Who is the first person to see your resume when searching for a new job? It is usually the Human Resources Manager. That person probably will see dozens of resumes for a new job posting. It is imperative that you grab their attention with the cover letter to make them pause and look at your resume.
You don’t want your resume to be tossed to the side because of a sloppy cover letter or because you left out pertinent details. That is the quickest way to lose the prospect of a top executive position. Or any position for that matter.
The cover letter needs to be as well thought out as your resume. It needs to enhance your resume by highlighting the qualifications you have for the job you are applying for. Things to consider are:
- Research well the position you are applying for. Highlight your qualifications for that position. Make sure you include any achievements in that area of expertise.
- Introduce yourself in the first paragraph. Tell them about yourself (briefly) and why you would be the perfect person for the job.
- Keep the cover letter to one page and make sure all spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct. HR managers will quickly toss you aside if the cover letter is illegible.
- If sending via snail mail, don’t forget to sign the cover letter.
Make sure your resume and cover letter are on good quality paper. I prefer ‘White’. ‘Ivory’ tends to look dingy or dirty when compared with another candidate’s white resume. You don’t have to list all of your jobs for the past 20 years. But, make sure your qualifications and other skills are included in a positive way.
A strong, confident resume will go a long way in getting you in the door. You then have to carry that same confidence with a face-to-face interview. There are still a lot of executive positions in the job market, but qualifications alone won’t get you there. Be sure to explain your problem solving skills, how you have helped any previous companies save money, or if you have experience with managing multiple people.
Take a second look at your resume. If you think it needs improvement, consider using a resume writing service that will make your resume shine. Let the professionals help you stand out from the rest so you won’t get tossed in the corner.