The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

May 11, 2014

Outdated techniques won’t get you the job

RICHMOND — You hear about a job opportunity that you want to apply for. You are excited and feel that you would be great at this job.

You rush home to get your cover letter and resume together. You get on your computer and pull up a resume and cover letter template and get to work.

You begin your cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern” and then state in the first paragraph that you would like to apply to work for this company. You continue writing the cover letter and then move on to the resume.

Under your name and contact information, you write a small objective paragraph that tells the employer you are seeking full-time work with a challenging environment where your skills could be utilized.

Next, you list each of your previous employers and write a statement on what you did for each of those jobs. Lastly, you list a couple of references you think will be an asset during your application process.

When you’re finished, you send the documents to the employer and eagerly wait to be called for an interview.

Will the employer notice your cover letter and resume? Will you get called for an interview? Will you get offered the job? Not likely.

Your cover letter and resume are too generic and outdated. You don’t stand out among the crowd of other applicants.

Employers receive thousands of resumes every year. With this much experience reviewing applicants’ documents, employers know immediately if you bothered to take the time to research their company, or the position you are applying for, when they glance at your cover letter or resume.

If you want to stand out to an employer, you have to take the time to research the company and the job opening. You must attempt to match your skills with what the employer needs and then tailor your cover letter and resume to meet their needs.

Your roof is leaking, and you need it fixed now, would you care if the contractor tells you that he is really good at laying tile floors once he looks over your roof? No.

Your home is leaking and you need the roof fixed now, plus you’re doubting if he is the best roofer for the job if he is focused on laying tile.

Employers think the same way.

An employer wants to know how your skills will benefit their company. What will you bring to the table? How will you be an asset to their company?

What indicates that you will adapt easily to a new job? Will your skills make the employer more profitable?

Consider your resume as a marketing tool that highlights what you have to offer and your cover letter as the opportunity to influence the employer to bring you in for an interview.

If you submit a dry and boring cover letter using an average template resume, you’ll get the average employer’s response – no interview and no job offer.

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