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Solve My Problem and You're Hired!

Aug 17, 2007
Resumes and cover letters that get acted upon are those that demonstrate the writer's potential to solve an employer's problem based on how similar problems in the past were solved by the applicant. Companies like resumes that demonstrate what you can do for them that you are a problem-solver.

Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager/screener and you'll understand why a good cover letter and resume MUST make you stand out and therefore is so important. To make a point, let's make some worst case scenario assumptions about the hiring manager reading your cover letter and resume for the first time.

Assume that the person reading your resume and cover letter:
- is doing so after having been in meetings all day,
- ate a big lunch
- is dealing with numerous personal problems
- is very tired
- is over worked and under paid
- and it's Friday afternoon at 3 PM
- leaving on vacation tomorrow

OK, maybe I'm being a little dramatic here, but you get the picture? In many instances, the hiring manager just wants to get through the giant stack of mail ASAP. If you assume all this, then you'll write your cover letter and resume so it is easy to read, impactful and commands a stronger presence than the other letters in the "to read" pile.

Keep these 5 points in mind when writing your cover letter and resume.

1. You want to make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to get a sense of you in just a few seconds.

2. Your cover letter and resume have to be exciting, dynamic and be EXACTLY what the screener/hiring manager is look for.

3. You need an easy-to-read format that can be scanned quickly and easily, so be sure that your letter and message is clear, succinct and direct.

4. Your cover letter should have a lot of white space and use bullet points, with short effective phrases that are easy to read quickly.

5. The experience and accomplishments in your resume are only relevant to the hiring manager if he/she thinks it can address the issues and problems important to the company.

Good resumes and cover letters help you organize your career by presenting the achievements and events that YOU have selected to showcase the way YOU want.

In an interview, these documents serve as a pre-planned agenda because the hiring manager will obviously question you on what appears on them. In addition, they both serve as a leave behind and a silent salesperson that others will view after the interview.

If you have captured their attention after reading your information, you will get called for an interview. But remember, resumes don't get jobs, people do so you'll need to start preparing for your interview.
About the Author
Jason Adams is President of Street Smart Sales and Marketing and author of the highly acclaimed book The StreetSmart Job-Changing System. For more information visit http://www.JobChangingSystem.com
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