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Do you want to know a secret about resumes and cover letters? Employers sometimes put more emphasis on a cover letter than they do a resume, so not focusing on yours can significantly reduce your chances of landing a job. It’s easy to spend a lot of time crafting your resume and not focus on the other important aspects of a job application. An executive resume cover letter gives an HR manager a glimpse of who the person really is behind a resume, so it deserves some time and attention.
Another good reason for a cover letter is that even though you hear that many recruiters don’t read them, there are also many recruiters that WON’T read your resume without a cover letter. Here are some other reasons why your cover letter is important.

Cover Letters Make You Stand Out

Standing out is difficult to do when you think about the hundreds of resumes an HR manager has to sift through for any given job post. Your cover letter gives you the chance to fill in any blanks left in your resume, such as employment gaps, transitions, achievements or anything else. Instead of being a supplement to your resume, your cover letter should be an extension of it to tell your complete career story to your potential employer.

Cover Letters Show Your True Self

When writing cover letters for resumes, you have the opportunity to show your personality. Companies want to hire someone with the right skills and experience, but also someone who will fit culturally. Writing in a natural tone will show your true self and help an employer decide if you would be a good fit with the team. If it doesn’t seem like you would fit in well, then you’ll save time by not going to an interview or getting hired only to find out you simply don’t get along with your co-workers.

executive resume cover letterSell Yourself With Your Cover Letter

Finally, your executive resume cover letter gives you the chance to sell yourself. You have a blank page to say whatever you want to about yourself, so don’t hold anything back. Let the employer know what you can offer them, how you’re best suited for the position you’re applying for and what your short-term and long-term goals are. Keep it concise, but get your point across clearly with the goal of making the HR manager impressed enough to want to meet you in person.

Professional Resume Services is here to help write resumes and cover letters for executives searching for a new job. We focus on all the details of a job search and know exactly what recruiters are looking for in a cover letter. To learn more about how we can help you enhance any aspect of your job search, feel free to contact us at any time.

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Being aggressive with an executive job search doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be pushy or demanding. Aggressiveness actually means spending a significant amount of time developing the best resumes and cover letters tailored to the job and company you’re applying for. There’s still a time and place for a follow up after you’ve applied for a position, but the vast majority of your work should be done beforehand. Here are some tips to consider throughout your job search.

executive resume biographyTailor Your Resume Specifically For The Job

Writing general resumes and cover letters won’t get you very far. One of the best things you can do is look at the details of all the requirements and insert the keywords you identify into your application papers. You may think an HR manager or recruiter won’t be able to know you’ve sent in the same resume to multiple different companies, but they’ve likely filtered through thousands of resumes in their career to know the difference between a general and specific one.

Read The Job Application Thoroughly

Missing a critical detail in a job application is a guaranteed way to be removed from consideration. For example, if a specific work sample is required for the application, not including one shows your lack of attention to detail. No matter how much you follow up, they will remember you didn’t follow directions from the application, so what makes them think you can follow directions if they hire you?

Make Connections

Once you’ve put together your best executive resume biography and filled out the job application perfectly, wait a week or two before following up. In the meantime, feel free to make connections with the HR manager or other company personnel via LinkedIn or other networking platform. Just be sure to optimize your LinkedIn profile before your reach out so it helps your case instead of hurting it.

Follow Up At Appropriate Times

Following up on a job application is important and effective if done at the right time. As mentioned, wait at least one week after you submit your application before you follow up. There’s sometimes no way to tell if your resume and cover letter get lost in the shuffle, so sending a quick email displaying your interest is recommended. A follow up email is an aggressive way to move your job search forward, but be sure to draw the line between being aggressive and being pushy.

Professional Resume Services wants to be involved with all aspects of your executive job search. We can help you optimize your LinkedIn profile, craft the perfect cover letter or resume or even provide tips on how to show the right amount of aggressiveness during your job search. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re in need of assistance at any point during your job search.

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executive resume cover lettersWriting executive resume cover letters is challenging enough. Executives may spend a significant amount of time writing their cover letter, only to have a simple mistake cost them the job. It’s easy to focus on the technical details and ensuring you’ve included the most important aspects of your skills and experience in your cover letter. However, you also have to make sure the most common mistakes are avoided. Here are the top three most common executive cover letter mistakes to look for.

Misspelled Words

Typographical errors happen, but you can’t let them happen in an executive bio or cover letter. A misspelled word could demonstrate to an employer your lack of attention to detail. Since your executive cover letter makes the first impression, some employers will assume these types of mistakes will happen in your work as well, and not hire you as a result. It’s not necessarily the fact that you made a typographical error, but not catching the error looks more concerning.

Including Too Much Information

Any cover letter writing service will tell you to keep your executive cover letter short and to the point. Employers aren’t going to spend a lot of time reading a cover letter. If they see a huge block of text on a page, they may not even read the first sentence before tossing it aside. A clear and concise cover letter demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively. Having too much information can be portrayed as having poor communication skills, which isn’t a good trait to have as an executive.

Hard-to-Read Format

The use of white space, bullet points, margins and other formatting technicalities are important. When you look at your executive resume cover letters, you should be looking at a clean page that’s easy to read. Your cover letter represents you, so if you don’t take pride in how it looks, what are you telling an employer? How you represent yourself is usually a reflection of how you will represent the company, so use a cover letter writing service if you’re struggling with how to format yours.

Professional Resume Services has helped hundreds of executives write their executive resume cover letters to perfection. Mistakes are easy to make, and not correcting them can be costly for your job prospects. Whether you need to start fresh with a new cover letter, or if you only need to tweak your current one a bit, reach out to us and we will be glad to help you.

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cover letter writing serviceWhen you sit down to write an executive cover letter, you may have many different thoughts running through your mind. Will the hiring manager even read this? Why can’t I simply regurgitate my resume? Aren’t all cover letters the same?

The truth is, cover letters are difficult to write when you write them properly. They shouldn’t be the same as your resume, and yes, hiring managers do read the good ones. You just have to make yours stand out from the rest by being appropriately creative in your writing. If this doesn’t seem like your style, here are some tips from a cover letter writing service to help you out.

Distinguish Cover Letters From Resumes

One mistake many executives make is turning their resume into paragraph form and calling it a cover letter. This isn’t the purpose. Your executive cover letter should show more of your personality and creativity, rather than your experiences in the industry. You will likely send in your resume and cover letter at the same time, so no one will want to read the same thing twice.

Be Brief and To The Point

Don’t include more than two or three paragraphs on your executive cover letter. In fact, cover letters closely resemble executive profiles, since they should just be short statements describing your value and what you bring to the table. No hiring manager wants to read a lengthy cover letter.

Showcase Your Ability to Help The Company

As far as the content of your executive cover letter goes, write more about how you can help the company, rather than focusing on your past achievements. You may need to use a cover letter writing service to help iron out the details. It’s easy to talk about how good of an employee you are, but everyone does that. When you demonstrate your knowledge about the company and tie in your experiences, your cover letter will stand out.

Be Creative and Conversational

As an executive, most resumes and cover letters you write are likely cut-and-dry. It doesn’t hurt to be a little creative, at times. Try writing your executive cover letter in more of a conversational tone. Incorporate random facts about your industry or tell a very short story to keep the reader engaged.

Professional Resume Services knows the ins-and-outs of a great executive cover letter. We are an executive resume writing service with expertise in resumes, cover letters, networking, LinkedIn profile development and more. If you’re struggling with your cover letter in any way, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

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Believe it or not, there still is somewhat of a notion that women shouldn’t be in top positions at certain companies. However, this has changed significantly over the years, and many companies are viewing women at a higher standard than ever before, and rightfully so. With more women obtaining higher education and having the same or similar qualifications as men, companies are opening their executive roles up to women as well. However, the job search for women is still difficult, so here are some tips to consider.

Network With Other Female Executives

The power of networking is huge for women looking to land an executive role. Update your LinkedIn profile with your current skills and goals. Join LinkedIn groups and attend professional events in your area related to your industry of interest. Getting tips from other female executives is one of the most valuable things you can do to ensure you’re on the right path.

LinkedIn profileVisit Specific Career Websites for Women

There are many different career websites specifically for women looking for jobs. Some of these websites are general, but some are specific to the career or industry you desire. Some of those websites may recommend you submit a general cover letter or resume, so it may be worth your time to look into a cover letter writing service to optimize keywords, highlight skills and other attributes.

Check The Culture of Companies You Apply To

You don’t want to waste your time applying for a job if the company culture doesn’t fit your views. With the technology and resources available to you today, you can find out all you need to know about a company’s culture online. You may be surprised at how much you can narrow your options down by doing this bit of research.

Optimize Your Resume

There are many different keys when it comes to writing an effective resume. If you’re a woman looking for an executive job, one of the best things to do is visit a cover letter writing service to have them critique your current cover letter and resume. As a woman, your resume has to stand out to a recruiter looking at it, and a resume writing service can help you do that.

Professional Resume Services has helped many women executives get into the career roles they desire with companies that fit their style. If you’re a female executive searching for an executive job, feel free to contact us for help with your job search, whether you’re just getting started or have been searching for a while.

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mashable
Recently, I was honored to be among industry experts discussing current trends in resumes and cover letters on a Mashable Biz Chat. Tracy Edouard, Marketing and Communication at Mashable, gives us the highlights of Mashable’s #BizChats Twitter chat on how to transform your resume and cover letter for the better and you can see different professional perspectives on these questions:

  1. Is it important to have both a cover letter and resume when submitting job applications? Why or why not?
  2. How can someone truly make their resume stand out from the competition?
  3. What features are important to showcase on someone’s resume? (GPA, school, skills, etc.)
  4. What are employers and recruiters looking for in resumes and cover letters?
  5. What are the biggest cover-letter mistakes professionals are making?
  6. How important is design when it comes to creating a resume and cover letter?
  7. What are the top resources available for resume and cover letter support?
  8. What final tips do you have about creating great resumes and cover letters?

These are all good questions. And the input from the various professionals involved is valuable without a doubt. But do you know what the most striking thing about this Twitter chat is?

There Isn’t An Excuse For An Ineffective Resume & Cover Letter

We have the ability to pull experts from all over the place for a chance to pick their brains. Every expert tweeting is linked to a site with a wealth of information, and there is no reason a job seeker with access to an expert can’t get expert advice. Much of that advice is free, too!

The overwhelming consensus is that you can have an effective resume and cover letter by putting the right effort into it. Sometimes that effort involves doing the research on current trends and revamping it yourself, sometimes it takes a resume critique from a professional to help you see what needs to be done, and sometimes your best investment is in a professional resume service.

The help you need to have a powerful resume and cover letter is out there and you can find it easily, along with a wealth of career advice from experts in your field.

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New-Year-2015-760x570

 

If your goal is to get a new job this year, here are seven things you need to do to prepare yourself for your job search.

1. Update your résumé. While ideally your résumé is customized for a specific job, having an up-to-date résumé targeted for a specific “type” of position is the next best thing. So if you’ve taken on additional responsibilities in your current job, or you’ve changed your job target, or you’ve added new training or educational credentials, now is the time to talk with your résumé writer about updating your résumé. (And if you don’t have a résumé at all, now is definitely the time to put one together! A professional résumé writer can help!)

2. Develop — or update — your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile doesn’t replace the résumé…it complements it. Someone looking for a candidate with your skills and experience might conduct a search on LinkedIn and find your profile. Or, someone in your network might be interested in recommending you, and forward your LinkedIn profile URL. So make sure you have a LinkedIn profile — and make sure that it’s updated. (Yes, this is something your résumé writer can help you with.)

3. Know what you’re worth: conduct salary research. One of the most often-cited reasons to consider a job search is to increase your salary. But how do you know what you’re worth? There is more salary research data available than ever before. Websites like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com can help you see how your current salary and benefits package stacks up.

4. Build your network. It’s estimated that 70-80% of jobs are found through networking. Networking effectiveness is not just about quality — although that’s important. It’s also about quantity. It’s not just about who you know. It’s about who your contacts know. Many times, it’s the friend-of-a-friend who can help you land your dream job. Grow your network both professionally and personally. You never know who will be the one to introduce you to your next job opportunity.

5. Manage your online reputation. More and more hiring managers are checking you out online before they interview you. What will they find when they type your name into Google? How about if they check out your Twitter profile? Or find you on Facebook? Now is the time to conduct a social media assessment and clean up your online profiles.

6. Define your ideal job. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” That line, from Alice in Wonderland, is important to remember in your job search. If you don’t know what your dream job looks like, how will you know how to find it? What job title and responsibilities are you interested in? Do you want to work independently, as part of a team, or both? Do you like short-term projects or long-term projects? Who would you report to? Who would report to you? Answering these questions can help you define your ideal position.

7. Create a target list of companies you’d like to work for. Like your ideal job, you probably have a preference for the type of organization you want as your employer. Things to consider include: company size, industry, culture, location, and structure (public, private, family-owned, franchise, nonprofit, etc.). Once you’ve made your list, look for companies that fit your criteria.

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the top 5 skills sought by employers in 2014

Did you ever wonder what the global job market is actually looking for? LinkedIn is in a unique position to find out, so after analyzing over 330 million LinkedIn member profiles, they came up with The 25 Hottest Professional Skills of 2014. Of that 25, the top 5 are:

  1. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
  2. Middleware and Integration Software
  3. Storage Systems and Management
  4. Network and Information Security
  5. SEO/SEM Marketing

What This Means For 2015

These were the top 5 skills that employers and recruiters were looking for last year. These are the skills that got people hired. Does that mean you should drop your current career plans and get a degree in statistical analysis? Not necessarily — but it does mean that technological understanding is something that cannot be ignored. Any candidate that has the skills needed for a particular job PLUS the global perspective of how that job fits into the bigger picture is a lot more prepared to compete.

If your resume doesn’t mention the technology you know how to utilize, it’s time to update your resume. In this increasingly interconnected world, we need professionals who can integrate the work they do with the global presence of the company that employs them. Each one of the “top skills” looked for attest to the fact that business is supported by technology and the IT department isn’t just tech support.

At the very least, taking the time to see what these areas consist of and how they are used in your industry prepares you to be someone who can see how their part fits into the mission of the company and gives you insight on the challenges of management and leadership. If you are interested in executive responsibilities, executive perspective sees how it all fits together.

If I were to make any predictions for 2015, it would be that most of the skills on 2014’s list will still be important. They may change positions, but like technology, they aren’t going away.

 

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how much will not having a good resume cost?

Many times, someone will look at the price of having a professional resume writer develop their resume and wonder if it is worth the cost. There’s a way to put the cost of a professional resume service into perspective:

How much will it cost you to stay unemployed and searching for a job?

Say you are hoping to find a job that pays $52,000 a year to make this exercise easy. That means your pay before taxes is $1,000 because there are 52 weeks in a year. If you have been looking for a job and nobody is calling you back, your resume usually has a lot to do with that, so your current resume and job search methods have already cost you however many weeks you’ve been using them.

Now take a look at the prices of the various a la carte services or packages. Look at those prices in terms of the salary you are hoping to earn and the time you have been searching for a job — and think how improving your resume or distribution will improve your chances of finding that job. It may cost you less than one day’s worth of future salary to have your current resume critiqued and know how to improve it. It could be less than a week of your future salary to have a professional resume written.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll get hired with a professionally written resume, but you almost certainly will get called in for an interview, and the rest is up to you. It’s costing you quite a bit in lost wages to use an inferior resume that is not getting results.

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the top reason your cover letter is important

Some will tell you that nobody reads cover letters any more, so there’s no good reason to write them. But there actually are very good reasons to write a professional, researched, compelling cover letter, and here’s the top reason why:

It is your opening argument that the attached resume is worth taking the time to read.

There are many helpful hints on writing your cover letter and it is a good idea to read up on this skill before you start drafting yours. Then start by taking the specific job description you are applying for and matching your qualifications to that description. Find the company’s goals and mission statement. Can you see how they mesh with the job and how you could be the best candidate for that opening?

If possible, discover who will be reading the resumes and use their name in the opening. Present your case for their consideration by a well-written and concise explanation of how your qualifications fit their needs and their goals. Reference any personal recommendations you have within the organization. Think of who will read your letter, what their goals are, and how to show them you can be the one to meet those goals.

An opening argument isn’t the entire database of evidence in a debate; it is the distillation of that evidence in a simple form that communicates conviction of opinion. Or to put it another way, it is the advertising copy that gets the buyer interested in looking at the product more closely. If that advertising is full of grammar mistakes and spelling errors, the product is seen as jokeworthy and will probably be rejected.

In the same way, if your cover letter is full of grammar mistakes and spelling errors, your resume will probably be rejected without being read because it will be assumed that your standards are lower than the reader’s. If you know you make grammar and spelling mistakes, use all the tools at your disposal to correct them. Computer programs like spellcheck and grammar checks are helpful, but a person will catch things they miss. Ask a friend who cares about writing well to proofread your cover letter. If you lack a friend with those skills, use a service like our Resume Critique and get a professional opinion.

Cover letters can convince a potential employer to consider a resume they might ignore otherwise. And that is a good reason to write one!

 

 

 

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