No, my loyal readers, this is not a pornographic post! Your cover letter should be no more than 3 paragraphs. 3 short paragraphs! You really don't want to lose your audience before he/she opens your resume.

And speaking of resumes, there is various discussion of whether a resume should span 1 or 2 pages. Based on your level of experience, I am fine with a resume spanning 2 pages, going back no longer than 10 years. Please, any longer than that, and you are not going to captivate your audience in the 20 seconds or less it takes to scan said resume. A full CV is not required for most positions, but is helpful to have on your hard drive to discuss talking points which may be over 10 years old but remain relevant. 

When to follow up after an interview? More than a day is too long! A brief thank you email, including an opening to have the interviewer contact you with questions should be in his/her inbox no later than the morning after you interviewed. Too much time goes by, and your follow up skills may be questioned, especially if a competing candidate emailed sooner! 

Good luck and happy hunting!

Why are you waiting to update your resume? Are you thinking you are stable at your job? That can only update your resume right before you send it out? Are you waiting to practice interviewing until you have an interview time on your calendar?

If so, you are too late!

Let me explain...

If you wait until you are laid off or actively seeking a job, you are selling yourself short in a variety of ways. First, you are not adding valuable information to your resume in real time, thereby forgetting important details, such as the topic you presented, the old and new software you worked with, and the training you completed. You are missing portions of valuable work experience which set you apart from other employees. A company knows what your general job description looks like. Yet, they have no idea how you have made the position yours, by adding the personal touches only you provide to personalize your role. Secondly, you are not tapping into the hidden job market, networking, thereby passing up what could be your dream job. Everyone is always in the market, unless you own your own company. Even then, there could be enough of an offer to potentially interest you. You cannot explore opportunities if you are not refreshing on paper, thereby reinforcing, your strengths to yourself. Think about it.

Like anything else, interview practice takes time. It takes a lot of effort, rehearsal, and practice. You won't get the luxury of time, if you are scrambling to meet with a job coach the day before your interview. You are already going to be nervous, and are not going to be focused enough to absorb all the information about the company, the position, and how to most effectively answer questions.

I have seen people from entry level to C-level make the same mistake, time and time again.

The last minute is too late! If you wait until the car is empty to fill up with gas, you're going to be pushing it to the nearest gas station. And where I'm sitting, in South Florida in July, that just doesn't seem pleasant. Refuel. Give yourself a little bit of time. Stop scrambling. You will make a better impression!

5. Splng ErRors/ERrors of Gram-r, or improper use of the English language.
4. You don't live a commutable distance from the job opening. Hint: Another country is NOT a commutable distance!
3. You applied to every advertisement the recruiter posted. We get that you need a job, any job, but for crying out loud, be selective! Desperation isn't attractive on anyone, including a job seeker!
2. Your resume does not showcase what you represent. It is bland, and not focused on contributions. Perhaps 2013 should bring a professionally written resume to your search.
1. Your email address is WAY to personal, showcasing either your age, sexual preferences, or something inappropriate that screams "Too Much Information!"
If I am recruiting for a position with your background, there is a good chance that I know what you do at your job, and what you have done at your last job. Rehashing every bullet point from your job description is not going to set you apart on your resume. Providing no more than 5 bullet points on how you have helped the company and set yourself apart from your colleagues is a much stronger way to present your background. Please don't bury me under 25 bullet points, including "Other duties as assigned", and expect me to have any interest in what you have written. Highlight how you have saved money for the company, a special project you implemented, or how you successfully improved customer service feedback. Give me a reason to see value in hiring you.

Similarly, in a cover letter, please do not add a laundry list of qualifications ("I am personable, dependable, professional, reliable...") I don't want your qualification grocery list! I want an idea of what you can do. You are able to share this through colorful examples of your success. Share what accolades your boss has shared about you. Give some information about what you have done that will set you apart from the sea of other candidates.

In an interview, share examples as well. Make sure they are examples with positive outcomes!!! You bring more of your personality with examples! I have said it over and over and will say it again: PEOPLE HIRE WHO THEY LIKE!
1.     You have the skills and qualifications that an employer is seeking. I am not going to hire someone with a high school diploma who bags groceries as a CEO (at least not yet). Get the experience, read the posting, and know how your qualifications fit the position.

2.     Your resume is concise, results oriented, and outlines what you can contribute to the organization.

3.     Your resume and cover letter are grammatically correct. I am not hiring “mangers” to run a department, and that is not picked up on spell check. Have a friend or a professional read over your resume and letter prior to submission.

4.     You have the software skills an employer is looking for.

5.     You are likeable, positive, and confident. Nothing gets me wanting to end an interview more than a whiner who blames the world for his/her inability to be employed.

1. Your objective. You want a job. Understood. Replace this area with a skills summary of what you can bring to an employer.

2. Page 3 and beyond. Recruiters are spending under 20 seconds deciding if you are a fit. If you have more than 10 years of experience and went to your local print shop to bind your resume, you are sharing too much information. 20 seconds. That's all you get!

3. References available upon request. Is that adding value to your resume? Add software instead. Or language skills. Not hobbies.
There is a strong need to provide excellent career advice to job seekers, especially in an economy that is questionable and unstable. Rest assured that the advice that I provide has been proven to work and that I have hired many professionals throughout my career. I have seen a great deal of suggestions on the web on how to draft a resume and how to get hired, and much of the information is very generic. Some of it terrifies me! I will provide you with tried and true information, with guest bloggers in the hiring profession, assisting you in maximizing your brand, enabling you to get a great career moving in the right direction, and working with you on the best ways to get promoted.

Please feel free to send me any questions and comments on my articles, and I will be happy to provide my expert opinion. I appreciate any feedback you are able to provide. Also, please share this blog on Facebook and LinkedIn freely, as I hope many people will be able to benefit from the information I am sharing with you.
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