Everyone knows the first step to find a job is to be invited to interview. The question then becomes: How do you get invited? Just as your handshake and smile are your first impression when meeting someone new, your resume and cover letter are the first impression to the company’s hiring director.
Creating a strong introduction can be easy when you follow these three tips:
- Personalize it. A hiring manager doesn’t need to know you’re applying for multiple positions with multiple companies. Be sure you address the specific business job you’re vying for while describing how your skill set meets their requirements. When you’re writing a letter of introduction, be sure to use the name of the person who will be interviewing for the position.
- Shout it out. In today’s job market, HR directors are inundated with applications. Use bullet points (no more than three) on your cover letter that highlight how your experience fits in with the posted job. On your resume, be sure to focus on your career builder highlights such as accomplishments, improvements, and positive impacts you’ve had in your previous employment rather than job tasks you completed. This will help your skills stand out quickly and keep you at the top of the pile to find work.
- Keep it Simple. Unless you’re applying for a creative position, which requires you demonstrate things like your Photoshop or graphic design skills, keep your resume and cover letter in a simple format. You can add a little flare, but if you’re looking for a job where you work in business, be straightforward. Many companies have online application processes that require you to upload your documents, which could cause your formatting to go array. Whenever possible, save your resume as a PDF, which will ensure it stays structured.