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How to apply and tips for creating your resume and cover letter

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) encourages all candidates who meet the qualifications to apply when the job announcement is open for application.

When applying to an open job announcement, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Carefully read the job announcement – The announcement contains instructions on how to apply and what documents to submit, as well as the qualifications, and requested and required skills for the job. This will help you customize your application materials for the position.
  • Contact information – Make it easier for the hiring manager to contact you by providing a daytime telephone number and an email address.
  • Transcripts – If you are using education to meet the qualifications, be prepared to bring copies of your official transcripts to your interview, if requested.
  • Veteran's preference – If you are a veteran requesting veteran’s preference, be sure to check your Workday account for pending tasks. Workday will send you a task after your application has been submitted requesting your veteran documentation.
  • Attachments – Be sure to attach your resume to your online application form if it is requested. Forgetting to attach your resume will keep your application from being considered further.
  • Submit your application materials by the closing date and time – The announcement lists the deadline for submission. Do not wait until the last minute to apply. Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Application process – Create/update your application or to review frequently asked questions (FAQs) about using the online application process.
  • Current state employees– Current state employees must apply for jobs using their Workday account.

When preparing your resume, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Clearly demonstrate that you qualify for the position – Explain in detail the duties you performed and your level of responsibility as they pertain the position you are applying for. Focus on accomplishments, not just activities. Always include month and year dates relating to your work history and whether you worked full time or part time.
  • Identify yourself in your documentation – Make sure your name and contact information is on all documents you submit. Be sure to include your address, email address, and a good phone number to reach you at.
  • Identify where you worked and when – Include the employer’s name and dates of employment (use month/year format). Identify any periods of unemployment.
  • Unpaid/volunteer work – Include all relevant experience whether it was paid or unpaid.
  • Avoid jargon or acronyms – Explain information in commonly used terms to make the message clear.
  • Presentation – Make sure your resume looks professional and is easy to read. Use 12 point Arial or Times New Roman for your font with one-inch margins on a plain white document with black ink, so that if it is copied, it will look good. Also, unless the announcement instructs you otherwise, there is no correct number of pages. Make it legible; if the reviewers cannot read your resume, you may not be considered further.
  • Proofread – Make a good first impression by using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Make sure to run a spell check.
  • Don’t forget to attach your documents – Be sure to attach your resume to your online application if it is requested. Forgetting to attach your resume will keep your application from being considered further.

When creating your cover letter keep the following tips in mind:

  • Presentation/content – Hiring managers look at how the letter is formatted (such as a business letter or memo), the organization of the topics covered (whether or not the sentences transition well from one thought to another), and if all the requested information is included in your letter. They also look for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Make sure to run a spell check.
  • Use the word "I" – Do not just write about the process or what "we" did. Tell the hiring manager what you did and be sure to include your accomplishments and responsibilities.
  • Avoid vague language – Responses such as "I was involved in the budgeting process" do not provide enough information. When creating your letter, think about the following: What were your duties? What was your level of responsibility? What did you do to achieve results? Also, jargon and acronyms tend to detract from the clarity of your response, so spell out acronyms the first time you use them.
  • Be concise, yet thorough – It is OK to describe a scenario (if it is pertinent), but do not describe philosophies or what "experts" say on a subject. Also, unless the announcement instructs you otherwise, there is no correct number of pages. Remember your audience: If you are too brief or if you ramble too much, it could affect how you will rank in this process.
  • Make it legible – Make sure your cover letter looks professional and is easy to read. Use 12 point Arial or Times New Roman for your font with one-inch margins. Make it legible; if the hiring manager cannot read your letter, you may not be considered further. If your cover letter is engaging and easy to review, it will get more attention.
  • Don’t forget to attach your documents – Be sure to attach your cover letter to your online application form if it is requested. Cover letters are an important part of the application process for some positions. If it is requested, and you forget it, your application will not proceed further in the process.

​​Questions:

503-378-3200​
dcbs.recruiting@oregon.gov​​​

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