Resume and Application Tips

We realize that condensing your expertise, training and experience into a few pages on an application can be challenging. We also realize that you have given much thought to every detail included in your resume. Use these tips as a way to view your resume from a fresh perspective.


Resume Tips:

  • Proofread the document very carefully. An error or misspelling on a resume may communicate to the reader that you do not have strong attention to detail. Consider asking a peer to proofread your resume.
  • When considering the number of pages to include, focus on highlighting the most important information - make sure it is clear and concise. Including a few relevant details will be more impactful than including many details that are less applicable. Unless you are applying for a research position where you may submit a vita, one to two pages are typically recommended.
  • Be sure to include your full name, current e-mail address and phone number, work experience and education. Also consider including your mailing address, a short summary (two to three sentences), a short list of your areas of expertise, any research, publications professional presentations, or patents, professional affiliations, spoken languages (if multiple), technological competencies (e.g., Microsoft Office) and service/volunteer activities.
  • To capture the attention of the recruiter, include the most relevant information for the position at the top of your resume. For experienced hires, it is recommended that you start with you work experience. For recent graduates or interns, it is recommended that you start with your education.
  • Customize your resume to highlight different strengths and attributes for each application to best align with the position for which you are applying. As you build additional experiences, remove items that are outdated or have become less relevant.
  • When describing your work experience, focus not just on your responsibilities, but your accomplishments. Highlight your achievements and strengths as they can distinguish you from other applicants.
  • When listing your job title, use the industry accepted title versus your internal job title. Search the selected title on O*NET to confirm your choice. If the search results do not align with your expectations, consider updating your title.
  • For technical positions, use terminology and terms that can be understood by non-technical reviewers of your resume. While the resume should include the details for inform a technical reader, a recruiter will probably review the resume first and likely does not have the level of training that you do within the field. Having a resume that is clear and concise will serve you better than using technical, verbose terms.
  • Your experiences beyond your previous work roles are important. Use your volunteer and extracurricular activities to highlight your accomplishments.
  • Include important keywords in your resume. While at Dow we review each resume for applicants meeting the minimum requirements, some companies use a tool that automatically ranks resumes using keywords. If you do not use the correct keywords, your resume may not be reviewed.
  • Unless you’re applying for a graphic design position, use a simple format that clearly defines each section and entices the reader to review the entire document. Prepare the document in a word processor (e.g., Microsoft Word) to increase the likelihood that reviewers can open the document. This will also increase the likelihood that you can import the information included in your resume to the digital application process that most companies use today.
  • Before submitting your resume, ensure that every detail accurately represents your experiences and level of expertise.

And, if you’re a U.S. Veteran looking for a job at Dow, check out our supplemental tips.


Cover Letter Tips:

While a cover letter is often optional for an application, it is encouraged that you include this introduction to your application. These cover letters should be short, concise and viewed as a tool to entice the reviewer to consider your application.
  • Proofread the document very carefully. An error or misspelling on a resume may communicate to the reader that you do not have strong attention to detail. Consider asking a peer to proofread your cover letter.
  • The style and formatting of your cover letter should match your resume.
  • The ideal cover letter should be approximately half of a page and not exceed one page.
  • Customize your cover letter to the position for which you are applying.
  • When possible, address the cover letter to a named person.
  • The cover letter typically includes your contact information, a reference to the position for which you are applying, how you became aware of the position, a brief summary of your qualifications and how they align to the position and a strong closing statement.
  • When describing your qualifications, focus on being confident without coming across as arrogant.

Application Tips:

Much like your resume, we realize that condensing your expertise, training and experience into a few questions in an application can be challenging. The following tips can be used to increase the effectiveness of your application for the position of interest.
  • Proofread the application very carefully. An error or misspelling on an application may communicate to the reviewer that you do not have strong attention to detail. Consider asking a peer to proofread your application.
  • Most companies request much of the information that is also included in your resume. All of the tips for creating an effective resume also apply to the application form.
  • Many companies have implemented the ability to upload your personal information from a social network profile, such as your LinkedIn profile. Keeping your social profile updated will allow for you to easily keep your application materials current and more efficiently apply for open positions.
  • If possible and unless requested not to do so, always attach your cover letter and resume to the application. Even if you upload the information from your resume into the web application, reviewers may often refer back to your resume.
  • Some questions in the application are considered optional. Take the time to carefully consider each question.
  • Some companies allow you to use one profile to apply to more than one position. Ensure that your profile is current and your experiences and skill sets are prioritized in alignment with the position for which you are currently applying.
  • Unless the company states otherwise and if more than one similar position with equivalent minimum requirements is available, express your interest in both roles.
  • As social media continues to play an increasingly important role, your online social presence may impact your employment opportunities. Some companies review public social media profiles of candidates when making a hiring decision. When applying for positions, consider the potential impact of any social profiles and the information that you share that can be viewed by the general public. For some roles such as in public affairs, having a strong, professional social presence can be an asset.
  • A recruiter often calls top applicants using the number that you provide and may be directed to your voicemail. Review your voicemail before applying to positions to ensure it’s professional.

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