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Personal Branding

Cover letters and Resumes are a way to brand yourself to an organization.

It is a first impression. Therefore, your email address is usually the first thing prospective employers see from you.

Your email address is a form of marketing, so it should preferably be your first and last name.

One more tip – HR managers and recruiters don’t like to see a resume from a work-related address – it suggests your looking for a job on another company’s time.  Use a personal email address when job seeking.

Cover Letter

It should be created with four questions in mind:

1. Who is your target audience?

Do your research – what do hiring managers in your industry like to see? What are they looking for – specifically? What characteristics do they share in common? What moves them?

You want to tailor your resume to this audience. Furthermore, you should be tailoring your resume to each company. Never send out generic resumes.

2. What is your unique selling proposition?

What unique skills or life experiences do you bring to a company?

Why should a company buy you over all the other applicants?

3. What do you want your target audience to feel after they’ve read your resume?

That means the language you choose is important. The tone you strike is critical. The readability of your resume and the way it’s organized should make people feel there is an interesting mind at work.

As a copywriter, I can tell you that smart writers sweat over the words they choose. Most resumes contain overused buzzwords. Like:
Creative
Organizational
Effective
Motivated
Extensive experience
Track record
Innovative
Responsible
Analytical
Problem solving

Those skills are important. But don’t just say them, demonstrate them in your cover letter, and in your resume.

4. What’s the call-to-actions

Therefore, in your resume, tell the company you want the job, and suggest a next step such how they can contact you.

And a call from a prospective employer should NEVER, EVER be picked up by a third party – like a roommate.

Your voicemail should be your voice. With a short, professional and pleasant outgoing message saying you will call them back promptly.

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