En Route: A Career Blog

What Can I Do for You?

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: March 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Those are the words that should be in your mind the moment you start looking for your first job or a new one.

As the hiring manager of ResumeEdge.com, all too often I get cover letters that tell me how desperate the authors are for a position at the company. How they need the money. That they’ve been unemployed for months or years and they must get back to work.

While I sympathize, those cover letters and the applicants’ resumes are telling me what they want, not what I need to read.

What can I do for your company?

That’s what hiring managers want to know when they open a cover letter and resume. How you’re going to help grow their company and help it to succeed. How you’ll make their job easier because you’re exactly the type of employee they seek.

You don’t convey that message by detailing why you need the job. You do it by showcasing your skills, knowledge and abilities as they relate to the position – not just any position, mind you, but the position for which you’re applying.

Hiring managers, myself included, don’t have time to peruse every line of a resume trying to figure out if an applicant is a good fit with the company. That’s what candidates are supposed to do, dovetailing their strengths to an employer’s needs.

Sound one sided? It is. And rightfully so. Employers aren’t obligated to hire anyone simply because that individual has a mortgage and a family. Employers need to keep their businesses running and thriving so they – and their current employees – remain employed.

Desperation Won’t Get You Anywhere

Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking sympathy for your out-of-work status will gain you an interview. It won’t. Only your skills, as they pertain to the job opening, will get your resume a thorough review.

After all, you don’t buy a product because you feel sorry for the company selling it or because you feel obligated to make them succeed. You buy the product because it fits a need you have.

Employers are no different. In the job market, you’re the product and they’ll choose you if you meet the requirements they have. If not, nothing you write in a cover letter, no matter how dramatic or personal, will change their minds.

Focus on your skills, knowledge and abilities. Present yourself as the perfect candidate for the job. That’s when the calls for interviews will start coming in.

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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