Frequently Asked Questions About Resumes, Cover Letters and CVs
Below, we’ve answered our most commonly asked questions about how LiveCareer helps you build excellent resumes, cover letters and CVs easily.
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What services does LiveCareer offer?
LiveCareer’s certified resume and cover letter writers, recruitment specialists and career advice experts can help you land the job you want. We provide nearly 700 recruiter-approved resume and cover letter examples, a wide selection of templates for resumes and cover letters, individualized resume reviews, expert resume and cover letter writing services, advice articles, job search tools, and of course, our award-winning Resume Builder.
What additional features come with Full Access?
With Full Access, LiveCareer helps you do even more:
- Access your resumes and cover letters from anywhere, anytime.
- Use our job boards to explore opportunities by location, company or industry, and submit an application in only one click.
- Download or print limitless resumes and cover letters in any major file format (MS Word, PDF, .TXT, Rich Text or as a web page).
- Pick from dozens of templates for both resumes and cover letters, each designed with a wide range of industries in mind.
- Instantly check your resume for spelling errors and other common issues.
- Get ready for interviews with practice questions, etiquette tips and more.
- Find up-to-date salary information for job titles in any area or industry.
What if I need additional resume-writing help?
Our team of professional resume writers are here to help! It only takes three simple steps to sign up:
- Sign in to your LiveCareer account.
- Select “Resumes” or “Cover Letters” along the top navigation bar.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, then click “Find out more” under the right-hand “Resume and Cover Letter Writing” option.
Are the resume writers on your staff experienced?
Yes, LiveCareer’s team of Certified Professional Resume Writers write all of the resume and cover letter-related information found on the site.
How do I review LiveCareer’s products and services?
If you want to leave a review about your experience with LiveCareer’s services, you’re welcome to post your feedback to our Trustpilot page. Keep in mind that we do not offer any incentives or compensation for leaving positive reviews, so if you suspect you’ve found evidence of this behavior, please alert our content moderation team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a resume template?
Resume templates make building a resume easier by:
- Pre-establishing a resume’s overall layout and look.
- Ensuring the details of your career and qualifications are structured in an easily understandable, recruiter-friendly way.
- Guaranteeing your resume appears polished.
- Offering an expert-approved blueprint for an effective resume.
How is a resume template used?
Once you pick the resume template that best suits the job you want, the next step is writing your resume. Offering quick, section-by-section writing assistance, LiveCareer’s Resume Builder is the easiest way to get this done. We’ll guide you through the creation of each critical section, as well as supply you with keyword suggestions and other helpful resume-writing tips. You can save your progress at any time, and it’s easy to edit your resume before finalizing and downloading the finished document.
Are all of LiveCareer’s resume templates recruiter-friendly?
What are applicant tracking systems?
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are software used by employers to scan applicants’ resumes and cover letters for text related to the job they apply for. These key terms are often pulled directly from job descriptions, and candidates are automatically ranked based on how well their resume and cover letter aligns with these specifically worded requirements.
Can LiveCareer’s resume templates pass an ATS scan?
Yes, each of LiveCareer’s resume templates is crafted to pass scans performed by ATS (applicant tracking system) programs. Our recruiter-approved, expertly designed templates guarantee that your information is laid out strategically, headers and footers are used correctly, no inappropriate fonts are used, and that margins are clear and properly sized. Taking care of these elements ahead of time makes it much easier for a resume to be approved by an ATS.
What is a resume example?
LiveCareer’s resume examples are resume-writing guides any job seeker can follow. Written by our team of certified resume writers, these examples demonstrate how to choose the best format for your level of experience, how to pick a template appropriate for your industry, and display many resume-writing best practices in action.
How do I use a resume example?
Here’s how to get the most out of our resume examples:
- Consider the kind of job you want.
- Think back on your employment history.
- Pick the format that displays your skills and experience in the most flattering way.
- Look over the design of the example, which was built using a resume template.
- Apply lessons learned from studying the example when building your resume.
What are the main resume formats?
The three main resume formats are: functional, chronological and combination. Chronological resumes are most commonly used, and they best suit job seekers with many years of work experience. A resume in a functional format, sometimes also called a “skills-based” resume, emphasizes one’s skills over their work history. A combination resume format, as you might guess, combines the chronological and functional formats.
How do I choose the right resume format?
Your choice of resume format should be dictated by your level of experience, the length and consistency of your employment history, your skill set and your career goals.
How long is a resume supposed to be?
No resume should be longer than two pages. The majority of job seekers should only use a single page, but applicants with a decade of experience or more may be better suited by the room two pages allow. Well-written resumes are typically short and concise, and clearly and accurately communicate an applicant’s qualifications.
How do you use LiveCareer’s Resume Builder?
Our Resume Builder simplifies the process of putting together a job-winning resume in only minutes:
- Referring to our resume examples as a guide, select your resume template.
- Answer some basic questions (i.e., “How long have you been working?”).
- Add content to each area of your resume — we’ll guide you, section by section.
- Adjust the look and layout of your document to match the job to which you apply.
- Proofread your writing and make edits to your resume.
- Save then download your resume in your preferred file format.
- Submit it to an employer, paired with a cover letter.
Do I need a new resume for every job?
For the best odds of success, job seekers should write a different resume for each job to which they apply. This means customizing your writing to reflect the unique requirements of each job, because no two jobs are the same. Even when submitting applications for two identically named positions within the same industry, the roles won’t be exactly alike. All employers have unique needs, so your resume should appeal to those above all else. Read over every job description with care so you can customize your resume accordingly.
Is it easy to customize resumes for different jobs?
Using LiveCareer’s Resume Builder is the easiest way to customize your resume to match any job. Start fresh by choosing a new template and following our guided process again, or simply edit an existing resume saved to your account. Just be sure to rename your resume before submitting it to a new employer.
How long does making a resume with your builder take?
LiveCareer’s Resume Builder makes it easy to write a resume in only 15 minutes.
Should I put my photo on my resume?
If you’re not a model, actor, or applying to a company that requests you do so, don’t put a photo of yourself on a resume.
Below are some of the main reasons to avoid this:
- It isn’t needed. A well-made resume is a concise one, and a photo will take up a lot of room on the page. Including a picture won’t boost your chances of being hired. It’ll only waste space that should be reserved for your relevant skills and experience.
- It’s a distraction. Don’t let your photo steal recruiters’ attention away from your qualifications.
- It could lead to discrimination. Even if they do so unconsciously, employers are more likely to act on racial, gender or age-related prejudices if their first impression of you includes your appearance. Many companies immediately reject resumes with photos to prevent being later accused of discrimination.
- It isn’t ATS-friendly. Applicant tracking software, which many employers use to scan resumes for job-related keywords, can’t read images. If your photo confuses an ATS as it parses your otherwise impressive resume, you’re much more likely to be rejected before a recruiter even knows your name.
- It may seem unprofessional. Most hiring managers find the inclusion of photos on resumes to be unprofessional, mostly for the above-mentioned reasons. These employers are unlikely to see you as a serious candidate, leading to your rejection before your candidacy is considered.
Can I use fancy fonts and graphics on a resume to stand out?
Among the many reasons to steer clear of including graphics or fancier fonts on a resume, the main ones are:
- As with your photo or any other image, applicant tracking systems (ATS) are unable to scan graphics or intricate fonts on resumes, making them likely to be rejected before reaching the hiring manager.
- Focusing too much on your resume’s visual elements may make you appear desperate, perhaps to draw attention away from other areas lacking on your resume.
- Recruiters might see overly fancy resumes as vain or self-centered.
- Visuals may distract from your actual qualifications. Hiring managers review many resumes; don’t slow them down as they look over yours, or they might give up on reading it all together.
- Some employers view graphics-heavy resumes as unprofessional. Stylized resumes may be more noticable, but that doesn’t mean they’re wanted.
How do I display accomplishments on a resume?
It’s critical to include accomplishments on a resume. These show hiring managers exactly what you’re capable of achieving for their company. Weave them into your work experience section instead of listing them separately, and measure them in terms of quantifiable figures.
Here’s an example:
Rather than: “Took vital signs, recorded other health information and carried out procedures including blood drawing and measuring blood pressure, respiration, pulse rate height and weight.”
You might write: “Recorded vital signs by measuring respiration, pulse rate and blood pressure for an average of 50 patients per day while maintaining a 99% positive approval rating from patients.”
Which skills should I put on my resume?
Base the contents of your resume’s skills section on any you have in common with those mentioned in the job description. Be sure to strike the right balance of hard and soft skills to present yourself as a well-rounded candidate.
How many years of experience should my resume show?
A common resume-writing best practice is to include no more than a decade of experience on a resume. This helps a resume meet the recommended two-page limit, and is a way to guarantee it won’t become outdated. If you have 15 to 20 years of relevant experience that would be beneficial to include, you may do so as long as it’s kept concise. This is easiest to accomplish if you use a combination resume format and only held several positions during that time.
What is a cover letter template?
A cover letter template is a professionally formatted and pre-designed tool that aids job seekers in more quickly writing a cover letter. These:
- Pre-establish a cover letter’s overall look and layout.
- Structure your cover letter’s content in a recruiter-friendly way.
- Guarantee your cover letter appears polished.
- Offer an expert-approved blueprint for an effective cover letter.
How is a cover letter template used?
Once you pick the template that best suits the job you want, the next step is writing your cover letter. Offering quick, section-by-section writing assistance, LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder is the easiest way to get this done. We’ll guide you through the construction of each critical section, as well as supply you with phrasing suggestions and other helpful tips. You can save your progress at any time, and it’s easy to edit your cover letter before finalizing and downloading the finished document.
What is a cover letter example?
LiveCareer’s cover letter examples are writing guides any job seeker can follow. Written by our team of experts, they demonstrate how to format the page, show how to pick a template appropriate for your industry, and display many writing best practices in action.
How do I use a cover letter example?
Here’s how to get the most out of our cover letter examples:
- Consider the kind of job you want.
- Think back on your employment history.
- Look over the design of the example, which was built with a cover letter template.
- Apply lessons learned from studying the example when building your cover letter.
What is a cover letter format?
Your cover letter’s format determines its overall look and presentation, including its font size and type, line spacing, margins and more.
How do you address a cover letter if you can’t find the name of the hiring manager?
If you’ve done the research but still can’t find a hiring manager’s name, do your best to address them in as specific terms as possible, such as “HR Department Hiring Manager.” This at least demonstrates an awareness of who will most likely receive your letter, and better guarantee that it goes to the right person.
Stay away from outdated greetings like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” Relying on these communicates a lack of effort in trying to find your potential hiring manager.
How does your Cover Letter Builder work?
LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder simplifies the process of quickly drafting an impressive cover letter:
- Referring to our cover letter examples as a guide, pick your cover letter template.
- Upload a recent cover letter or let us help you customize a new one.
- Customize our builder’s role-specific example text to craft a detailed and compelling letter unique to your qualifications and experience.
- Refine your document with our spell-checker and user-friendly formatting tools.
- Proofread your cover letter and make any final edits.
- Save, then download your document in your preferred file format.
- Submit it to an employer, paired with your resume.
How long does it take to write a cover letter in your builder?
It only takes 15 minutes to write a cover letter with LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder.
Do I need a cover letter?
Unless a job application explicitly tells you not to include one, always submit a cover letter alongside a resume, even if it’s not requested. Paired with a well-written resume, an impressive cover letter is often the deciding factor that lands someone an interview. Cover letters help job seekers stand apart from the competition, offer a formal chance for them to introduce themselves, and add in-depth context to a resume’s contents.
CVs (Curricula Vitae)
What is a CV?
For U.S. job seekers, a CV (or curriculum vitae) is a resume-like document that recounts their whole professional and academic history. These mention fellowships, research projects, lectures or talks given, work published in journals, research projects and other sources of experience. They’re commonly used by academics, doctors or scientists.
What’s the difference between a CV and a resume?
American CVs are long, exhaustive documents that cover all of an applicant’s academic and career accomplishments. They’re more typically used by people whose jobs revolve around academic research, scholarly publications and public speaking. Internationally, CVs are essentially equivalent to U.S. resumes. In other words, they’re shorter documents used by applicants in all industries.
American resumes are succinct documents no longer than two pages, used by job seekers in the public sector, nonprofit organizations or government agencies. They display their recent employment history, relevant skills, education and other notable achievements.
How many pages is a CV?
In the U.S., CVs are whatever length is required to communicate all of the necessary information about a job seeker.
When should I use a CV?
You may need to use a CV instead of a resume if you’re a physician, scientist, researcher, lecturer or professor, Ph.D. candidate or other type of academic. Those applying for teaching roles, fellowships or grants may also be expected to use a CV.
What is a CV template?
A CV template is a pre-built design and layout used to easily create a professional-looking CV. LiveCareer has a wide selection of expert-crafted CV templates, all in different styles and completely customizable. Add or edit each section to better fit your goals and experience.
How is a CV template used?
Once you pick the template that best suits the job you want, the next step is writing your CV. Offering quick, section-by-section writing assistance, LiveCareer’s Resume Builder is the easiest way to get this done. We’ll guide you through the creation of each critical section, as well as supply you with keyword suggestions and other helpful CV-writing tips. You can save your progress at any time, and it’s easy to edit your CV before finalizing and downloading your finished document.
What is a CV example?
LiveCareer’s CV examples are CV-writing guides any job seeker can follow. Written by our team of certified resume writers, these examples demonstrate how to choose the best format for your level of experience, show how to pick a template appropriate for your industry, and display many CV-writing best practices in action.
How do I use a CV example?
Here’s how to get the most out of our CV examples:
- Consider the kind of job you want.
- Think back on your academic and employment history.
- Pick the format that displays your skills and experience in the most flattering way.
- Look over the design of the example, which was built using a CV template.
- Apply lessons learned from studying the example when building your CV.
How do I use a Resume Builder to make a CV?
Crafting and customizing your professional CV with our Resume Builder is simple.
- Select “Build a Resume” to begin. Next, pick a template from one of our three categories: Modern, Traditional or Creative.
- Follow the builder’s instructions to enter your contact information, then the basics of your work history.
- Once you’ve been guided through each section, you’re free to edit your CV further. On the right-hand side of the screen, you will find the “Resume Check” and “Spell Check” options, a list of your CV sections, a button to “Add a section” and the option to “Download” your CV. To create custom sections, select “Add a Section.”
- Once you’ve chosen “Add a section,” you’ll find yourself in a menu in which you can create new sections, like “Accomplishments,” “Affiliations” and more. You can also enter a unique name below “Add your own,” check the box next to it, then click “Next” to create that section.
- Once you’ve completed the section, you’ll be back in the main editing menu, where you can edit, move or delete any area of your CV. To reorganize your document’s layout, hover over an individual section, then click and hold the four-pointed arrow icon to drag it to where you want to move it. To edit or delete a section, click the pencil or trashcan icon on the other side of the highlighted area, respectively.
- To adjust your CV’s formatting, click the “formatting” menu at the center of the bottom of the screen. There you can easily tweak spacing, margins, fonts and more.
- To switch to a different CV template, click the “template” menu on the left-hand side of the bottom of the page.
- To pick from one of eight different options for the color of your CV, choose the “Color” menu to the right of “formatting.”
- Don’t forget to take advantage of the “Spell Check” feature, then select the “Save & Next” button in the right-most, bottom corner of the screen. Once you’re back in the Dashboard, click “Download” to download your CV!