I said 2019, yes I am aware. Sharing is caring they say. In all the job applications and messages I have come across online and offline this 2018, I noticed two things. Two things that ruin the chance for great applicants to impress the hiring manager at first glance of their resumes. These two things are:
- Failure to proof-read their application before submitting. Pretty please read it ten times if you have to, add a space after a comma, break your sentences, use the spell check option in Microsoft word, it’s easy.
- Failure to properly address the cover letter and summary section of their résumé – this has ruined my chances a lot in the past, don’t let it ruin yours.
- Let me mention a bonus third point. Read all the details on the career page of the company you want to apply to. ALL!
I will be discussing these three headings in your résumé and how they ought to be addressed. They are:
- The Brief Summary
- The Cover Letter
- The ‘Why Do You Want To Work For Us’ Section?
Now let us take these headings one by one. What they mean and how you should respond?
Here you want to mention what exactly you are into, this is not the space to let them know you are a jack of all trades. Introduce yourself mentioning exactly what field you are in and what you do now. Highlight what people say you are best at (write this in first person). Round up with mentioning your precise skills and the tools of your trade you use in your day-to-day workplace or school, carrying out your daily tasks or assignments.
Cover Letter: Please do not copy and paste one generic template here, the hiring manager will know. Do not begin with your house address either, they have not asked for that.
You started your summary by mentioning what exactly you are into right? In this section, you want to build on that introduction. Tell them how you got to the stage you are in now, and one tangible lesson you have learnt. Add how this lesson can affect how you will work with the company you are applying to.
Start another paragraph to elaborate a little on the precise details of what you do where you now work or in the work you do if you are a freelancer or a student. Also elaborate on what role you hold where you now work or where you go to school for interns.
Next you want to talk about what you have done for the past two years at least, what you have learnt for students, round that up by mentioning the language(s) you speak if required.
Lastly, you want to talk about what you do in your spare time for community service or benefits as it relates to your present and future career path. What selfless acts or social responsibilities do you engage in as your contributions towards your society? Highlight them.
If you run a personal blog and have a post you think might help your application, you should add it as a last paragraph.
Why do you want to work for us: this is my favourite part. This is your chance to wow whoever is reading your application on the other side of the web.
In your summary, you mentioned what work you do presently or where you school if you are a student right? Start this section with a reference to that, and what you elaborated on with regards what you do in your cover letter. Follow up with what value you think working in the company you are applying to will get you.
Briefly state how the work you will be doing in the new company will make you better at what you do.
Mention the products or service the company is into, and how you can fit in with their existing team. Do you see your future goals aligning with the mission and vision of the organisation you are applying to? Mention them.
Start another paragraph to state how you perceive the company, what you have read about the company and why you would want to be a part of the organisation. Don’t forget to round-up by adding how, why or what you can give to the company’s growth.
Hope this helps someone out there in the universe. I would love to read some tips from you as well, let’s talk in the comments.