Ensuring that you have a great resume and cover letter is a very important first step in your job search. But your job search documents need personalizing to get results. An important factor in determining your job search success is how personalized your documents are toward each individual job posting that you apply to.
Don’t Use a Generic Resume
Don’t make up a generic resume. Use a template that you can change to adhere to whatever position you are applying for. By doing this you can move items around or add/subtract from subjects to highlight applicable skills and attributes.
Remember the most important function of a resume is to showcase your skills and achievements. A resume should contain all of the reasons why the employer should hire you. When you’re applying for a specific position, focus on the skills you have for the position. For instance, if you are applying for a position as a marketing manager, you’ll probably focus on your previous marketing experience, your credentials and courses that relate to the marketing field, and any other relevant experience or skills you may have in that field. It would mean nothing to the employer if you included your ability to tutor children or fly an airplane, that’s not what they are looking for. Although the example I have provided is extreme, the same holds true for applying to different positions within the same field.
You should always try to avoid generic cover letters as well. Personalized cover letters work much better for providing an outstanding first impression. “To whom it may concern” is not a very catchy way to open a marketing letter about your qualifications. It would be equivalent to how successful marketing attempts are that come in your mail addressed “current resident“.
You know this is not an effective form of marketing you, it doesn’t make you feel connected with the service that is being advertised. However, when you receive mail with your name on it, it’s more appealing from a marketing standpoint. The same holds true with your cover letter. So find out the name of the hiring person that your application will be submitted to. Small steps like this will go a long way in your application process.
Study the Posting
You want to have the more appealing marketing strategy. So personalize both your resume and cover letter to the specific position, and it will result in your skills and qualifications being marketed more effectively as well. A great way to find out what companies are looking for in their candidates is by studying the job posting. The job posting tells you what a company is looking for, so try to find the skills and experiences that they want that you also possess and highlight these in your documents.
Are you happy with how your job search documents look and their contents? If you’re a leader in your industry and promote excellence in the field, you need to portray this in your resume and cover letter. Contact me today, I can help!