Tag Archives: Resumes and Portfolios

LET’S TALK COVERLETTERS

cover-letter-1024x588BY: Mitch Beck, Owner Crossroads Consulting

In an age where online applications are the norm, some think that the cover letter is obsolete. However, the cover letter is as important as ever in both email and paper applications. You still have to maintain a certain standard of business communication, no matter what medium you use. Being too informal in your communications for any kind of job search will end badly even if you are the perfect candidate.

So how do you write a killer cover letter? Here are some tips to help you out:

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THE C-R-C OF JOB SEEKING

BY: Adam Gavriel

As you may or may not know there are three key pieces to getting hired in today’s market. Well, really everything you do is an important part of the hiring process, but most employers are going to be looking for the key three. These being, of course, the cover letter, resume, and what cannot be measured tangibly, connections. I know we have posted here many times resume tips and cover letter tips, but it never hurts to refresh the memories. And as the unemployment rate remains higher than anyone would like it to be, we feel as if a fresh reminder can’t hurt.

However instead of just going for pure tips here in this post, we are going to remind you why all three elements are necessary, and very important.

First off, the cover letter.

I find it hard to believe that the cover letter has become a lost art, one in which is rarely used anymore. I can count on one hand the amount of resumes I get per day with a cover letter. Trust me, I do read them. That’s not to say I don’t give equal consideration to a resume without a cover letter, I do. But what if the job includes a necessity for writing skills? You better believe that a cover letter can help in your consideration there. Just like your college essays (remember those?) a cover letter can help differentiate between two very similar candidates. Make sure you write your cover letters. Make sure they are personalized to the hiring manager (researching and finding their name can go a long way in your consideration for the position) who is easy enough to find on most companies websites. Make sure they get the employer to flip the page, or scroll through the e-mail to your resume.

Now everyone’s favorite, the resume.

Resumes are simple in concept but tough to master. It’s hard to make a great resume. So many factors go into the creation of a resume, personalizing it to your liking, getting your objective and work experience in there all while trying to limit it to one page. Remember, most hiring managers use only 6 seconds of their time to peruse a resume. You have to make an impact, and fast. Mix up your verbs. Nobody wants to read a resume that shows how you “managed” 100 times over. Make sure your relevant experience to the position you are applying for is readily accessible. And try to keep it to one page!

Finally, what most people don’t consider but ALWAYS should, connections.

Everyone you have met and you will ever meet is a potential connection. Old boss? Connection. Old Co-worker? Connection. Try not to burn any bridges in life, because you never know who can come in handy in the future. And that’s not saying that you should be “using” people, but if the opportunity presents itself where an old acquaintance can get your foot in the door, you better jam your foot right in there.

There are many professionals out there who will tell you that they have not even had to use a resume or cover letter to obtain a position solely due to connections, and they aren’t lying.

At Crossroads Consulting we strive to be the ultimate connection. With job openings to over 50 positions nationwide we’re here to help you get your foot in the door to that position. Of course, we’ll need to see a resume (and preferably a cover letter as well) we’re here to get Americans back to work. As true patriots we are horrified at the current unemployment rate and are striving to return it to a normal percentage. We understand that times are tough, that you may have even given up on seeking employment these days, but we implore you to get us your resume TODAY so we can start helping.

If you’re not confident in your resume or interviewing skills, we have the ability to help you there as well. Our staff wants to be there from point A to Z in securing you the position as we are here to put the ‘human’ back into ‘human resources

YOU WANT TO DO WHAT?

Resume Objective

BY: Adam Gavriel

Searching for a job right now? Take a look at your resume quick. If next to the objective you have something like “Looking to obtain a job in the marketing field” you have already found one of your problems. There’s a reason your objective is to be placed at the top of the resume and that’s because it is the gateway to the rest of your experiences and skills. It is used to prepare the reader, and hopefully future employer, about what your resume entails and what kind of skills you have built up over the years. However above all, you can use your resume to show the employer that you’re interested in helping them, but not just yourself.

Take a look back at the objective at the top of the blog here: “Looking to obtain a job in the marketing field.” One way to easily beef up this objective would be to simply add “Looking to obtain a job in the marketing field where I can apply my social media skills.” Right away you’re showing the employer what you’re all about, or what your biggest strength in the marketing field is. Then when the reader continues to read further down your resume they don’t need to be surprised that you have experience with social media.

Let’s take it even further.

When an employer is thinking about hiring a new employee they’re not thinking about how they can help that employee but how that employee can help their firm. Knowing this it’s never a bad thing to show the employer that you’re interested in applying your skills not to further your career but to aid the firm in their ultimate goal. “Looking to obtain a job in the marketing field where I can apply my social media skills in order to build and maintain rapport with clientele.” This objective notes that the main goal of this firm is to increase consumer opinion via social media. Going back to a few weeks ago where we blogged about researching the company before you interview, it would also be of great importance to research a company before you write your resume. If you can learn what the main goal of that firm is, and can somehow work it into your resume’s objective the hiring firm will know you’re serious when you send in your resume.

If this same firm’s main goal with social media was to increase consumer activity or consumer spending, that would work in the objective too: “Looking to obtain a job in the marketing field where I can utilize my social media skills in order to build sales and consumer loyalty.”

Right off the bat an objective that appeals directly to the firm will be of greater importance to the hiring manager rather than an objective that is bland, or only in place to build up the interviewee.

This is just one part of what Crossroads Consulting can offer you with our resume service. We will tackle your resume from top to bottom increasing its efficiency and making sure that when an employer reads your resume it best outlines your skills and presents you perfectly.

Remember that we’re always updating our job openings and also make sure to like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter!

PRESENTING YOURSELF

BY: Adam Gavriel

When you look in the mirror what do you see?

Do you see a successful; did whatever they could in life, no regrets man or woman staring back at you? Probably, if you’re human.

We grow up our whole lives with our mothers telling us how great we are. With significant others and spouses telling us we’re perfect and we have nothing we need to change about ourselves (most of the time…maybe).

Now if only your mother was the person who was doing the hiring at a firm, you’d get the job 100 times out of 100. Unfortunately (for all of us) this isn’t the case.

The hiring process is all about presentation.

Interning for Crossroads Consultingfor about 2 months now I have seen many resumes come through the job postings I have on the internet. Now I’m no expert as my resume, interview, and cover letter skills all come from a course I took at the University at Buffalo (MGG 300) but I know what is pleasing to the eye.

Flashy fonts, colors other than black, graphics are all unnecessary on a resume. Some of those may even make you come off as unprofessional to employers. If hiring managers had it their way, there would be one absolute set way to present yourself in a resume, unfortunately there isn’t. There are many ways to develop a successful resume, and it’s all about presenting yourself.

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog here on Out of Our Mind, you’ll know that we have blogged before about quick resume tips (see the Three R’s to Resume Writing).

Quick tips won’t solve everything.

What will solve everything is taking the time to let a professional look at your resume. Or if you’re not comfortable with that, hand your resume to a friend and see what they think. Ask them key questions like: How do you think I presented myself here? If you were a hiring manager, would you keep this resume?

Fortunately there are services out there that can help you. At Crossroads Consulting we offer resume optimizationservices that will help you best present your abilities to an employer.

What many lose sight of in their plight to perfect their resume is the fact that it’s not all about the resume. The resume is just the gateway, only used by employers to judge who gets an interview. Why would an employer give an interview to someone who can’t present themselves well?

I wouldn’t.

THREE R’S TO RESUME WRITING

BY: Adam Gavriel

In the 1993 sports movie classic Rookie of the Year, pitching coach Phil Brickma decided to unleash his knowledge on rookie middle-school aged relief pitcher Henry Rowengartner. Brickma’s advice consists of the three R’s of pitching: Readiness, recuperation, and conditioning. The viewer learns quickly into the movie that Brickma isn’t the smartest guy on this fictional Chicago Cubs team as he later goes on to tell Henry that the secret to a post-game ritual for pitchers is “hot ice.”

Unfortunately I’m going to have to put a damper on Brickma’s legacy, by actually offering the three R’s of resume writing to you here today. Here’s a free preview of what Crossroads Consulting can do for your resume through their resume optimization service.

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HIGHLIGHTING YOUR SKILLS

By: Adam Gavriel

Remember that old proverb, don’t judge a book by its cover? Hate to say that the complete opposite will be in effect when you finally apply for that job you’ve been eyeing on Crossroads Consulting. The first thing an employer will see when you send in your credentials will be the cover letter. A bad cover letter could completely discourage an employer from even looking at your resume. The goal of a cover letter is to quickly show your skills, and get an employer to flip the page to look at your resume.

Here are a few quick tips in highlighting your skills as best as possible in a cover letter.

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COVER LETTERS

By: Amy Schlubach

At Crossroads Consulting, we read plenty of cover letters and résumés, and reading the same information in two different ways is far from thrilling. The cover letter should “sell” your résumé, not duplicate it. A cover letter is your chance to show how the skills listed on your résumé can directly tie into the job you desire.

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