Use Resume and Cover-Letter Samples Carefully


Mike writes:
Not too long ago I used one of your samples for resume and cover letter writing.
I must say they really helped me.


The Career Doctor responds:
OK. So technically there is no question here but I wanted to address this
issue because I had been recently interviewed on the subject of job-seekers
borrowing too heavily from samples found on job-search Websites and
books. And by the way I am not saying that Mike did anything wrong; I
am assuming he used the samples correctly.
Why do career professionals provide samples? I know I do so as a learning
tool. I want you to be able to see what a good resume cover letter thank-you letter etc. looks like. I have seen so much poorly written job-seeker
correspondence that I thought it important for you to see good examples.
But I do not expect job-seekers to copy phrases or sentences word-for-word
in academic circles we call that plagiarism and if I were a hiring manager I
would call it a reason not to interview or hire you. Borrowing someone else s
work brings into question your ethics — and work ethic.
So please use the samples you find as guidelines for what your resume or
cover letter should look like and sound like but do not lift whole chunks and
use them as your own. And be sure to read the accompanying articles that
describe in detail how to develop your job-search documents.
One final point. Someone raised the question of the difference between
borrowing a sample resume versus hiring a professional to write the resume
for you. The difference is one is stealing someone else’ s work (that may not
even apply to you) and the other is paying a professional to develop a
document specifically for you.
For those interested in samples check out the many sample job-search
materials we have in this section of Quintessential Careers:
Job-Hunting
Samples and Examples
.


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