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Ask a Manager: 7 Qs and 7 Answers

Ask a Manager: 7 Qs and 7 Answers

Alison Green | Ask A Manager

November 10, 2010

Whether or not you should be forthcoming is a subject of heated debate. Sure, it helps in that you’ll find out right away if your range is higher than theirs. But it can hurt if it means they offer you less money than they previously had in mind. Personally, I’m a big fan of the idea of saying that your salary is covered by your confidentiality agreement with your employer, and would love to hear from anyone who has tried this.

Format for Emailing a Cover Letter

Can you please advise on the format to be used in emailing a cover letter? For example, do you list the company name and address or just address it to the person? I appreciate your help. I had been working for a company for 20 years, and resigned last year and just started looking for job. The cover letter has been a struggle for me.

I’m surprised how often this question comes up. There’s no one way it must be done. Some people attach both their resume and cover letter as PDFs or Word documents; other people put the cover letter in the body of the email and just attach the resume. Personally, I like the latter, but you can do it either way.

And if your letter’s text is in the body of the email, treat it like a regular email — meaning that you wouldn’t list the name and address of the recipient at the top because that’s weird to do in an email.

Creative Resume Design: Yay or Nay?

How would you react when receiving a CV that really stands out of the rest because of its appealing design?

Since last year I have realized there’s a trend to “design” your CV following the infography model, and I don’t mean a CV from the typically creative kind of person (graphic designers, copywriters, artists), but also from persons applying to engineering, industrial production or even executive positions. Definitely they make a recruiter to stop and look at them more than just few seconds. But do you think it facilitates your job to find the candidate’s information you are looking for?

It does not facilitate my job — it makes it harder. The most important thing about your resume design is that I need to be able to read it clearly, without straining, and I want to be able to quickly scan it and get the highlights. Creativity, while a nice trait, doesn’t trump those requirements, so make sure your desire to “stand out” isn’t getting in the way of the whole point of resume design.

(It’s true that in certain fields, creative resumes can be a plus. If you’re determined to go in this direction, consider your challenge to be to demonstrate your creativity without overriding the requirements above.)


Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?

Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?