As recruiters we see hundreds of resumes a week. Resumes generally receive a 10-15 second scan before we decide to continue reading or not. Rarely, if ever, do we look at cover letters before we look at the resume. So while you may have crafted a glowing cover letter explaining your fit for a position, you have neglected the most important part of the submission: your resume.
Here is how to grab the attention of the hiring manger:
- Tailor your resume and cover letter to fit the position you’re applying for.
- Populate your resume with relevant and truthful keywords from the job descriptions and qualifications you’re applying for. Using those keywords will increase the likelihood of grabbing the hiring manager’s attention during the initial scan.
- Combine your cover letter and resume into a single PDF file. This will give you the power to ensure that your cover letter and resume are viewed the way you intended. A good alternative to a PDF is to save your Word document as a “read-only” file.
Spend time reinforcing in your resume why you are the best fit for the position. The resume is your chance to grab a hiring manager’s attention and get in the door. Your cover letter is the opportunity to make a personal connection.