In my last article, I wrote about how to craft the perfect resume to land any job. Achieving this level of perfection will not guarantee you will get a job, but it will make you the ideal candidate and ensure that your failure to be employed is the fault of someone or something else.
To understand why you might need a cover letter, consider the following three scenari*:
I) A potential employer is considering several candidates with powerful resumes. Let’s say that you have a 3.82 GPA from Harvard, but the other has a 3.86 from Princeton. You have worked for the #11 and #17 ranked companies in Fortune, but the other has worked for #8 and #20. How does an employer decide?
II) A writing sample is required for the job, but you don’t have one and do not wish to create one. What can you give them to demonstrate your writing ability that does not require you to know anything about the job?
III) You try to pass your resume to a manager, but the manager will not read it without an introductory letter. How do you overcome the requirement?
I have said before on this website that due to a poor job market you are deeply screwed, and there is nothing you can do about it. That is not exactly true.
There are only two things you can use to get a job, and they are called the Resume and the Cover Letter.
The purpose of these documents is to a trick an employer into hiring you as an employee. Once you’re hired, your mission is accomplished. You can collect the salary of that job, and add it to your resume; you can then pass your more powerful resume around, and collect a higher salary. It is a never-ending Jacob’s Ladder of success.
However, you can’t begin to climb this ladder unless your documents are strong enough to begin with. Today we’ll be discussing how to make a perfect resume, no matter who you are and what job you want.
At the top of your page, put your name and contact info. This is the one place where you really get to make the resume your own, because the rest of it will have very little to do with you personally.