Christmas in July - #5 The Resume and Cover Letter

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Article Index
Christmas in July
#1 Networking
#2 Becoming Visible
#3 Managing your on-line time wisely
#4 Career Coaches
#5 The Resume and Cover Letter
#6 Recruiters
#7 Interviewing and
#8 Overcoming Fear of Rejection
Final Thoughts
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#5 The Resume and Cover Letter

Seems like everyone is overly focused on the resume. There are a gazillion resume writers out there and the advice can be very conflicting. I’ve never been a big fan of resumes though they are a necessary evil. They won’t get you hired but could cause damage if poorly composed. I’m much more the proponent of a “power cover letter “sent directly to a hiring manager without a resume. See Jill Konrath’s ebook on this topic. Spend some time researching your targeted company. Watch press releases, news, etc. I would send these carefully crafted letters to highest level applicable. Not to be e-mailed, EVER. Why they should want to talk to you now. Why they should schedule an interview with you. Your letter should be based on a relevant business issue, not just a letter seeking employment. Homework on the company is required. I’ve used Google and Hoovers.com to research articles on target companies.

I've sent cover letters without ever attaching a resume. Why ? To create some desire, buzz and a sense of urgency. People react and make decisions when it's urgent. Hire me before the competitor hires me! Believe me, there is a sense of urgency out there for people that can make an immediate impact. Bring it !

Create this desire. Make them want your resume. Your “power letter” discussing business issues and how you think you can help (not asking for a job), is now sitting in an inbox of 2 or 3 versus 1,000 job seeking resumes sitting on a stack in the Hr. Department. So okay, the key is to get a resume put together that is both concise and appealing. It’s only another sales tool designed to get you to the next step which is an interview. Customize it for every situation using the keywords in the job description. If you’re an old guy like me, please do me a favor and never use the word: “Seasoned” . Pigs are seasoned and they are also slaughtered. Plus, you really do not have to go back to 1977 with your first job out of college or list extracurricular activities. Keep it to 2 pages.

As a do it yourselfer, I really thought my resume was fairly good . I had studied all the tips online, tried to make it very accomplishment orientated with statistics, etc. but I quickly learned from Roxanne Williams at http://bestjobhuntguide.com/ that my resume really sucked. Roxanne was a tremendous help to me and I highly recommend her. Great website!