Are you hoping to make a career change, finally score that position at your dream company, or snag your very first job after college? At the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival Rebecca Price, VP of People at Enigma.com, and Holly Rose Faith, Talent Partner at New Enterprise Associates, spoke on a panel moderated by Avery Blank, contributor at Forbes, about surprising ways job candidates can make their experiences, talents, and resumes shine – and get hired!
Resume Trumps Cover Letter
Turns out, cover letters aren’t as important as we’ve all been told. Instead, hiring managers and recruiters are headed straight for your resume.
“We take resumes very seriously. We want to know what you studied, what relevant experiences you have for the job you have,” Rebecca said. “I don’t know if we’re really reading cover letters so much anymore.”
How do you craft a resume that gets noticed? Holly Rose recommended making your resume as specific and action-oriented as possible.
“When we’re reviewing resumes, the main focus is on what they’ve accomplished in their individual roles. For example, I don’t want to read ‘I grew sales by 10% last year.’ I want to know what exactly did you grow? And how exactly did you accomplish this growth?”
Another pro tip to make your resume stand out? Include a short, interesting, and relevant piece of information in the introductory email text. A small highlight or cool bit of information about you can act like a micro-cover letter and be a great way to get noticed.
Create Connections in Advance
One of the absolute best ways to make your resume stand out from a crowd of applicants? Form a connection to people already working within a company.
“The best way to get an interview in the first place is make a personal connection with the company,” Rebecca said “Met someone at the company, build a relationship, help them get to know you as a person, and then they can help you usher through the process.”
A few good ways to start making connections? Scour your networks (both real and and online) to see if anyone can make a first introduction for your, set up an informational interview, or begin engaging and learning more about the company via social media.
Sell Yourself, Honestly
When applying for a new job, it’s important to understand your own value, but also to not over-exaggerate talents or skills.
“One of the most important things I’ve found that’s important for hiring a candidate is if there’s a level of self awareness. Self awareness about what are they’re good at and self awareness about what they are not good at,” Holly Rose said. “People over promise about everything, and it sets a bad stage.”
However, even if you don’t have every single skill or experience highlighted in a job posting, it doesn’t mean you’re not a great potential candidate for a position. Your skills and experiences could benefit a multitude of companies and a variety of roles, especially if you’re really passionate about a particular job or business.
“Don’t undersell yourself. Even if you don’t have every single experience or skill needed, if something is interesting to you, apply!” Rebecca said. “If a company thinks you’re a good fit and a good fit for their culture, some things won’t matter.”
Watch highlights from Rebecca and Holly Rose’s panel at the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival:
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