The Difference Between Cover Letters and Resumes

With 2015 upon us, you may start looking for a new job. Whether you’re actively or casually looking, you need to have a solid resume and cover letter. While many job seekers don’t see the importance of cover letters, others don’t understand the difference between the two. Occasionally, you may notice that, when apply for a job, a cover letter is not required, but you should still provide one.

It can be confusing knowing what you are supposed to put on a cover letter versus what goes on your resume. However, it is important to know the difference. Here is some basic information on cover letters and resumes to help you get started:

Cover Letters

When it comes to your cover letter, it’s best to think of it as an introduction to who you are personally and professionally. This is the place where you can make a connection with the person reviewing your resume and explain why you would be such a great fit. Here are some things to include:

A Connection

Making a connection will allow a resume reviewer to get a better sense of who you are. Whether it’s mentioning a person of reference, something specific about the company you are applying to, or even the position you are apply for, a connection can go a long way. By making a connection through your cover letter, you will also show that you’ve research the company or position, which shows how much you are interested in the job.

A Pitch

Your cover letter is a great place to make a pitch of why you would make a great employee. Why are your skills so great for the position? How will you make the company better? What can you provide that other job candidates cannot? This is your opportunity to sell yourself to whomever may be reviewing your resume.

A Thank You

Before finishing your letter, you can make a great impression by thanking the person who is reviewing your resume and cover letter. Thank them for the time spent reviewing/reading and thank them for their consideration, even if you haven’t personally talked to them.


Resumes often get over-complicated with an overload of information. It is easy to confuse a resume reader with the information you put on your resume, which is why it is so important to know what information needs to be on your resume:

Your Contact Information

This one is pretty simple and should be fairly obvious. Place your contact information at the top of your resume. Include your name, phone number, email address, and physical address so that hiring managers have multiple ways to contact you.

Your Education

Always include your education. Don’t list every school you have ever been to though. Instead, list the most recent completed degree. For example, if you have a college degree, then you should list only that degree and not your high school. If high school is your highest education level, then list where you went, the year you graduated, and any special diplomas you have received.

Your Work History

This should be the bulk of your resume. By listing your work history, potential employers will see where you have worked, the positions you’ve held, and the skills you have developed. Do not just list the jobs you have held- describe the skills needed to complete your work and the tasks you did. Also, if you completed any specialized projects at a particular job, then list those too.

Do you have any questions about the difference between cover letters and resumes? Leave your questions in the comments section below and we will be sure to answer them!

Creating a Scannable Resume

Depending on the job you are applying for, a hiring manager or an HR representative may have dozens to hundreds of resumes and cover letters to read. One way to really make your resume stand out is to make it scannable. By ensuring your resume is easy to scan, the computer software being used will pick up on key elements much easier.

Because computer programs read resumes a little differently than a person does, it is important to write and format your resume in a way that a computer program will pick yours out of a stack of dozens. While these tips can’t ensure that will happen, it will certainly increase your chances. Here’s how to create a scannable resume:

Choosing a Font

When you choose a font for your resume, you need to keep in mind that while a computer  can read script-type fonts, it is certainly not as clear. It’s best to stick to fonts like Times New Roman or Helvetica because they are much easier to read. Furthermore, don’t choose a font that squeezes the letters close together. The more legible your words are, the easier your resume will be to scan.

Use Headlines

A great way to break up the content on your resume is by adding headlines. You can easily do this by taking advantage larger font sizes. Try to keep your font type consistent throughout the resume. Try out using larger-sized fonts to break the resume up into different sections like skills, work history, and awards.

Keep it Horizontal

While you might be tempted to have vertical lines to break up your content, you should avoid doing this because some programs will read these lines as if they were letters. Keep all of your sections and any minor design elements you add horizontal.

Single Column

In attempts to make your resume stand out and appear to have design to it, you might be tempted to use a double column style. However, this can cause computer programs to scan your resume improperly. Keep it simple with a single column style. This will also be easier for anyone in HR to read and scan.

Use Key Words

Because a computer program will be scanning your resume, it’s crucial to use key words. How do you know which words it will be looking for? Review the job posting and identify the most important words used. Think about the skills necessary for the job and make sure you mention them a few times throughout your resume.

Do you have any advice for creating a scannable resume? We’d love to hear about your tips so leave a comment below!

3 Steps to Better Recruiting

When it comes to modern recruiting there are so many tools available so it can be challenging trying to choose the right ones. However, at the heart of recruiting is connecting with candidates. Whether you work at a staffing company, large organization, are hiring for a small business, or are just looking for advice, there are a few key things you need in order to have better recruiting results.

As you go about setting up or evaluating your recruiting process, here are three steps that will lead to better recruiting:

A Mobile-Friendly Site

Of all the tools a recruiter can have in the digital space, this is one of the most beneficial. Whether applicants are looking for general information about your company or want to actually apply for a job, you need to make sure they can do it from their phone or other mobile devices. With so many people turning to their mobile devices to stay connected rather than using their computer, you can’t afford to not have a mobile-friendly site. By updating your website, you are far more likely to reach new applicants and gain those top-talented individuals you need.

Social Media Engagement

If people are turning to their smart phones and tablets to access information, then social media is where they are most likely finding it. Making sure you are using social media is another crucial step in recruiting in the digital age. From sharing relevant content to sharing the jobs you are trying to fill, you can target a new audience through social media. If you aren’t currently using this form of communication, consider making a change and embracing this great tool. It will increase your engagement with a community of potential applicants.

Easier Screening Processes

Through following the first two steps, you’ll naturally end up at the third: new and improved screening processes. By making it easier to screen your applicants, you’ll be able to find the best talent and fill positions much more easily. Consider adapting communication channels like video interviews and placing a strong emphasis on company’s culture. Allow applicants an inside view of your company so they can help make the hiring and screening process easier on you.

What makes recruiting easier and more efficient for you? What else should be on our list? Leave your stories and suggestions in the comments below!

How to Guide: Job Searching Online

In the past, job seekers only needed to turn to the classified ads in their local newspaper to find a job. Or maybe just talk to a friend or neighbor to see if they knew of any open positions with a local company. Those methods are no longer the best way to find a job in today’s digital-heavy and technology driven work. It’s not as easy anymore and it’s way more competitive. Job searching online can be a complex network of hoops and challenges for any job seeker.

From online job boards to digital networking, there are so many tools job seekers not only need to use, but need to use well. Knowing where to start your job searching online is the first step for the modern job seeker, but it doesn’t end there. Here are a few tips for job searching online:

Define Your Job

What kind of job are you looking for? Do you want a full-time, part time, or temporary job? When you know the kind of job you’re looking for and you know your skillset, then you can begin to narrow down the jobs you’re right for.

Target Specific Companies/Industries

Have you ever dreamed of working at a specific company? Maybe there isn’t a dream company, but there is a dream industry. Either way, make a list and begin following these companies/industries on your social media accounts. Conduct your own research to find out what the work environment is like, what the culture is like, and what kind of people typically get hired.

Refine Your Resume and Interview Skills

Don’t send out your resume without looking it over. Did you tailor it for the job you’re applying to? Your resume is a company’s first glimpse of who you are, so make sure you show them the best version. Further, the interview literally makes or breaks your chances of getting the job, so practice with professionals to brush up on your interviewing skills.

Establish Your Brand

As a job seeker you have a personal brand. For many, this personal brand is haphazard and all over the place. Depending on the jobs you are applying for, this can really hurt your chances. One thing to consider, when it comes to your personal brand is social media. Make sure if your profiles are public that you are being professional while showing off your personality. Don’t over-share and work to represent yourself as an expert.

Create Genuine Connections

For many, networking can be a challenge. It seems there are rules to how you should network, but if you are genuine about creating connections and relationships, then networking becomes easy and fun. Focus on how you can help others rather than how they can help you and you’ll find that others want to help you.

Follow Up (Always)

Whether it’s after an interview, a networking event, or someone helping you practice your interview skills, be sure to follow up. Send an email or pick up the phone; just make sure to thank someone for taking the time to speak with your or help you out.

Do you have any advice for modern job seekers looking for opportunities online? What has been your best/worst experience? Leave your stories and suggestions in the comments section below!

4 Ways to Keep Employees Productive in the Winter

For many organizations and companies, the winter months are the busiest. With holiday shopping and budgets resetting, this is a great time to add new employees and hire seasonal help, but there is one common problem many face: winter slow down. It can be incredibly difficult for anyone to stay productive in the winter, but keeping your employees productive can be just as difficult.

Continue reading “4 Ways to Keep Employees Productive in the Winter”

Staying Productive in the Winter

It’s certainly no secret that when winter hits most of us just want to hibernate. There is less sunlight and the days can just be downright dreary. For most, those things can make staying productive in the winter rather difficult. In order to stay productive during the cold days of winter, you may want to try a few of these things:

Stay Active

When you’re at work it can be difficult to stay active, but by doing this you can keep energy levels up, help yourself stay in a better mood, and stay healthy. Obviously you can’t take a break in the middle of the day to run a 5K, but you can get up from your desk, stretch, walk to the water cooler, or even do a quick cubicle workout. When you stay active, you stay productive.

Keep Warm

Depending on where you sit in the office, it could be hard to stay warm during the winter. Whether you’re next to window or far from the heat vent, staying warm just may not be an option. However, staying warm is necessary for staying productive. When you’re cold, you’ll lose motivation to stay busy. So, how do you keep warm? One way to keep warm is to stay active (as mentioned above), but you can also wear heavier clothing or layers, bring in a small space heater, or even ask to switch seats.

Watch What You Eat

Because it’s cold out, you probably want to eat heavy and warm meals, but often these types of meals are filled with sugars and carbohydrates. These foods aren’t necessarily bad, but too much of them will make you groggy and just want to nap. When this happens, you’ll be less motivated to stay focused and get your work done. Instead of eating heavy meals at work, pack well-balanced meals and opt for a cup of tea rather than that sugary snack.

Make Plans

What kind of plans? Well, that’s really up to you. Having plans at the end of a work day or work week can help provide the motivation you need to stay focused and accomplish the tasks you have that day or week. But, also have plans for your life (i.e. goals) can really help you make it through the winter and stay productive. These types of plans provide motivation to stay active, be social, accomplish things, and provide you with a list of things to do.

How do you stay productive during the winter months? We’d love to hear your stories and suggestions in the comments section below!

October Associate of the Month

At Diverse Staffing, we take great pride in our associates and the work they do. Because our associates are so dedicated and productive, we like to take the time to recognize them and their accomplishments. Our Greenwood Recruiting Center launched a new program in August to start recognizing individual associates for their:

  • Attendance records
  • Skills
  • Recognition from clients/placement
  • Time with Diverse Staffing
  • Work performance

Through the Associate of the Month program, Diverse Staffing is able to engage and recognize our most dedicated and talented workers. This month, we’re excited to announce that Pamela Raber received the Associate of the Month award for our Greenwood Recruiting Center. Pamela is a dedicated Diverse Staffing associate who exemplifies excellent work performance and attendance.

When asked about her experience with Diverse Staffing, Pamela said, “Without Diverse Staffing, I’m not sure I would’ve ever had the chance to get my foot in the door with a great company. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity to prove myself and grow with the company.”

We’re glad you’re part of our team, too, Pamela. Keep up the great work!

October Associate of the Month