About to graduate? Here are four ways to make your resume and cover letter land you a job
by Ofelia Del La Rosa
With the spring semester coming to an end and graduation slowly getting closer, the stress of getting a job is becoming more real and, quite frankly, a little scary. The process of looking for a job, filling out the application, hitting send and waiting for them to call can get a little frustrating after a couple of times. Standing out to a job recruiter whose eyes have seen countless resumes and cover letters can be challenging, but there are ways to be noticeable and be the one who lands the job.
1. Don’t be repetitive
It’s normal for your resume and cover letter to include similar information, but not every piece of information on your resume is meant to be included in your cover letter.
It can become repetitive and uninteresting.
Your resume is supposed to have detailed information of when, where and how long you worked, but your cover letter should have a more personal touch. This is where the recruiter gets a better understanding of who you are, your most important qualities and what makes you the best candidate for the job, in your own words. Keeping your cover letter to a page is key to maintaining their interest.
2. Don’t be lazy, verify what you’re writing
It’s easy to just submit it without verifying what you’re writing and who you’re writing to after three hours of working on your resume and cover letter. Don’t be basic and write “To whom it may concern” because going the extra mile is what’s going to earn you that job. Do some research and find out who will be receiving your resume and cover letter.
Look over your resume and cover letter. It looks good, right? The information is right. You have good experience and great references. But did you spell check? A spelling error can be what's standing in your way from getting a call and being employed.
3. Every job is different
Yes, it is less time consuming to just submit one resume and cover letter to multiple jobs, but this will ultimately hurt your chances in the long run. You have to tailor each resume and cover letter to the job you’re applying to. It’s okay to have a template that works for you, but change what’s necessary when applying to different jobs. There’s no need to change everything completely. It’s as easy as using certain keywords for one job and wording your resumes and cover letters differently.
4. Don’t be a robot
It’s easy to start a resume and cover letter with listing what you’re good at. Communicating, leadership, being a team player – see how generic that is? Use power verbs. This will make your resume and cover letter less generic. For example, “I believe my experience in working with an in-house public relations agency as a social media specialist makes me a great candidate for the public relations position” sounds better than “I’m interested in this job because I’m good at public relations.” The power is in your words because anyone can list a bunch of skills that have no meaning. Be the one that goes above and beyond.
Well, there you have it. Don’t fret about graduating and not having a job because finding a job can be stress-free when you have the right resume and cover letter.
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