On average, recruiters will only give your resume 6-7 seconds of attention before moving on or hopefully - reading more. Keeping the reader engaged and interested is imperative if you want to be considered for a role. Even if you’re the most suitable candidate for the job, you may get overlooked purely because of a poor cover letter or CV. So, what measures should you take in order to get noticed for all of the right reasons? Read on.
The importance of a good cover letter
Your cover letter can really help you shine. It’s the story you tell in order to get noticed and ahead of the pack. It gives you an opportunity to show the hiring manager how your skillset aligns with the role that is being presented. Be sure to go into detail about what you can bring to the organisation and the value you will provide.
Tailor your CV to each role
Each time you apply for a certain position, make sure you revisit your CV and tweak it accordingly. Recruiters often use screening software which scan for certain words, you can ensure you don’t get filtered out by highlighting your expertise which match that particular position.
References should not be an afterthought. You may have the perfect resume but if you’re frantically scrambling around, trying to track down former supervisors or managers after submitting an application, then you may find yourself in a position where the reference won’t be able to recall your work or even you! Practice good etiquette by always asking others if they are willing to be contacted as a professional reference and their preferred method of contact.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do keep it to 2 pages long and no more
Do proofread over and over again. You don’t want a typo to undo all of your hard work
Do mention soft and analytical skills such as leadership, time management and team spirit
Do use bullet points when you can – this makes it much easier to read
Do highlight your achievements and accomplishments first
Do provide your contact information
Don’t fabricate experience or education. Just one ‘exaggeration’ can be grounds for termination
Don’t include school graduation information if you are a university graduate
Don’t put ‘references available on request’ be upfront and forthcoming with information
Don’t disclose personal information such as a photo or height or irrelevant hobbies
Don’t copy the job description word for word
A top-quality CV and cover letter is the key to getting a face-to-face interview and potentially locking in the position you’ve applied for. Make sure you put in the ground work by spending time and effort on the content as well the way it is presented.