To: Matthew Shen
From: Cody Gagnon
Date: August 15, 2020
Subject: Peer Review of Matthew Shen’s Draft Application Package
Your application package provides relevant information about your qualifications. Please consider the following suggestions to further improve your application package.
- The cover letter is well structured and professional in tone, but could benefit from more specific examples of skills and experience.
- Consider quantifying your relevant experience. For example, you could write, “I have more than a year of sales experience as a Personal Banking Associate at TD Canada Trust.”
- Formatting could be improved by adding a blank line between your address and the date. In addition, consider removing space below each line of both addresses. Lastly, the email address in the address section seems misplaced.
- In the last sentence of the first paragraph, consider being more specific. A “new perspective” is vague and could be replaced with a more meaningful and impactful statement.
- Is “Cloud Solutions” a specific software application or company name? If “Cloud Solutions” is general, then consider writing the term in lowercase characters.
- Consider giving specific examples of your “competencies and capabilities.” Without specific examples, the following sentence may fail to convince your reader: “As noted on my resume, my competencies and capabilities can provide value for any company, especially at a municipal level.
- Consider listing the languages that you speak, if they are relevant to the position.
- Formatting your resume with differently sized text, colour, and other elements can help potential employers to notice you amongst your competitors. Consider using a web application, like Canva, (https://www.canva.com/) to format your resume.
- Adding a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile in the contact section can help potential employers to learn more about you and your qualifications.
- Consider replacing the word, “Met,” with the word, “Exceeded,” in the following sentence: “Met sales goals by over 150% […].” The word, “Exceeded,” is more accurate and more positive.
- Consider rephrasing the following sentence: “Worked on business, competitive, operational, financial and industry due diligence throughout the investment process.” Because “due diligence” follows a long list of modifiers, the meaning of the sentence is unclear until near its end. In addition, the word, “Worked,” could be replaced with a more meaningful and impactful verb.
- The education section could be reformatted to better emphasize your degrees.
- The interests and references section add little, if any, value to the application. These sections should be included only if space on the page must be filled. Removing these sections would shorten your resume to one page.
- The reference requests state, “I am writing to request for a letter of reference,” but they never ask the reader. Consider phrasing the request as a question.
- When making requests of your reader, politeness words, like “please,” can help the reader to feel respected and appreciated. For example, the last sentence of the reference requests could be rewritten, “If you are comfortable providing me with a strong, positive reference, please email your letter of reference to email@example.com by August 20, 2020.”
Grammar and Technical Errors
- Consider replacing the first instance of the word, “your,” with the word, “my,” in the following sentence: “Several alumni from your program have gone on to work at your company.”
- The words, “client focused,” and, “day to day,” should be hyphenated in the following sentence: “Met sales goals by over 150% through four quarters by providing superior client focused advice of financial products and services (day to day banking, lending, investing).” In both cases, the words modify a noun, so they should be joined with an adjectival hyphen.
- Consider replacing the definite article, “the,” with the indefinite article, “a,” in the following sentence: “Developed the valuation model to analyze potential stakeholder recoveries.”
- The first instance of the word, “for,” is extraneous in the following sentence: “I am writing to request for a letter of reference for the application to Catapult ERP.” In addition, consider replacing the word, “the,” with the word, “my,” in the same sentence.
- If you worked with Mrs. Cruz last year and are not currently working with her, then the past tense should be used instead of the past perfect tense.
- The comma before “[…] by August 20, 2020” should be removed.
- In the letter to Ms. Luk, improve clarity by adding the personal pronoun, “I,” before the word, “am,” in the second sentence of the first paragraph.
To summarize, you may improve your application package by:
- Including more specific examples of your skills and experience in your cover letter.
- Quantifying your experience in your cover letter.
- Formatting your resume to attract more attention and better emphasize your qualifications.
- Adding a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile on your resume.
- Removing the interests and references section from your resume.
- Phrasing reference requests as a question.
- Using politeness words, like “please.”
- Fixing grammatical and technical errors.
You have created an application package that highlights relevant skills and experience. I hope that these suggestions help you to revise your application package. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments regarding the above suggestions.