How to Get Your Resume (and Cover Letter!) Noticed in 2017

Oh, these hot mess millennials and their job-hopping. A solid 38% are planning to leave their current employer within two years.

I believe it … because, if you’re reading this …

Source: Wikipedia

Nah, it’s not too late.

If you’re reading this and know me IRL, there’s a good chance I’ve helped you write your resume, edit your cover letter, or I have conducted a mock interview with you. I do it for family, neighbors, friends, even my niece’s friends. Last year, I went on a spree where I legit reworked about 8 different resumes/cover letters within 2 weeks.

Please note: I am NOT a career counselor or recruiter. I have never done this professionally or charged money for resume writing. It just makes me happy to see my friends accomplish cool stuff + get that schmoney they deserve. #FBGM

Source: Giphy

That said, I have seen a bunch of resumes and cover letters over the years. So, I’ve decided to compile the top feedback I’ve doled out to my pals. I hope these insights are helpful to you too, if you are in search of a new gig!

RESUME DO’S & DON’TS

1. Narrow it down to one page. I get it – you have a lot of ground to cover. You “can’t cut anything out because it’s all important.” Guess what? The average amount of time recruiters spend looking at resumes is 6 seconds. SIX SECONDS. You have no option but to give them highlights that will stand out. If you have an extensive background, break down the accomplishments from your last three roles + your education + your relevant skills.

2. Do not try to fit more in by making the font smaller. Ain’t nobody got time to be squinting their eyes to try and read that you managed a team of five.

Source: Giphy

3. Nix the objective. It’s 2017, you do not need an objective. No one is going to read it and be like, “FUCK YES. THIS WOMAN IS SEEKING A ROLE IN WHICH SHE CAN APPLY HER GENUINE PASSION FOR CONSUMER RESEARCH.” That much is obvious if you are applying for the job. If you are truly compelled to talk about what you are looking for, write a brief cover letter (more on that later).

4. Include all of the metrics. People love numbers. They pop out. So, go on, BB, and let that recruiter know if you brought in $250,000 worth of sales last quarter; or if you promoted a webinar that 500 people attended; or if you maintained order in a classroom of 18 toddlers. I promise you, even if you think you don’t have a metric to highlight, you do.

5. Get creative with your verbs. Yeah, we all know you “helped” or that you “led.”😴😴😴! There are way more dynamic things you can say. Take a look at these powerful verbs you should use instead.

Source: Giphy

6. Be consistent. If you have three bullet points for the first job, use three for the second job and so-forth. If you italicize one position, italicize the next, and so on.

7. Fix your formatting. Do not send your resume with jacked formatting to people. I promise you they will open it and won’t even spend the six seconds on it. Want to make sure your resume will look clean no matter whose hands it reaches? Save and send as a PDF. HR systems are advanced enough these days that they can parse PDFs pretty well.

8. Check, recheck and check your spelling and grammar one more time. I know this goes without saying, but, y’all – I have seen SO many careless mistakes in resumes. I have sent my resume out with careless mistakes in the past. The last thing you want a speed-reading recruiter to catch is a spelling error. Ask a friend or relative or anyone to proofread it.

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT COVER LETTER?

1. If they ask for a cover letter, send one. Only 26% of recruiters consider cover letters important. That means this hiring requirement is becoming obsolete. So, if someone asks for it in the job description, they actually plan on looking at it. (If they don’t ask for it, I advise you to only send your resume or to just send a quick introductory note saying hello!)

2. “To Whom This May Concern” + “Dear Sir or Madam” are from the days of yore. If you can find the Hiring Manager’s name, use it. Otherwise, go with “Dear [company name] team!” or even “Dear Hiring Manager” if the company is a bit more corporate.

Source: Giphy

3. Keep it brief. Like, 250 words at most. If they’re only looking at your resume for 6 seconds, they’re legit only scanning your cover letter for words that pop out at them.

4. Don’t repeat what you already stated in your resume. They already have that. Share what makes you unique, show them the value you’d provide if hired. The last cover letter I sent was for a job that wasn’t even posted. I went through their website, and shared ideas on how they could improve it. I proved my value in this brief note to them. Guess what? They emailed me months later telling me they finally had a position open, and that they had kept me in mind because of that innovative email I sent.

5. Don’t say weird shit. Friend, I love you, but the cover letter is not the place for you to get odd and personal. Let your voice shine through, but keep it professional.

5. Check your spelling and grammar. Duh.

Happy Job Hunting!

I could go on, but I’ll leave you with this: You are awesome, and you are capable. You are NOT some basic bitch. If you want to be making more money, you can do it. If you want to be happier at work, it is 100% possible. Commit to it, boss babe, because I know for a fact that you can land the job of your dreams.

Need some pointers? You know I gotchu. Want to share some tips of your own? We wanna hear them! Shoot me an email [stephanie@livedynamic.co], hit me up on social media or just comment below!

xo, BBs!

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