A generic resume or generic cover letter are NOT enough to land you your dream job.
Here is a tried and true process that has worked in my collaboration with clients to develop targeted resumes and cover letters to gain interviews and obtain new positions.
One has about 7 seconds or less for resumes and cover letters to be personally skimmed to determine a match. Your resume needs to stand out and pop so YOU stand out as a candidate. YOU need to do the work to demonstrate you are a match because you don’t want the readers to have to work to figure that out. Automated Resume Screening Systems function the same way. Each process is screening for key words for the position.
TARGETED RESUME TIPS
- Read through the job description.
- Assess if you have much of what they are looking for. If yes, proceed.
- Highlight key words, skills, education, roles and responsibilities.
- Review your current resume.
- Delete anything from that current resume that is NOT relevant to the position.
- Add into your resume the key phrases, words, etc. above (3rd bullet point) using what I call a ‘benefit statement’.
A 'benefit statement' includes what you did and the value it added or addresses the ‘why’ it was important. Your resume should NOT read like a job description. It should read to show your impact.
- Make sure you are not parroting or copy and pasting their job description. Use your own language and paraphrasing to demonstrate you have the experience and skills for the roles and responsibilities the employing company is looking for.
- Review the phrases or bullet points in the resume for what is most important to the company. Move them around and rank them to what is most important for the job.
- Review your professional statement/objective if you have one. Does it address the specific position? Does it say too much or too little. Be discerning.
- Include your Education and Skills Section. Interests and Community Involvement sections are included when you think this will add to your story.
TARGETED COVER LETTER TIPS
- Include a cover letter even if you are not asked for one.
- Follow a 3-5 paragraph model (there are exceptions for positions in academia, for example).
- First paragraph addresses the position you are applying for and personal connections you make with the company and what they do.
- Second-forth paragraphs address how your qualifications match up with the targeted position’s qualifications and job requirements.
- Last paragraph concludes with a reiteration of why you believe you are a match and provides information on how and when to best contact you.
© Ruth Beauchamp, Oranda LLC 2022