Today’s job environment is tough, but there are still jobs out there and employers seeking to fill them. Jobs are posted for only a handful days or even hours, enough time for the employer to receive hundreds of resumes. Job seekers need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Is your resume ready? Is your LinkedIn profile current and matching your resume? You are your best salesperson, but is your elevator pitch ready? What do you need to do to be ready? Key steps include:
- Clear and concise resume – it’s only going to get 10-15 seconds of an employer’s time so get to the point and keep it focused.
- Key word search ready – make sure your resume includes the key words your employer is looking for exactly the way it is stated in the job posting. Most job descriptions will have a section about skills required, this is the part where they will tell you what skills they are looking for.
- LinkedIn profile – it should match your resume with no new jobs your resume did not mention, this provides consistency across social media.
- Your elevator pitch – can you describe yourself and what you are looking for in less than one minute? This sounds easy but is really hard, you have to prepare for it. It’s true it takes a long time to keep things simple.
“But what about a cover letter?” you ask.
As a recruiter and hiring manager for over 25 years, I hardly looked at them and only read them because the candidate put effort into it. If the resume was poor, the cover letter did not make a difference. When writing a cover letter, do not regurgitate your resume. Make it clear that you have researched the company, their mission statement, and the job posting. Pitch yourself as the ideal candidate because you can apply your skills immediately and share the company values.
There are lots of internet resources available. Try them first. If you are not getting the response you want, I can prepare you to pitch yourself. You will learn how to tell your own story clearly in seconds and get your next dream job!
Lindsey Levine was in the corporate world for 30 years in a Sales Management Position where one of his key responsibilities was hiring. He transitioned to his new career and is the principal of Lindsey Levine Resume and Interviewing Preparation