Do This in Place of Your Cover Letter

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Career Advice

Although a cover letter adds a nice, personal touch when submitting your resume, this type of correspondence may be old fashioned and outdated in the digital age. Instead of trying to come up with the perfect introduction in four short paragraphs, create a resume format that includes elements of a letter.

A 2015 survey from Jobvite explains that speed, digital technology and large volumes of candidates make letters obsolete. When up to 1,400 recruiters were polled, two-thirds of them said introductory correspondence is no longer necessary. Applicant trackers rarely have an extra section for a letter, and recruiters mainly ignore them because they simply don't have time to read them, instead heading straight to the resume. However, if you want your application to have the same kind of personal feel, these four resume format tricks can make up for the lack of a letter.

1. Add Personality

At the bottom of your resume, add a line that brings out your personality. Mention hobbies, volunteer efforts or any memberships in relevant groups. Highlighting your passion for these sort of pastimes shows a recruiter you can maintain interest in a cause you care about in your life. This resume format trick doesn't take up a lot of space.

2. Summarize Your Career

At the very top, make your first section a career summary. This part has three to four bullet points or sentences that highlight your best attributes. It summarizes your personal brand and what you bring to the table on a daily basis. The career summary replaces the objective section in a traditional resume format.

3. List Social Media Profiles

A newer resume format has more than just typed words on a screen. Include hyperlinks to social media profiles, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, so recruiters can click on these links for more information. Your posts on social media let hiring managers see if you're a good fit for the company's culture. Make sure you polish your social media presence and remove anything that might seem risqué, racy or otherwise unprofessional. If you have a video profile, consider including that as well so recruiters can see your personality through your voice and mannerisms.

4. Focus on Accomplishments

After your job experience and employment history, note three to four major accomplishments within each position. Each accomplishment should have concrete, quantitative numbers to back it up. Only you can say you, as an HR specialist, "increased employee retention by 15 percent over two years at Acme Brick." These quantifiable accomplishments help you stand apart from the crowd when you tout your qualifications.

Although an actual letter serves as a quick introduction, a modified resume may help you explain your enthusiasm for the position in a few sentences. Adding highlights here and there to an updated resume format allows recruiters to seek more information on their own time after they see your amazing accomplishments, skills and qualifications.

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