The recruitment process normally starts with a recruiter going over a pile of resumes submitted by various applicants. As a recruiter normally has to scan hundreds of resumes a day, it is important that your resume capture his attention. Your resume is your “brochure,” if the recruiter likes what he sees, you will be called for an interview. In a sense, your resume and cover letter can either make or break your career.
It is worth noting that both the cover letter and the resume are equally important. The cover letter is your first chance to grab the recruiter’s attention and give him the idea of why it is important to go through your resume; while your resume gives the employer an idea about you may qualify for the position.
First, let us concentrate on writing a resume.
If you do not have a resume yet, you need to write one; and if you do already have a resume, remember to update it. Just make sure that your resume is brief, concise and easy to read. Also, make sure that your skills and experiences, which are listed in your resume, are tailored to match with those the employers are looking for.
Conduct a little research about the company. What is the company’s mission-vision? What are the company’s goals and objectives? What is the organization’s history? This will help you tailor your resume and will be valuable in writing your cover letter.
Find out more about the jobs you are interested in applying for, it would be best if you can find out more about the job description. You can use this information to check on how your skills match with what the company considers as required for the position.
Emphasize your accomplishments. Concentrate on the strengths that will be desirable to the prospective employer.
Keep in mind that a resume should not be longer than two pages at the most. The ideal resume is only one page long. Use bullet points, be neat, use easy to read fonts and use plain paper.
Let us now go about writing our cover letter.
Write a formal letter of no more than four paragraphs. The first paragraph should emphasize what position for which you are applying. Use a formal business letter format. This will show the recruiter that you are very professional and that you take them seriously.
The next part of your letter should contain information on how you qualify for the position. State your qualifications and a short summary of your experience. It should also show the employer how you plan to contribute to their company’s growth.
The final part of your letter should contain your contact information. It should also urge the recruiter to view your attached resume. Keep your paragraphs short, as you need to limit your letter to one page.
After you have created both your resume and cover letter, make sure to proofread both of them thoroughly. Make sure there are no spelling errors and no grammatical mistakes. Check that your tone is polite and that the content is informative.