Hannan authored a letter that was highlighted earlier this year in a post on the blog Career Enlightenment.
The letter states what he as a hiring manager expects to see on a job seeker's resume and cover letter, in no uncertain terms. Among his expectations:
- "I am not looking to provide a temporary pit stop on applicant’s road to the perfect job."
- " ... The percentage of applicants who provide thorough, complete and correct applications is low, so you do not have to do anything “eye-catching” or extra ordinary. A simple well-written cover letter and a well organized, standard resume will stand out from the rest, believe it or not."
- "Please do not regurgitate the job posting in your cover letter. I wrote it so I know what it says. A specific detail or very specific, short example of your past success that will directly apply to your future success with the company will pique my interest and encourage me to read more about you."
All the more reason that, if you're applying for the job, you had better be ready to tell the hiring manager what you can do in the short term and how you can fit in with the company long term. Don't take the attitude that this will be merely a pit stop.
Also, make your resume and cover letter easy to read. As an editor, I advise writers to "give the reader a break" by using bullet points, boldface type (see above) and some italics for emphasis. (uhhh, I got a bit carried away.)
Finally, know yourself, what you've done, and how your past accomplishments can be repeated in the future. If they can't see it in your resume and cover letter, it's your job to make them see it. Unlike the stock market, past performance is an indicator of future success.
What do you think is critical to getting hired? Share your views in a comment below.