How to Stand Out, Part 1: Common Resume Screw-Ups

How do you make yourself stand out from the rest during these difficult economic times?

By Michael Reiss, Landover Managing Partner 

Due to the economic times we are living in now, you will probably receive more rejections and it will take longer to land a new position. Most importantly, you should accept the fact that this is the result of the continued economic downturn–do not take it personally or get discouraged. Wake up each day with a new sense of urgency and commitment to find a job that matches your goals. To give yourself the best chance to get a job offer, follow our five-part series on How to Stand Out to recruiters and hiring managers. Read up on this week’s advice on how to perfect and hone that resume. 

Job Search Correspondence: Resume Mistakes

I know you hear it all the time but probably one of the biggest reason people don’t get hired is due to their resume having blatant mistakes. Make sure both your resume and cover letter have been reviewed for errors before sending it out. Probably more than seventy percent of the correspondence I receive have spelling or grammatical mistakes. Solution: Don’t trust your spellchecker. Have a human being you trust read through your correspondence to make sure they pass muster. If you do this you are already ahead of the seventy percent!

Form Letters-Yeech!

Ninety-five percent of the resumes emailed to me have an attached form letter or cover page-DO NOT PASS GO-IMMEDIATE CIRCULAR FILE!  Landover is like all the other companies that are hiring. Make us feel special and show that you actually spent some time researching the role and our company.  Companies want to see that you have an interest and gave their opportunity real thought before deciding to send your resume. Your resume should be a prized possession that you do not want to separate from unless you can trust the person you hand it to. Think highly of yourself to let a company know you are valuable.  So when you hear the stories of people that have not received a job offer after sending out 4000 resumes and have no bites, this is why. Too much supply, less demand. Just don’t do it.

Every cover letter should be a new piece of original writing.  It should be addressed to the department head and should be at most a paragraph long.  In it, give your elevator pitch of why your experience and skills match the role advertised and the company’s culture.  Let them know that you are available to meet with them, speak on the phone, Skype, or at the very least, meet for a 10-minute cup of something.

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