Does your Résumé have a Voice?

Today I have laryngitis – I seem predisposed to this side effect whenever I get a cold. My voice wavers in its ability to communicate through the day. In the morning, I squeak a lot but can be heard if I strain; as you can imagine, due to this exertion, I can barely be heard by the end of the day. By evening, I have had it – cough, cough, squeak, squeak. In order to really get my voice back, I need to do the right things – proven strategies for improvement like resting my voice, drinking liquids & hot tea/honey, upping vitamin C, getting more sleep, etc. Even though it is frustrating to take these steps back to go forward, I know that straining does not work. Investing in time and effort will yield me a voice.

Sometimes when I evaluate a résumé, it seems to have no voice. There is a lot of information, but nothing jumps out…….lots of “sound” but the résumé is straining to communicate…..and failing to convey the message or get any results.

If you are not getting results, take a close look at your résumé. Does it showcase your value? Is it high impact? Engaging? Competitive? Powerful? If not, maybe it is time to take a step back and question your strategies. If you want to be heard, you need to invest the time and effort to be sure that your résumé has a voice in the market.

 

 

 

 

 

E-Notes or Cover Letters…are you confused?

DELETE-DELETE-DELETE. We are all overwhelmed these days with too much information– emails, text messages, Facebook posts, tweets, linkedin messages, blogs, and more.  Typically, in about 2 or 3 seconds, we rapidly skim these items to see if we are going to pay attention to them or delete them. So how do you get a recruiter to pay attention to YOUR cover letter…the one that enlightens them with all of the wonderful reasons why you are the best person for the job?

You might wonder if you should even send a cover letter at all? Yes! Well, sort of. But…not too much. Confused?  The real question is, “should you send an e-Note or a Cover Letter?”  Sending a resume alone is not enough. Providing a cover note fosters an opportunity to influence the recruiter and distinguish yourself from others (many of whom do NOT send one).  Traditional cover letters are about a half to three quarters of a page in length and go into detail about your background, your value, and how you can contribute to the company. The newer “e-Note” is a more concise version of that same letter, and can be a short paragraph or up to about a third of a page of information. It is not sent as a separate attachment. It is written in the body of an email with your resume attached. Or, in the case of job boards, it may be a few a few powerful sentences created in their designated “box.”

In a recent E-Summit training webcast delivered by “Career Gurus,”  Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark (via www.resumewritingacademy.com and www.careerthoughtleaders.com ), some crucial tips were provided on creating a powerful e-Note that gets noticed:

  • Keep it brief
  • Be sure to grab the reader’s attention with most important / relevant accomplishments
  • Use the subject line of  your email to convey expertise
  • Add contact information to an auto generated “signature block”
  • Be sure to convey why you fit the position

Follow these wise tips from Wendy and Louise and you will surely get noticed!

10 seconds to influence hiring decisions? Write a thank you note!

You can move forward more rapidly in your job search by utilizing every opportunity to send a letter, email, or voicemail message to a potential employer and to your networking leads (…without being a stalker of course!). Think about it – you meet with someone, and later drop a quick email saying “Nice meeting you for coffee today – I appreciated your suggestions about my job search.” It would take you about 10 seconds to write this and click send, right? What do you think the reaction will be from the recipient? He will have a nice surprise note in their email that is short and appreciative of their time. He feels good about the note and good about you!

This thank you effort can be a key influencing factor following a job interview. Sending a note (via snail mail or email) is an opportunity to show your initiative, to emphasize a critical point about your background, to mention one more thing about your strengths which may not have come up during the interview.  The employer who received your note is impressed with your timely note and comments. Surprisingly, only a small percentage of candidates send a thank you letter after an interview. So, this makes your note stand out even more so!

How can you look polished with regard to post job interview notes? Be sure to ask for a business card so you have the spelling of their name, and correct email or snail mail address. The letter should be brief and if handwritten –  legible. Start by thanking them for the opportunity to interview and convey your excitement about the position. Then mention one or two key points – perhaps something in particular about the job that you were enthusiastic about, or emphasizing how you feel you could make a contribution to the team. Close with a simple statement indicating that you enjoyed the meeting and hope to hear back soon. Be sure to include your email address and phone number. Just think – this small effort could be the key to getting an offer!

Your “bedazzled” email address can cost you the interview

Do you have a cute, flirty, or suggestive email address on your resume, for example:  hotchick@aol.com, or poodlelover@gmail.com, or perhaps goodtimes@aol.com ?

While this may be fun for emails between you and your friends, this could cause you to lose out on an interview! Think about this from an employer’s standpoint. What impression do they get about you when they read these unique, sometimes bizarre, email addresses? What image do you want them to have of you?

If you want to create a professional impression, then be sure you have a professional sounding email address! The most recommended way is simply to use your first name and last name or first initial and last name, such as: janesmith@gmail.com or jsmith@yahoo.com. So, go check your email address and get ready for the phone to ring!