DON’S SAGE ADVICE FOR WRITING RÉSUMÉS THAT WILL GET YOU NOTICED
- YOU are a unique individual applying for unique positions. Do not use a one-size-fits-allgeneric résumé to apply for those unique positions.
- Do not be lazy! Customize your résumé for each position for which you apply. Read on and learn to make YOUR résumé stand out, the way a meatball stands out on a plate of spaghetti.
- Don’t lie or embellish anything on our résumé or cover letter. If you get straight on your accomplishments and the skills you used to achieve them, you have no need for anything else.
- Keep the focus on your cover letters and résumés on what YOU can do for the companies, not on what you want them to do for you. They are not charitable institutions and at this point in the interview process, what YOU want is of no consequence to them.
- Absolutely no one who matters in the hiring decision cares about your job duties and responsibilities. NO ONE!
- They DO care about your accomplishments and the skills you used to achieve them. Tell them about the problems you have faced and fixed in other companies and relate them to the requirements of the position for which you are applying.
- Customize your cover letter to the main requirements of the position you are seeking. Avoid all the fluff, the air words, hearts and flowers.
- For your cover letters, create a two-column table. Head the left column YOU SEEK and the right column I OFFER. For the YOU SEEK column, identify the primary three to five job responsibilities that you can handle. Then do a parallel analysis of what you OFFER.
- Make sure the content of your cover letter, résumé and social media profiles are in sync. Recruiters will check.
- If a search firm has submitted your résumé to a company, channel al communications through them. You will hurt yourself if you try to “expedite the process” by going around the search firm directly to the company. What you see as ‘expediting the process’ the search firm sees as cutting them out of their fee.
- When a human first scans your résumé, you have maybe seven seconds to catch their attention and make them what to read more. Therefore, put only your most relevant material on the first 3⁄4 of Page One of your résumé.
- There are a couple of very pragmatic reasons to include an OBJECTIVE in your résumé. Recruiters generally are recruiting for more than one position at a time. Rather than make them guess what position you are applying for, tell them, and make sure the position title you use matches the one for which they are recruiting. And second, you can creatively insert key words into the OBJECTIVE to immediately begin showing why you are an IDEAL CANDIDATE for that specific position
- No matter how complete and compelling your résumé is, it will not get you a job. Its purpose is to make you memorable so you get an interview. Said another way, its purpose is to show as many relevant facets of you are possible, until you can speak on your own behalf. One way to make yourself memorable and interesting is to include OUTSIDE INTERESTS as the final item on your résumé. Avoid the usual controversial topics but if you are into photography or competitive gardening or showing your champion Doberman Pinscher, tell people. You are an interesting, memorable, multifaceted human being. Do all you can to help the recruiter get to know the authentic ‘You.”
- Finding work or new clients is a lot like dating. The times when you had the most success you did not present a “generic you” to all the different people you wanted to impress. Did you? No. You did not. You tailored your approach to each person whom you wanted to impress.
That strategy worked then, so why would you go “generic” with companies you now want to impress?
DON’S SAGE ADVICE FOR WRITING COVER LETTERS THAT WILL GET YOU NOTICED
- Don’t waste anyone’s time – yours or the recruiter’s – applying for positions for which you know in your heart you are unqualified for.
- Recruiters are busy people. They don’t have time for platitudes, fluff and air words, so cut to the chase. At the outset, tell them what position you are seeking and why you are an ideal candidate.
- Since you are only applying for positions for which you are qualified, create this two-column table. Then identify the three or four KEY requirements for the job that match your qualifications and experience. For example:
YOU SEEK I OFFER
| YOU SEEK
|| I OFFER
| P&L responsibility
|| For last nine years, have achieved or exceeded both individual and team stretch profit targets
| Minimum 10 years of increasing experience managing profit center and staff
| Successful experience training / developing subordinates
| Able to travel average five days per month
|| Currently spend between seven and ten days per month with general management and sales staff in remote sites
- Make the final paragraph a specific call to action – perhaps something like this: “I will contact your office within seven business days to make certain you have received this letter. If you wish to contact me before then, my cell is 123.456.7899.”
- At all costs, avoid a wimpy closing like “Thank you for reviewing my qualifications.”