Resume & Cover Letter- Important?

April 29, 2009

While networking and referrals are the best way to get a job, resumes and cover letters are still an important part of the process. Too often, applicants put little effort into creating anything of value.  So, candidates, here is a quick overview of what you need to know.

Think about it this way- we all have heard how important first impressions are when meeting someone. Your resume is the first impression a hiring manager or HR person has of you. What does it say about you? What on your resume draws the reader in, making him/her want to read further- or better yet, contact you?

Think about this next time you revise your resume. 

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Gear the resume towards the job description and company. Highlight experiences and successes that directly relate. Yes, it takes more time, but if you want the job, put in the effort!
  • If you only have 1-2 jobs, add in relevant hobbies, memberships, anything that enhances your value.
  • Spell check.
  • You don’t have to include every single job, but make sure to include relevant ones.

And when you’re done with that…there’s a bit more.

There is another part to the resume submission process that is vital and that is your cover letter. It could be a separate Word document, or it could be an email. Whichever way you go, just make sure to include it.

A cover letter gives you another chance to WOW your reader- to show why he/she should call you immediately! Instead of listing your successes, tie them into the position. If you achieved high sales numbers at another company, explain how your process/skills will help you reach the same success at the new company. If your super skills in marketing lead to a 1000% increase in sales leads, let the reader know how what you did once, you can do again- for them. Personalize it to the company.

Some passion is better than no passion.   Find something about the position that excites you and use it in your cover letter. If you have a passion for the product, let it shine through. If you absolutely love project management (and it relates to the position) tell the reader why.

So, put some thought and real effort into your resume and cover letter, throw in a liberal helping of passion, and see where it can take you!

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