Your short Resume is an employer’s first contact with you. It needs to be memorable and filled with the information they require at a glance. Remember, there may be as many as 300 people applying for the same position so standing out from the crowd is important. Making it to the short list for further application process and interview is difficult. Many applications do not make it past the first stage.

There are many jobs worth applying for and each job application requires an explanation of the skills you possess that will fit the position applied for effectively. This skills information might vary for each separate job application. It is advisable to review your resume for each different position.

In last week’s article (Marketing Your Skills to Employers Effectively?), we discussed the importance of an Activities and Achievements Register. Once you have this document created you will have a well of skills and useful information to draw from when creating your Resume. Update it often.

It is also important to create a basic Resume Template containing the most important and relevant information you want an employer to know about you. Headings might be

  • Personal Summary or Career Statement
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Tickets and Licences, and
  • Work History with references for example.

This document should be no more than 1 or 2 pages in length.

A Cover Letter should accompany every Resume you send out. Not providing one is sloppy and signals to a potential employer that you don’t care enough about the position you are applying for.

Before filling your Resume Template with information carefully research and read the employment position description, it will tell you exactly what skills are required. Then write a Draft Cover Letter explaining:

  • Why you are suitable for the job
  • What you love about the job
  • What skills you have
  • What previous experience you have to back this up, and
  • What fresh new attributes you can bring to the position.

Make sure each explanation is short, exciting and to the point showing the employer that you understand the position and have the passion and skills to fill it better than any other applicant. Try to keep your Cover Letter to a one page minimum.

Once you have researched the employment position, read the job description and written your Cover Letter you will see what skills information you need to supply in your Resume. I have worked in many different jobs. An employer who needs a track work rider will not be interested in my fruit picking skills even though they are also a part of my working history. The employer will only be interested in the current skills and experience I have with riding horses. Picking fruit is irrelevant.

Make sure you follow the same Company Research, Draft Cover Letter and Resume Template process for every different employment application. Just like a human every company and employment position is different. A generic “one size fits all” Cover Letter and Resume, often times, will not do. You need to work hard and prove to the employer that you are the person they need and the person who wants the position the most. Your thoughtful and respectful research and specific Cover Letter and Resume content will show just how much you care.

The addition of a small personal photograph and a simple graphic element that does not take up too much room (remembering you don’t have much space) can add extra personality to you profile and make it memorable. This will also show that you have taken time and care with presentation and this will also aid in expressing your unique personality.

Marketing yourself effectively to employers via your Cover Letter and Resume is the key to success.

Take your time, keep it simple, don’t hide your personality and above all don’t lie.

Once you have proof read and edited your Cover Letter and Resume it is advisable to have a friend or colleague read it and give you some feedback. Remember people don’t always see you the way you see yourself and you only get one shot at it so it is important to get it right the first time. A friend or colleague will always pick up on subtle things about your personality that you won’t notice.

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