The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Job Seekers - Career Library

Applying for the Job

The "Applying for the Job" area is where you will learn about three important items you will need when you are ready to apply for your job. They are your cover letter, your resume and your references.

The Cover Letter

A cover letter is your introduction letter when you apply for a job.  Here are some important points to remember when creating your cover letter.

  • A cover letter is your introduction letter when you apply for a job.  Here are some important points to remember when creating your cover letter:
  • A cover letter looks like a regular letter
  • It must be neat with no spelling errors. Ask a family member or your VR counselor to help you check it.
  • At the top of the letter, type the date, your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address if you have one.
  • Address it to the person to whom you are sending your cover letter and resume.
  • Include the name and address of the company to which you are applying for a job.
  • In the main part of your cover letter, include:
    • The job you are applying for
    • Where you saw the job listed. Did you see it in the newspaper, on the internet, or were you referred by your VR counselor?
    • Your qualifications for the job
    • A statement that you are enclosing your resume with this cover letter.
    • A request for a job interview
    • A thank you for the opportunity to apply for the job
  • Your cover letter should be printed or typed on a sheet of paper Separate from your resume
  • A sample of a cover letter

The Resume

What makes a Good Resume?

A resume is an honest, easy to read, impressive summary of your accomplishments, education, training and work history. Your resume is a tool with one specific purpose: to win you an interview. It should tell the prospective employer why they should call you in for an interview. It needs to include:

  • What your job objective is
  • Who you are
  • What jobs you've had in the past
  • What your strengths and accomplishments are
  • What skills and abilities you have
  • What education and training you have had

Make a list before you start.

  • Think about the jobs you have had...
    • What were your duties?
    • What did you do?
    • What skills and abilities did you use?
  • List all of your previous work experiences and what you did on the job. Don't take anything for granted. Be specific.
  • Whenever possible, put value into your statements by explaining not only what you did, but how well you did it
  • List your education and training
  • Remember to include if you volunteer and the organizations you belong to

Your VR counselor can be a big help in working with you to create your resume.

  • It should be only one page long
  • Have no spelling errors
  • Be honest about your accomplishments

More About Resumes

Your References

What are references?

References are very important when you are looking for a job. A reference is someone who knows who you are, and also knows something about the work you have done and the skills that you have.

  • You should have about three (3) references
  • References should be listed on a separate sheet of paper
  • Bring your sheet of references to your interview
  • Do not send your references with your resume

Some examples of people who make good references are:

  • Your manager or supervisor
  • Your teacher or pastor
  • A co-worker or civic leader
  • Your VR counselor

A few other reference reminders:

  • Ask the person if it is OK to use them as a reference
  • Let your references know the job you are applying for
  • Ask your references if they want to be contacted at home or at office