are chronological, functional and combination.

The most widely used is the chronological format, and it’s perfect for job seekers with an extensive work history of more than 10 years of experience. Functional resumes are more skills-based, as they put job seekers’ skills front and center ­— they’re ideal for candidates with less than two years of experience or fresh graduates. The combination format is just as the name suggests: a mix of the functional and chronological formats.

How do I select a resume format?

The correct resume format for you will depend on your career level, work history, skills and professional goals.

How long should a resume be?

Resumes should be no longer than two pages. You should always aim to have a one-page resume, as recruiters and hiring managers spend less than a minute reviewing your information. The only scenario where it’s acceptable to have a two-page resume is if you have more than 10 years of continuous work experience. Well-written resumes get straight to the point while conveying your qualifications accurately and clearly.

 How does your Resume Builder work?

My Perfect Resume’s Resume Builder helps you build an eye-catching and interview-winning resume in minutes. Here’s how:

  • Choose a resume template using our resume examples as a guide.
  • Answer a few questions (i.e., “How much work experience do you have?”).
  • Fill out each section of the template at your own pace — we’ll help you!
  • Customize your resume to suit the job you’re applying for.
  • Proofread and edit your resume.
  • 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 job is identical — even if you apply for roles with the same job title in the same industry, they will be different. Every company also has different goals and values, and your resume should reflect that you fit in with their culture and team. So read each job description carefully and tailor your resume to match it.

Can I easily customize my resume for different jobs?

My Perfect Resume’s Resume Builder makes it a breeze to customize your resume for each job. You can start from scratch with the template of your liking, or you can edit and rewrite a previous resume even after you’re finished with it. Just make sure you save it with a new file name for the next job.

How long does it take to write a resume in your builder?

It takes approximately 15 minutes to write a resume using our Resume Builder.

Should I add my photo to my resume?

No, unless you’re an actor or a model, and here’s why:

  1. It’s not necessary. Your resume has to be concise and fit all your relevant qualifications, so you need all the space you can get. A photo won’t help you get an interview, but it will take up valuable space.
  2. It’s distracting. You want hiring managers and recruiters to focus on your relevant skills and work experience, not your photo.
  3. 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, most companies have policies to reject resumes with photos instantly to avoid accusations of discrimination down the line.
  4. It’s not applicant tracking system (ATS)-friendly. ATS, which most companies use to filter and scan resumes for relevance, can’t read images. If an ATS can’t scan your otherwise perfect resume because it has a photo, then it will reject it immediately, eliminating your chance to get the job.
  5. It’s considered unprofessional. Many hiring managers and recruiters think resumes with headshots are unprofessional, mainly due to the factors listed above. Those hiring managers won’t take you seriously as a candidate and will reject you without even bothering to read your credentials.

Should I use graphics and fancy fonts to stand out?

Your resume isn’t the place to use graphics and fancy fonts, and here’s why:

  • Applicant tracking systems (ATS) can’t scan resumes filled with graphics and inappropriate fonts, so it’s likely your resume won’t make it to a hiring manager, and all your effort will be wasted.
  • It will look like you’re trying too hard and hiring managers might view you as desperate. No one wants desperate candidates.
  • Some hiring managers find fancy resumes showy and narcissistic — traits that are often frowned upon.
  • They distract from your qualifications. Hiring managers are busy reviewing multiple applications, so they need to be able to read through your resume quickly. Don’t make them look for your relevant information, or they may just move on to the next candidate.
  • Some hiring managers see graphical resumes as unprofessional. Sure, a highly stylized resume might get you noticed, but not in a positive way.

How do I show my accomplishments on my resume?

Accomplishments are one of the most important parts of your resume because they tell employers exactly what you can achieve for them. Instead of listing your responsibilities, add your achievements to your work history and quantify them with numbers for a more significant impact.

Resumes

Resumes

For example:

Instead of writing: “Takes vital signs, records health data, and performs procedures including venipuncture, measuring blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration, weight and height.”

Try writing: “Measures and records health data and performs routine procedures such as venipuncture for an average of 65 patients per day with a consistent patient approval rating of 100%.”

How do I determine the skills to show on my resume?

Determine which skills to use on your resume by reading the job description carefully and taking note of which requirements match your skill set. Include those skills on your resume, making sure to use a mix of soft and hard skills to show that you’re a well-rounded candidate.

How many years of experience should I show on my resume?

Generally, you should show no more than 10 years of work experience on a resume to stay current and keep your resume at the recommended two-pages maximum. You can show 15 to 20 years of experience if it’s relevant, but make sure to keep it concise. It helps if you’ve only worked for a handful of companies in that time and if you use a combination resume format.

What is a CV?

In the United States, a CV is a detailed and lengthy document that lists a person’s entire academic and professional history. They include everything from publications to research projects, speaking engagements, fellowships, lectures and awards. They tend to be used the most by graduate students, academics, scientists and doctors.

What is the difference between a resume and CV?

In the United States, a resume is a concise document of no more than two pages that only captures your work history, skills and top achievements. It’s used by people from the public sector, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to apply to jobs.

In comparison, a CV is a comprehensive and hefty document that can be up to 10-pages long that contains an applicant’s professional and academic achievements. They are most often used for those whose jobs rely on research, publications and public speaking. In other countries, CVs are the equivalent of an American resume. They are short documents used for a lot of industries.

How many pages should a CV be?

A CV can be as long as necessary to provide the required information about a candidate.

When do I need a CV?

It’s rare for a U.S. company to request a CV. The people who use it most are Ph.D. candidates, professors, academics, scientists, researchers or medical doctors. A CV is usually requested to apply for a fellowship, grant, teaching position or a job in your 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?

First, you must choose a CV template that meets your needs, then it’s time to build your CV. My Perfect Resume’s Resume Builder helps you by taking you through each section quickly and easily — and makes it a breeze to add custom sections. Just click “Create a new resume,” and we will walk you through each step. We’ll even give you tips throughout the process and provide relevant keywords and phrases. You can save your progress along the way and edit your work before saving it and downloading your final CV.

What is a CV example?

A CV example is a guide for candidates who are looking for inspiration for writing their own CVs. CV examples help by showing you how to format a CV, choose the best design based on their experience and can provide insight into CV-writing best practices.

How do I use a CV example?

To get the best use of a CV example:

  • Consider the type of job you want or grant you seek.
  • Think about your professional and academic experience.
  • Select the appropriate format to showcase all of your accomplishments.
  • Review the design, the template used to build your CV.
  • Study the CV example and apply what you learn to your resume. 

How do I use the Resume Builder to create my CV?

Writing and customizing a professional CV using our Resume Builder is incredibly easy:

  1. Click the “Build My Resume” button to begin. Then choose a template from one of the four categories (Recommended, Traditional, Modern and Creative).
  2. Follow the prompted instructions from the builder to enter your contact information and work experience.
  3. After completing the guided sections, you’ll be able to edit your document.
  4. If you end up back in the dashboard after saving your document, simply click the pencil icon in the center of your document to start editing again. You will find the breakdown of your CV sections on the right side of the edit menu, below the “Spell Check” function. To get to the custom sections menu, click “Add a Section.”
  5. Once you’ve clicked the “Add a section” plus sign, that will direct you to the menu with available add-ons such as Activities & Honors, Accomplishments and Certifications. You can also select “Add a Custom Section” to create additional sections.
  6. When you’ve finished adding a new section, you will be directed back to the editing menu, where you can go over the area with your mouse to move, edit, or delete unnecessary information. To organize the section layout of your document, hover over the area you want to move, and an icon with arrows will pop up on the top right of the section box.
  7. Once you have returned to the editing menu, if you would like to format your document click the “formatting” arrow at the bottom of the page, in between “template” and “color.” That’s where you can adjust the margins, font size, font style and spacing.
  8. To choose from eight different colors for your document, simply go back to the bottom menu and select the “color” arrow on the far right.
  9. If you want to change your template selection, go to the far left of the bottom menu and select the “template” arrow.
  10. Make sure to spell check your document and then click the “Save & Next” button by the “color” arrow before downloading your CV to save your work.
Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae (CVs)

What is a cover letter template?

A cover letter template is a professionally designed and formatted tool to help applicants write their cover letters quickly. They:

  • Provide the overall structure and design of cover letters.
  • Organize cover letters within a recruiter-approved framework.
  • Give cover letters a polished look.
  • Are reliable blueprints for successful cover letters.

How do I use a cover letter template?

After choosing the best cover template for your needs, it’s time to write your cover letter. My Perfect Resume’s Cover Letter Builder guides you through each section quickly and easily. Just click “Start cover letter builder,” and we will help you do this section by section. We’ll even provide relevant keywords and give you tips throughout the process. You’ll have the chance to save your progress along the way and edit your work before you save and download your final cover letter.

What is a cover letter example?

A cover letter example serves as a guide for job applicants who want inspiration for writing their cover letters. Our cover letter samples show job seekers how to format a cover letter, choose the best design based on their experience level, industry and job title, and provide valuable insight into cover letter writing best practices.

How do I use a cover letter example?

To get the best use of a cover letter example:

  • Think about the type of job you want.
  • Consider your work experience.
  • Review the design, which is the template you will use to build your cover letter.
  • Study the cover letter example and apply what you learn to your cover letter.

What is a cover letter format?

A cover letter format is a framework that makes your cover letter clean and readable — from the way it is organized to its line spaces, margins, font types and font sizes.

How should I address my cover letter if I can’t find the hiring manager’s name?

If you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, then address them in specific terms, like “Accounting Department Hiring Manager.” That way, your cover letter will likely go to the right person.

Avoid using phrases like “Dear Sir or Madam,” or “To Whom it May Concern,” not only because they are outdated and make it look like you haven’t tried to find the hiring manager, but also because they are too general and could get your resume in the hands of the wrong person.

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 using our cover letter examples to guide you.
  • Upload your existing cover letter or personalize one of ours.
  • Use the job-specific example text from our builder to help you create compelling and descriptive paragraphs based on your job experience and qualifications.
  • Polish it off with our easy-to-use formatting tool and spell-checker.
  • Proofread it for grammar and accuracy.
  • Save and download it.
  • Send it to the employer along with your resume.

How long does it take to write a cover letter in your builder?

It takes approximately 15 minutes to use My Perfect Resume’s Cover Letter Builder from start to finish!

Do I need a cover letter?

Unless the job application specifically says “Do not send a cover letter,” you should always send a cover letter. When written correctly, a good cover letter is a strong companion to your resume and can be the critical factor in getting an interview. This is because cover letters help you stand out, provide the opportunity to introduce yourself and give depth and context to the information on your resume.

Cover Letters

Cover Letters

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