Peer Review of Application Package for Di Fei Su

To: Di Fei Su, ENGL 301 student

From: Zhe Su, ENGL 301 student

Date: 15 August 2020

Subject: Peer Review of the Application Package draft

 

Thank you for putting together your application package. I have thoroughly read through the document and put together a few suggestions that will hopefully be helpful to you.

First Impressions

  • The application package is clean and tidy, easy to read. Well done.
  • Is there a mandatory requirement to use the ubc science co-op as the header? Usually for a resume/cover letter package you would want your own name, phone number and email address as the header, that way they can immediately identify who’s applying. If there is a reason as to why you’re using the ubc science co-op as a header, then ignore this point.

Organization & Design

General

  • The structure of the entire application package is simple and clean, which is great particularly for recruiters at a large firm like Amazon who needs to review thousands of packages a day.
  • The footer section includes “Your Name“, which appears to be a default styling format. You may want to delete that for the final copy.

 

Cover Letter

  • Great use of the bold font to highlight your skill sets; this is particularly desirable for tech firms as it is standard for the industry to prepare their cover letters in such a fashion. Well done.
    • Just want to note that as this is specific for the tech industry, if you ever do apply to a position in finance or elsewhere, bolding the cover letter might not be relevant. The fact that you did tailor it to your job posting is well done.
  • Using 1 font style and size throughout the entire letter would make it appear more professional (and personalized). Your cover letter has 3 types of fonts, Tahoma, Arial, and Calibri, and two font sizes, 10 and 10.5. It’s very distracting from the content and it looks a bit patchy (like a Frankenstein style patchy) from a design perspective.

 

Resume

  • Nice and clean, easy to read.
  • Reducing your resume to 1 page might be a better idea when you do not have enough content to fill 2 pages. If you leave too much white space on a resume, it’ll appear weak at first glance by a recruiter (who might be wondering why you don’t have more experience, which isn’t the effect you want to be going for).
  • Checking to make sure all position names are capitalized properly will allow your resume to appear more professional. Specifically, “Research intern” at UBC.
  • The below styling suggestions are just my personal preference, so you can take it under consideration if you want, or style it as you prefer:
    • Italicizing your position at each experience might make it slightly easier to read.
    • Setting the date to the right hand side.
    • Under education, bolding your degree (Bachelor of Computer Science) is preferred.
    • The spacing under skills between the categories and the actual skill is inconsistent. Using a table might help you with alignment.
    • Including dates for your projects might keep the entire resume format more consistent.
    • If you’re submitting the resume online, might be helpful to include GitHub links to your projects, so that the recruiter could just click the project title and immediately get a demo of your work.

 

Reference Letters

  • Nothing to add here, it’s done well.

 

Content

Cover Letter

  • If possible, use LinkedIn and Clearbit Connect to find the name of the specific recruiter of the position you’re looking to apply for. The personalized touch is always a plus when you are trying to get the attention of the recruiters.
  • Starting your cover letter with your interest may be better than stating what Amazon is looking for, as you are addressing this letter to the recruiter. Reducing redundant statements on cover letter would be more considerate for the time crunched reader.
  • The structure of the cover letter with the points are well written. Good job.
  • The last sentence – “Please contact me by email at interviews@sciencecoop.ubc.ca or by phone 604.822.9513 to set up an interview time” is bold, which is great, but maybe a bit too bold? Would it be better to write “I am available by email ___ and by phone ___ to discuss my qualifications or to setup an interview time” just in case they want to reach out to you not only for interview matters?

 

Resume

  • Making sure the verb tenses of each point is consistent throughout your resume is very important. For example, “Developed mathematical modeled financial data and perform quantitative analysis” isn’t consistent. Also, since research intern is a current role, using the present tense may be more appropriate here.
  • In your projects section, you used brackets to name examples “(for example, ARIMA, LASSO, etc)”. Rewording these to be part of the actual sentence might make it look more professional, as it is relevant information regardless.

 

Reference Letters

  • The tone for the cover letters are polite and professional, great job.
  • There are some minor grammatical errors in the sentences.
  • “Thank you for your time and effort” – might be more appropriate if you thanked them primarily for their time and assistance, a bit confusing on what effort you are thanking them for here. “Thank you for your time and assistance; I really appreciate that you have been responsive and most helpful to all my requests.”
  • “In case you need more information about me” – as you’re writing to ask them for a reference, it might make more sense to remove “about me” from the sentence since they should know enough about you to provide a reference. “Should you require more information about the reference letter or the position, please feel free to _____”.
  • You may want to consider adding pleasantries before your signature, such as “Best Regards,”, “Sincerely”, etc. It’s great that you’re thanking them for your time, but I’m just not 100% sure on using it as a way to sign off.

Conclusion

The application package is well written – it is organized, clean and easy to read, which is always good when you’re submitting it to recruiters that are short on time and need to scan through the document. There are some minor errors that made the package looked slightly less formatted, but aside from that there are no major mistakes. The package has all the information needed.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

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