The purpose of a resume is to convince the employer to interview you.
(And the purpose of the interview is to prove you can do the job — the way the employer wants it done!)
Recruiters and employers can tell if you haven’t taken the time to get to know their organizations when your resume is generic and shows no direct connection to the position or the company’s problems. Research the organization and the department to which you are applying. Look at annual reports, press releases, leadership bios and industry analyses. Learn about the strengths and issues the company faces. Use your network to get any information you can.
There is really only one job: problem-solver. And to be hired for any job, you must demonstrate you can solve the employer’s problems. Figure out what problems the person in the position must handle. How can you use your capabilities and experience to contribute to a solution? Use your answers to construct your targeted resume.
- Target or tweak each resume you submit by conducting through research and identifying how you can help solve problems.
- Clearly link your capabilities and experience with the skills and responsibilities the position requires.
- State specific accomplishments – not just generalities – but leave out the how. Save those details for the interview. Providing specific accomplishments will compel the employer to interview you; leaving out the details will help keep your resume concise.
- See our Resume Guidelines for more details.
Electronic vs Print
Electronic Cover Letter and Resume
We recommend using .pdf formats for all attachments.
- Attach the cover letter and resume to your email as one file (our preference) OR
- Attach the cover letter and resume to your email as separate files OR
- Have your cover letter be the email submitting your resume.
Printed Cover Letter and Resume
- Include the word “enclosure” or “encl.” at the bottom of the cover letter.
Need Help Getting Started?
- My Megaresume: Create a complete catalogue of your capabilities, accomplishments and experience and use it to create resumes, cover letters, portfolios and to prepare for interviews.
- The Ideal Candidate Worksheet: Do you find it hard to toot your own horn? Use this worksheet to get started writing your targeted resume.
Need Additional Tips and Resources?
- Resume Best Practices: YouTube Playlist of Friday Forum Webinar clips
- Resume Guidelines: Tips to help you write resumes so employers will say “This is just what we’re looking for!”
- Key Strategy: Targeted Resumes: Friday Forum Webinar recording
- Susan Ireland’s Resume Site – 100+ Great Resume Examples: Resumes organized by job, format and different kinds of problems solved.