The Human Resources Department recognizes the importance of making a good first impression when seeking employment. Initially, the only information we have about your ability to do the job is your resume, cover letter and/or application. At any given time the Human Resources Department may receive over 100 applications to fill 1 position. Therefore, we believe it is vital to your potential success as a candidate that you go the extra mile to ensure a positive first impression.
Below, we have listed what we feel are some "helpful" tips in creating resumes, cover letters and completing the required standard City of Torrance application. For your convenience, we have also included a sample resume, cover letter and standard City application. We hope you find this information very useful in helping you prepare to apply for a position with the City of Torrance.
- No colored paper. (Acceptable colors: white, buff, ivory and light grey or pastels. Use caution with white; it shows dirt, thumbprints and other unsightliness. The lighter the better for photocopying, faxing and scanning.)
- Must be current (including current or last position).
- No use of correction fluid or crossing out of old information.
- Always check for grammatical and spelling errors and typos.
- Combination of functional and chronological style is preferred.
- Objective should bear some relation to the job you are applying for.
- Delete "References available on Request" - given!
- Avoid too many fonts and point sizes. Use font size that is easily legible (i.e. at least size 12).
- Spell out acronyms when describing previous work responsibilities.
- No pictures.
- If sending as an email attachment, be certain to state the type and version of software used. The City utilizes Microsoft Word. If in doubt, text files in Courier 10 is usually safe.
- No personal information (i.e. marital status, height, weight, etc.).
- Be certain each page is clearly identified as yours in case the pages are separated.
- Use active language (i.e. implemented, directed).
- Emphasize technical skills (i.e. computer knowledge).
- Do not bind - staple only.
- Do not lie.
- Avoid excessive wording. Two pages should be adequate.
- Use bullets points- avoid long paragraphs.
- Always include a message telephone number.
- Keep graphics simple and legible.
- Mention related skills as well as employment history.
Cover letters are an appropriate accompaniment to a resume. Cover letters should accomplish three things: create attention (paragraph one); create desire (paragraph two) and initiate action (closing paragraph). When submitting a cover letter with your resume to the City of Torrance, we prefer the following (See sample cover letter):
- Stationery used for cover letter should match resume.
- If colored stationery is used, its best that the envelope matches.
- Follow the same format rules that are used for a standard business letter.
- Use complete title and address, avoid abbreviations.
- Ask another individual to read and proofread your letter for typos.
- Keep a copy of the letter for your records.
Even if you choose to submit a resume with a cover letter, a standard City application must be completed and submitted for employment consideration. One of the biggest challenges we face when reviewing applications is missing information. When submitting a standard city application, we strongly suggest you do the following (See sample standard city application):
- Be certain application is complete. Even if submitting a resume, complete the employment section.
- Be certain application is legible.
- Indicate the full name of the position, do not abbreviate.
- Be certain the job code is correct.
- Be certain the social security number is correct.
- Complete all information requested on the blue section of the application (pages 3-4).
- Write in and fill in the "bubble" information on the blue section of the application (pages 3-4).
- Please submit one application per job opening.