The résumé and cover letter
Guest Post by Kristyn L. Graham
Last week we shared with you the first 5 of 25 tips to help you from sabotaging your job search. These next tips are all about the resume and cover letter.
6. Writing a generic cover letter
If your cover letter looks like it could have come from a word processor template, right down to the “To Whom It May Concern,” don’t bother sending it. Hiring managers look for a candidate who wants that specific position, not someone who sends out applications en masse. Write a new cover letter for each job application and include details specific to that company.
Sending a cover letter or résumé filled with grammatical mistakes and typographical errors shows hiring managers you don’t care about the quality of your work and probably not about the job, either.
8. Including your current work info as the best place to contact you
Making sure employers can get in touch with you is important, but they shouldn’t be contacting you at work. “Potential employers are going to question if these people will search for a new job on their time,” says Kathy Sweeney, résumé writer for the Write Résumé.
9. Focusing on yourself and not on the company in the cover letter
“When ‘I’ is the predominant subject – and there are times when it is the only subject of all the sentences in the cover letter – it indicates to me that they don’t understand my organization and its needs, and, in fact, says they don’t care to know,” says Dion McInnis, associate vice president for university advancement at University of Houston-Clear Lake. “And therefore, I don’t care to know them.”
10. Not targeting your résumé to the position
Just like the cover letter, your résumé should build a case for you to be hired for a specific position. If you’re applying for a financial analyst position, don’t waste space including your teenage stint as a lifeguard.