Your Cover Letter: Details Make the Difference

We’re not ones to turn up our noses at the glorious bounty of the internet. We love cat videos as much as (full disclosure: way more than) the average person. And the internet has certainly made job-hunting a billion times easier than paging through want ads with a highlighter. But the convenience of online communication has muddied the waters a bit when it comes to what’s appropriate and necessary when sending out job applications. Now, there's a lot to say on that topic, but we'll stick to just one for now: what's the status of the cover letter?

In an age where you can just fire off an email and attached resume to a prospective employer, cover letters can seem a bit stiff. Stodgy. Ye olde fashioned. But like the hand-written thank-you note and French cuffs, some old-fashioned things still make an impression. So yes. You still need one. Here are a few reasons why:

Cover letters give your potential employer a sense of your personality.

No matter how fabulous your credentials or how beautiful your resume looks, it can only do so much. The cover letter lets you show a bit of your personality through writing as you explain how you can be an asset to the company. The cover letter is your opportunity to sell yourself.

Cover letters prove you can communicate in writing.

The ability to string together a cogent sentence is a valuable one in business. Who knew? Strange but true. A well-written cover letter shows your potential boss that you're able to express yourself using the written word. It's an alarmingly rare skill, and one that can bump you to the top of the to-interview list.

Cover letters help you connect the dots for your potential employer.

How can your gap year in the jungles of Peru or your minor in pottery make you the strongest candidate for this position? It may not be immediately obvious to your potential employer if they've just glanced at your resume. Your cover letter is your opportunity to make it crystal clear.

Cover letters help you stand out.

In a rare bit of anonymous online wisdom, a commentor on Reddit says, “For me, not all good cover letters get an interview, but (nearly) everyone that gets interviewed has a good cover letter.” Your cover letter can help give you a boost over similarly qualified candidates. Wouldn't you hate knowing you lost an opportunity because some other guy wrote a cover letter and you didn't? Better safe than sorry.

Yes, writing a cover letter takes a lot more time and reflection than dashing off an e-mail, but it could be the thing that makes the difference between landing an interview and not. A good cover letter helps you stand out, which is why Loft Resumes includes an editable cover letter design with every resume purchase. It’s our job to help you get noticed.

(Photo Credit: Linda Cronin)

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
  • Category Career AdviceResume Advice
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5 Tips for Creating a Resume that Makes the Top of the “Interview” Pile

It’s a tough economy, and when you apply for a job, you’ll often be up against hundreds—if not thousands—of other qualified candidates. So what can you do to stand out? Make sure your resumé provides the best possible reflection of who you are. Here are a few ways to do that.

Keep it focused.

Employers are busy, and don’t have time to sift through pages to find the details they need. When crafting your CV, keep everything relevant to the position at hand: If you’re applying for a marketing position, include jobs and internships you’ve held in the field, but skip your college stint making sandwiches at Subway. It’s also helpful to include a “skills” section, in which you can point out talents that could prove useful. (Here’s where to brag about your 5,000 Twitter followers, if you know the job involves social media.)

Consider a photo.

While featuring a photo in your resumé, may not be right for your job choice, it can create a personal touch, which will make employers more likely to take a closer look at your application. Be wise about the type of position you’re looking for. If you’ve got the money for it, include a professional headshot.

 Hire a professional resume writer (or at least ask your friends and relatives for feedback.)

If you want to make your resume the best it can possibly be, consider hiring a professional resume writer to edit it to perfection. If you’re not able to do that, before sending your resumé off to a potential employer, ask people you know—especially those in the business world—to take a look at it and give you their honest feedback. Does a certain section seem a bit vague about your job responsibilities, or have you gone a little overboard on industry buzzwords? Take their opinions into account, and, if you hear the same criticisms frequently, revise your resumé accordingly—chances are, they’ll also be able to spot any typos or spelling errors that have made it in.

 Get a professional design.

Most resumés are simple black-and-white Word documents or PDFs. Stand out from the crowd with a professionally designed resume that’s been created by a graphic designer. You can select your favorite from dozens of creative template designs and classic template designs from our online store and receive a custom-typeset copy of your resumé.

 Send in a paper copy, even if it hasn’t been specifically requested.

If you submitted an online application, follow up with a mail package that includes your resumé, a business card, and a handwritten cover letter reiterating your interest in the job. This tactic is likely to help you get a second chance with corporate recruiters, even if your online application didn’t make an impression. 

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
  • Category Career AdviceResume Advice
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How to Run a Secret Job Search (Without Losing Your Current Job)

If you’re not happy in your current workplace, you might be itching to find a new career. But be careful when sending out resumés in response to job listings—if you’re not careful, your current boss might find out you’re seeking work. That could lead to a hostile work environment, or, worse, you might find yourself without a job at all.

Here are some strategies for running a job hunt while employed and avoiding an unpleasant scenario.

Don’t look at job sites or contact potential employers from workplace computers. The average workplace offers no privacy rights to its employees; your boss is free to monitor your work email account and web visit history even if she hasn’t specifically told you that she’s doing so. If you’re spending time on the job scouting out, you’re likely to get called out for your behavior.

Use your personal time for scheduled interviews. If you’re called in for an interview, don’t pretend that you have an appointment or that you’re taking a sick day—lying to your boss rarely ends well. If the potential workplace is close enough to get to during your lunch hour, try to schedule it during that time; if not, you may need to take a personal day if the interview can’t be done after-hours. If your boss asks what you’re doing, simply declare that you have “personal business” to attend to, recommends the Wall Street Journal.

Keep quiet about your job hunt. It may be tempting to tell your cubicle buddy that you’re seeking a new position, but try to keep your lips sealed: It can be difficult for colleagues to resist spreading the gossip, and you probably don’t want your supervisors to find out until you’re ready to announce your resignation. If you want to control the message, don’t tell anyone until you’re ready to leave.

Don’t let your productivity suffer. When you’ve already mentally checked out from your current job, you might find your work ethic begin to suffer. Pay extra attention to how well you’re meeting your workplace goals: Even if you’re not motivated to perform at top capacity, letting your performance slip may alert your employer that you’re on the hunt—or even put you in line for a pink slip.

Be honest with potential employers about your need for secrecy. When you send your resumé to a potential employer, include a cover letter that mentions that you have not told your current boss that you’re looking for work, so discretion is appreciated. If you aren’t clear about this, you may find potential employers calling your current boss for a reference without any warning, so it pays to take precautions.

If and when you do land a new job, try to be respectful of your current workplace by providing at least two weeks’ notice before you plan on making the move. Your boss may not be thrilled by the news regardless, but there’s no reason to make things uncomfortable until your job change is a sure thing.

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
  • Category Career Advice
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Loft Resumes Affiliate Referral Program

We're excited to announce the launch of the Loft Resumes Affiliate Referral Program. We're offering a 30% referral commission. Now anyone who signs up through your referrals can bring you income. Whether you're a resume writer, career counselor, customer, blogger, or anyone else, we'd love to have you partner with us in offering great visual resume design to job seekers around the world!

How does the affiliate system work?

  1. Sign up at You can also find this link at the bottom our website under Partnerships.
  2. You will receive a unique link that you can send out or embed on your site.
  3. Loft Resumes tracks any customers that have arrived from that unique link. You can log in to the system at any time to track your progress and history.
  4. Loft Resumes pays a 30% commission through PayPal or by check.

Once you're logged-in to the affiliate system, you can download banner ads and art that we've uploaded. We'll be uploading more and more ads as time goes on.

Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
  • Category News and Announcements
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Read the Official Loft Resumes Press Release

 Here's an excerpt from our official press release:

In today's high tech, computer-driven world, employers and consumers alike have come to expect both physical and digital documents to look more polished. "Design in general is increasingly important, particularly in certain industries,” Caldwell says. “And impeccable visual design is a great way to differentiate yourself from other job candidates and make the most of the 30 seconds that your resume has to impress an employer."

Read the Entire Press Release

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
  • Category Press
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Loft Resumes Featured on Fast Company Design

We were pleased to see a great article about Loft Resumes on Fast Company Design this morning. It's titled >New Service Gives Any Job Seeker A Slick, Custom Resume

A couple quotes from the article:

"... it sends a message that you’re the kind of person who takes job searching dead seriously. Why would you approach the job itself any differently?"

"Perusing entire stacks of single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman crammed improbably between the margins is enough to make a guy go cross-eyed."

Check it out and let us know what you think in their comments section. 

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
  • Category Press
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Loft Resumes Is Open For Business


Starting today, Loft Resume is open for business!

Our ultimate goal at Loft Resumes is to help you stand out from other job seekers so that you have a better chance of landing the job that you're looking for. Impeccable visual design is a great way to differentiate yourself from other candidates, so we work hard to give you the best looking resume possible. We've worked with some incredible graphic artists to create resumes that will help you get noticed, in a  good way. We've designed all of our resumes so that they're both easy to scan as well as pleasing to look at - you won't find any crazy info graphics or gimmicks among our resumes - just solid, professional designs. 

Not every resume will be right for every position. That's why we've created a variety of designs - some more subdued, some more creative. Hopefully, you'll find the perfect resume that fits your personality and career. 

If you see a resume template that you like but want to have it made with a different colors, we offer a custom color palette option. If you need your resume quickly, we offer express service as well. And, if your resume is more than one page, we can handle that too - just pick our 2 or 3 page resume option.

When you purchase a design, you'll have the opportunity to upload the content for your resume. We include 2 revisions in the typesetting process, so that you can be sure our internal graphic artists have perfected your resume. You can always purchase additional revisions, versions, and edits. 

If you have any questions about Loft Resumes, please let us know

  • Author Dodd Caldwell
  • Category News and Announcements
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