Nuts & Bolts of the Search: Successful Resumes & Cover Letters Deconstructed NADINE CHEUNG @nadinecheung Blogger and Editor of The Job Post Mediabistro Blog Network #careercircus
First off, some tips
What’ s the goal of the resume?
A resume doesn’ t get you a job.
If you’ re lucky, it gets you a meeting
Think of a single goal
Every word used in your resume and cover letter should focus on explaining how you can be a solution for the open position.
Tip #1: If you want the job, customize
Tailor your resume and cover letter for every single job you pursue
Evan created a master resume
Evan created a one-page, tailored resume that got him the job!
Tip #2: Show them you are human
Sometimes that means being experimental
Mediabistro reader Lorin Munchick recently landed his dream job as Business Development Director at Max Borges Agency, a PR firm in Miami
Lorin’ s experimental cover letter
I wanted to reach out and make a connection after doing some cyber stalking and seeing that Max Borges is looking for a Biz Dev pro. After I did some due diligence on what your team is all about, I realize I need to be in that position. I do have a solid job now: good team, industry trend setting products, double-digit growth yearly, but my passion has been, and always will be, new technology.
I can't wait to scan my RSS feed from MacRumors and Daring Fireball first thing in the morning or read my Flipboard while grabbing a sandwich at lunch. I want to bring my A game to your group, a skill set of creating relationships and growing business proven across several industries. The singular focus at MBA of consumer technology is a truly unique selling proposition, one that I would love to champion.
Having experience both at national level agencies in NYC and with Apple gives me a great foundation to help grow your business. Enjoying the South Florida lifestyle and having a healthy man-crush on Dwayne Wade, there's no place else I want to be more than Miami.
I've attached a top line resume to this email, and hope to get together soon to discuss the possibilities of working together in the future.
All the best, Lorin
Tip #3 Balance being human with being aware of keywords
Many companies use resume-scanning software that searches for keywords
Even those that don’ t use scanners often have humans who scan resumes for key phrases.
Use key words effectively
Valerie balanced her strategic, keyword-oriented resume with a very humanizing cover letter
She recently landed a senior-level job at the vacation rental website HomeAway.com as Director of Customer Service, overseeing a team of 200+ people.
Valerie ’s cover letter opening
Dear Hiring Team, I ’ m excited to speak with you about the Director of North American Customer Operations opening at HomeAway. I ’ ve had the pleasure of working with members of your executive team (Lynn Atchison and Carl Shepherd) during my prior tenure at Hoover ’ s, and I ’ m equally excited about the prospect of playing a key role within Jeff Mosler ’ s Customer Experience team.
After outlining her experience, she closed her letter this way
On a personal note, I was raised in a household where the coffee can on top of the refrigerator stored every available extra dollar, used by my parents to take my sister and me around the world on many travel adventures. Those memories have shaped my ongoing passion for travel experiences.
Tip #4: Know the company you’ re pursuing
And create materials that are appropriate for that business
Tyler included a QR code
The QR code directed users to Tyler’ s site…
… where he made a simple video pitch
Tip #5: Don ’t make careless mistakes
Take enough time to check grammar, spelling, and all facts