The following article was written by Jason Adams, author of The StreetSmart Job Changing System. I've used Jason's system myself in applying for jobs in the past. It's an amazing approach to finding the job you want.
In the article, Jason talks about the importance of a great cover letter and a striking resume for setting yourself apart. For more about cover letter writing, see my article 12 Tips For Writing a Cover Letter.
Some people say that the resume is THE most important
part of the job changing process, while others say it’s
the cover letter and even others say it’s the interview.
The truth is that they are all right and wrong!
It’s like asking …what is more important in a car, the
brake pedal, the gas pedal or the steering wheel.
Obviously you need all three to get you from point A
to point B.
The main purpose of a resume along with the accompanying
cover letter is to get you the interview, pure and simple.
The way to accomplish this is to show off your strengths
and achievements and minimize your weaknesses
(we all have them). Now is not the time to be modest -
if you don’t tell the hiring manager how good you are
and what you can do for his or her company, no one else
Cover letters and resumes are both used to get you the
interview; they just do it a little differently.
The cover letter:
- is the perfect place to expand upon your resume,
add information you couldn’t fit on the resume or to
place more emphasis on a specific point or experience.
- directs the reader to your resume for more information.
- tells the reader how, where and when to contact you.
- explains why you are interested in their company and
why they should be interested in speaking with you.
- suggests action...I’ll call you...please call me, etc.
- lets you clearly state why this company is interesting
and a good match for you and the potential employer.
- should concentrate on how your skills and abilities
can benefit the employer both now and in the future.
In addition, a cover letter gives the reader more
information about you such as your writing style and
your "personality". It must be interesting enough to
entice the reader to spend some time reading your resume.
The cover letter may say something like..."as you’ll
see in the attached resume, blah, blah, blah" or "in
addition to the information listed on the attached resume,
I have also done, blah, blah, blah."
A good resume:
- zeros in on those skills and abilities that you have
that are most relevant and important to the job you
- focuses on your achievements and accomplishments not
just the responsibilities you had at each job.
- reveals the results of your achievements.
- should project your career as a series of progressive
- needs to be short on words and long on facts.
- is eye appealing and visually inviting.
But remember, your past accomplishments and achievements
are relevant only as it relates to what you can do now
for the hiring company. No matter how good you were at
a previous company, to the hiring company, it’s all about
what can you do for them.
Jason Adams is President of Street Smart Sales and Marketing
and author of the highly acclaimed book The StreetSmart
Job-Changing System. For more information Click Here!