Don't Make These Four Crucial Mistakes

Nancy Anderson
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The job search is a tedious process, but it is one that can lead you toward the career of your dreams. Package a professional resume to outline your skills and experience, but also pay close attention to your cover letter to ensure opportunities to interview with companies that can advance your career. Avoid making these four crucial mistakes to increase your chances of nailing your dream job.

1. Eliminating the Cover Letter

Many job applicants mistakenly believe that including a letter with their resume is not necessary. It is necessary and a crucial opportunity to explain why you are the best applicant for the job, explains Susan Ruhl with 4Hoteliers. Take advantage of the information you can provide in an application letter by detailing how your skills and experience match what the company is looking for in a candidate. Your resume provides crucial information, but a cover letter can offer much more detail to convince hiring managers that you are the perfect candidate.

2. Providing Attachments

Technology has helped simplify the job search and hiring process, but with advanced technologies come viral threats. Most companies accept emailed resumes and application materials, but attachments pose a risk to their Internet security. Paste the cover letter into the body of the email to eliminate security risks and to increase the chance of the hiring manager opens your document.

3. Using a Template

Hiring managers can easily recognize a form letter. Make your cover letter stand out by customizing it for each position and company. Avoid piecing together generic information that is too general. Instead, compare your skills and experience to the desired qualifications specified in the job description. Outline how you would fit well with the company culture and highlight how your accomplishments are in line with the mission and goals of the business. Be as specific as possible and cater the language to fit the industry.

4. Skimping on Details

You only have one chance to impress an employer. Don't blow it by providing vague information that does not accurately explain your experience and skills. Detail why you are the best fit for the position, explain why you want to work for the company and show that you are on board with the mission of the business. Highlight your knowledge of the company and show that you value the products and services they provide to consumers. Avoid wasting time and space with information that is not relevant to the position or your abilities to make an impact.

Hiring managers are seeking applicants who can succinctly highlight their skills and explain how they would impact the company. Show that you are the ideal candidate by crafting a cover letter that is well-written, specific, inspiring and polished to prompt employers to seek out your services.


Photo Courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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  • Clark Shaffer
    Clark Shaffer

    Good morning, regarding the aspect of "multiple resumes" I'd offer that the need for more than one resume is, in this day in age, a given. A majority of employers now engage software recognition programs which are set up to pick out keywords within a resume, Almost without exception, although the job title is the same, each posting for that job will contain a different set of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities, which are very different from the other job description. One generic resume, today, doesn't work well for the individual. Moreover the process to amend and develop a "new resume" is not that daunting. With the KSA's easily stated within the description, it's a simple matter of cut/paste and re-word to fit you. The process takes ....5 to 20 minutes at the most.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Brian writing a resume is exhausting in itself without having to think about writing two resumes for the same position. I would have one great resume to send for each type of position you are seeking. For instance, if your experience has been as an analyst as well as technical writing, you would want to create separate resumes - one touting your experience and accomplishments as a business analyst and the other as a tech writer. That's just an example but you get the idea. Otherwise, if you are going for one position say as an agile business analyst, then you only need one resume with all of the information. Don't be worrying about page length as there is no real right or wrong. If your resume has to be two pages in order to display your skills, knowledge and tasks performed for former positions, then do it. Don't get bogged down trying to keep it to one page because you are going to lose a lot of good details.

  • BRIAN FINK
    BRIAN FINK

    Dear Nancy, would you recommend having two resumes as a possible practice, a one-pager with just career highlights for the initial submission and then a longer more detailed two page version if you get an initial call?

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. @Dwanna it used to be a 30 second glance but now it's more like 6 seconds - once you get it through the ATS. That means that you used the appropriate keywords that the hiring company was looking for which got you the interview. We talk about keywords all of the time. Not so much the length @Jill but the actual content is what counts. Two employers in over 30 yrs would be easier to do than what most people have today which is temporary short-term positions. Please know that there is no right or wrong here. One author may tell you that you must have two pages, minimum, for a resume and you must include a cover letter while another will tell you - oh only one page and we never read cover letters. It's what works for the position you are applying to, the industry as well as how much experience you have. Some companies want to know everything there is to know about you before they make the first contact while other companies only want to know what you did on your last position and why you are no longer there. So please understand that we just try to offer tidbits that help you find the job. After all, that's what this is all about.

  • DWANNA C.
    DWANNA C.

    I never understood the need for a cover letter, when tips advise that you have to pass the 30 second test; meaning that an employer or recruiter is only going to give you 30 seconds of review before placing you in the "round" file. I did a test, I submitted two resumes to the same employer, but 2 weeks apart; one resume using all of the tips from the interwebs; I mean I had the cover letter and detailed resume, I even had it reviewed by Monster resume professionals. Then the other resume that was literally straight to the point; I didn't have a summary, only list of my core qualifications and went right into my last two job experiences.....guess which resume landed me the interview......yup, the one that went straight to the point! I received a call the next day on the one page straight to the point resume. I read an article stating that your resume should be designed to get you the interview, and at the interview is where you expound in detail so you can land the job. Whelp, that's my two cents for today.

  • Jill V.
    Jill V.

    suggestions just don't make any sense to me.

  • Jill V.
    Jill V.

    going back only through 2 employers. (In my case, that is about 33 years). So it is what it is; how can I tailor it? Some

  • Jill V.
    Jill V.

    Also, I have been told a resume should be short; that means

  • Jill V.
    Jill V.

    followed.

  • Jill V.
    Jill V.

    to a site ("Beyond.com", for instance), it is impossible to tailor it to the specific job. I do resent suggestions that cannot be

  • Jill V.
    Jill V.

    provided on the job application. And when I send my resume

  • Jill V.
    Jill V.

    I have not been sending cover letters unless there is a space

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