Are you sending out lots of resumes without getting any calls/feedback? Are you spending lots of time editing & changing a resume without any visible changes in results? Are you applying for roles that you know you are suitable for yet you are hearing nothing back?
As a recruiter when I post a position I am always inundated with resumes from around the world. I like to think that I spend more time than most looking through a persons resume but I can be sure that I have missed more than one great candidate because I was not able to get an idea of how the candidates skills matched the position myself and my client are trying to fill.
Very recently I was looking at someones LinkedIn profile and I thought the candidates skills were spot on. I contacted the candidate we chatted for twenty minutes and I was happy that his communication & motivation skills matched his technical skills. He then sends me his resume – hmm is this resume from someone else I thought to myself? The layout was fine but for a second I honestly felt like the resume was for a different person. If I had seen this candidates resume without seeing his LinkedIn profile I am sure I would never have spoken with this candidate.
So what was the resume missing? Relevance… The resume listed his same skills/education and experience but I would never have spent more than 30 seconds with this candidate if it wasn’t for his LinkedIn profile. I am not for one second suggesting you dump your resume and replace it with a LinkedIn profile because this normally would not solve the problem – I am suggesting an old fashioned way to solve a problem of today…
When someone is posting a job description they are basically telling you what they are looking for – it is there in black and white, you just need to pull the relevant parts out and explain how you – the candidate – is more than suitable for this role. My solution to this problem is to write a very short/quick cover letter detailing your relevant skills that are specific to the role you are applying to.
For example today we have posted a Java developer position looking in the particular area of security and authentication. I can see within 20 minutes of the post being live I am already getting Java Developer type resumes but not a single one is mentioning the particulars of the job posting – the resumes are all generic. Editing and tailoring a resume is time consuming and often harder because of the resume format but what about a few paragraphs in a cover letter? Easy!! My suggestion for jumping to the front of the queue is to do a quick 1 or 2 paragraph cover letter explaining your relevant skills to security/authentication and other pertinent details from the job posting. This should not take more than 60 seconds to read and certainly not longer than one page. The golden rule is the cover letter should be specific to the role and not a generic letter. If it is a generic cover letter then it is no more benefit than a generic resume!!
Not only does a custom cover letter give the impression that you have the relevant skills for the specific role but also it shows the recruiter (someone like myself) that you are serious about getting the role. Also it only took you less than 10 minutes to complete!
If you have any questions about this post or about recruitment in general – please do not hesitate contacting us 😉