Before I meet with prospective clients, I give them homework. I ask them to please email me one to three postings of positions that appeal to them, regardless of timing, compensation, or location. Once they email me this vital information, I ask them to do one more task. “Now,” I say, “please select the one position for which you want me to brand you within the resume and cover letter I will be writing for you.”
Although during the course of our time together I empower my clients to brand themselves for other positions of interest to them, I make it crystal clear that each and every resume has to be focused toward a particular position and each and every cover letter should be personalized to the particular hiring manager.
In the case of the resume, this means that you will need more than one version. However, it is not nearly as complicated as it sounds. Simply name and save each version of your resume to your hard drive so that you can easily change the target to focus on each position of interest to you.
Today’s economic conditions absolutely demand that employers learn from the resume and cover letter what potential value you bring to the workplace, not what you seek from them. (Hence, resume etiquette has for years stipulated that objectives are “out” and professional profiles and buzzwords are “in.”) This means that prospective employers want to learn from your documents know how you fare against the competition in meeting the demands of the particular position you are seeking. By branding you for the particular position, there is essentially no better way to communicate this.
With easy access to personalized information through social media and sites like LinkedIn, cover-letter customization is usually a click away. Do your due diligence: research who the proper person for the salutation of the letter is. Having a name on the cover letter shows that you really want the job, you took the extra time to personalize the letter, and you are committed to getting the job done. In today’s quick-apply society, taking the time and effort to respond personally to job openings and doing a bit of research will help you stand out from the crowd of prospective candidates.
Speaking of standing out from the crowd of prospective candidates, call me today @ (609) 758-7799 or drop me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org to get the process started!