Resumes and Letters
A resume is a universal job-hunting tool.
It’s the very first impression you give to potential employers, recruiters, and it’s the single most important element of the job application process where you’ll list all your relevant job experience, accomplishments – not to mention your best qualities as an employee. It’s also one of the only ways you can secure an interview.
You only have a few seconds to make a first impression.
Forbes reported that recruiters spend only 6.28 seconds when looking at resumes. You have a lot to accomplish in that small window of time: You have to convince a hiring manager that you’re not only qualified for the job, but you’re the one and only person who can do it. Make them want to pick up the phone to learn more about you, keep your resume brief, exciting and engaging from the first line.
Here’s what your resume should do:
- Highlight your relevant qualifications (i.e., strengths, skills, accomplishments and knowledge)
- Summarizes your qualifications that your references and people in your network can use to speak effectively about you
- Demonstrate your ability to present information in an organized, concise and professional manner
With a little strategy and knowledge, you’ll be able to give your resume a significant edge and professional appearance.
Writing Cover Letters and Other Professional Correspondence
Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself in your own words. Cover letters provide context to your resume and give you the opportunity to really sell your skills, experience and passion. In a brief, two- to three-paragraph letter, you can tell the hiring manager exactly why you’re perfect for the position that aren’t already listed on your resume.
Cover letters aren’t the only communication you’ll be sending when you’re interviewing. It’s crucial to send follow up letters, such as reminders and references before you interview, and thank-you emails to each person you meet with in the process.
Not only are employers reading your letters for the information you are providing. They’re also observing your attentiveness to detail, grammar, professionalism and the overall quality of your written communication.