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When it comes to resumes and cover letters―first impressions are everything―as hiring managers only spend a few seconds during the initial screening process. If you can make your resume and cover letter stand out lightning fast, your chance of getting an interview greatly increases. Today, let’s discuss several resume and cover letter tips to make you stand out.

Use a Venn Diagram to identify specific skills and abilities

The Venn Diagram is used to illustrate the relationship between a set of objects. By utilizing this diagram, you can easily highlight skills that correlate with the position/s you’re targeting while increasing your chances of getting more interviews. Simply comprise a “you” circle as well as an “employer” circle, and use key words that you have identified in the job description. When you finish listing your skills and attributes incorporate key words that align with the employer circle, which should overlap when you combine the circles.

Align your resume and cover letter with the company’s needs

Read and re-read the job description a few times so that you can identify the company’s needs.  What specifically are they seeking?  As you develop your resume and cover letter, be specific about how you can meet their most pressing needs, which will help to present you as a highly qualified candidate.

Keep your opening statement below 150 words

Your opening statement is critical, as your goal is to quickly stimulate the interest of hiring managers. In order to accomplish this, keep your opening concise, dynamic, and under 150 words. I would suggest no more than three or four paragraphs for your cover letter, and less if you have a bulleted list, as most readers will only spend an average of six seconds reading them.  Emphasize your best skills and attributes that are alignment with the job description, including how you can assist in advancing their organizational goals.

Direct letter to a specific person

Use LinkedIn, Hoovers, or perform some other research to identify the hiring manager’s name and title, and address your cover letter to him/her directly. If you need to call the company to get the name and/or email address, feel free to do so.

Ask for an interview

Don’t shy away from asking for an interview since this is objective for sending a cover letter and resume. Be sure that you have presented yourself as the best candidate for the position, and end your cover letter with a direct call to action regarding an interview.

Developing a stellar cover letter and resume takes time and effort, but a well-crafted cover letter and resume will definitely help you get interviews.  If you find yourself struggling to write a compelling cover letter and resume, let the experts do it for you, as we specialize in writing professionally crafted cover letters and resumes uniquely tailored for our clients. Feel free to contact Elite Resume Services today to discuss all of your career-related needs.

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