En Route: A Career Blog

Are you casting your job net too widely?

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: ,
POSTED: October 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

Or with little thought?

In looking for a new position, are you one of those trigger-happy Internet users who emails your resume to countless employers, then sits back and waits for the requests to interview to come pouring in?

How’s that working for you?

My bet is – not so good.

There is no Such Thing as a One-Size-Fits-All Resume

You cannot send the same cover letter and resume to countless companies, many times in different industries, and expect a personalized response.

“But,” you say, “I’m looking for a customer service position. Or an admin position. They’re all the same.”

Not really. At “Company A”, your customer service position would involve resolving minor complaints, but also up-selling current clients on more of your company’s services. That’s forbidden at “Company B”. They don’t want you to do anything more than resolve complaints, many of them major, all while sitting in a call center in their corporate suite. “Company C”, on the other hand, is looking for staff that can work in a call center with alternating days at home. You’ll need your own equipment for that.

You Have to Prove You’re the Ideal Candidate for the Position

Companies are as varied as individuals and in this poor economy, they’re looking for the perfect fit in staff members. You won’t be considered even remotely close to that if you’re sending the same cover letter and resume to everyone. This truth is supported by a recent article on AOL Jobs. Kimberly Yasa works as a director of market intelligence for ChemOrbis.  Ms. Yasa advertised a position (work-from-home) that pays $30,000 to $50,000 annually. More than a year has passed and she’s found no one to fill the position.

Her Monster.com ad received 64 responses. The one she placed on LinkedIn garnered 77 replies. The majority of applicants didn’t bother to tailor their resumes or cover letters to the skills she’s looking for. One applicant even addressed the cover letter to the wrong company name. That certainly isn’t going to get you an interview. It’s lazy to send the same cover letter that you wrote to the first company to the other 99 on your list. Yet it happens. As the hiring manager at ResumeEdge.com, I see it all the time. Cover letters written for everything but a resume writing position. I repeatedly reject those candidates.

Ms. Yasa has some valuable advice to job seekers, and I agree wholeheartedly. This includes:

1. Include a cover letter with your resume. It must detail how your skills/knowledge/abilities are a good match with the job requirements. In other words, you need to paint yourself as the perfect candidate for the position. If you don’t, you’ll regret it. She states: “I need to see how you fit and why you fit and you need to show me.” So many people, “just throw out their resume and hope that the company figures it out for them.”

A word of advice from me – the company won’t figure out anything for you. They’re the ones holding all the power.

2. Explain why you want the job. This is especially true if you’re not a good fit for the position because you don’t have a background, professionally or academically, in it. Employers won’t wonder why you’re applying. They’ll simply move on to the next, better-qualified candidate.

3. Mention the position. Again, don’t make an employer guess. The company may have 15 openings. Which one are you targeting? If you don’t state it clearly, expect to be ignored.

4. Sell your services, not your goals. In other words, it’s not about you, it’s about the company you want to work for. Don’t give them a lofty, self-serving objective in your resume (eg: “I want to work at a place that recognizes my talents and allows me to grow professionally.”). Provide quantified accomplishments that align with the job’s requirements and detail exactly how you can make the company succeed.

 

At ResumeEdge.com our goal is to make every client stand out with an impactful, targeted resume that aligns perfectly with the job description and industry. Our team of degreed, certified writers have real world experience and years of expertise in crafting resumes that meet industry standards and employers’ needs.

 

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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