If you want to be seriously considered for a position, then you’ll want to submit a top-notch resume. Actually, you should always submit only a “spit-shined” portfolio—cover letter, resume, references, etc.—because it’s your personal calling card and says a lot about whom you are, what you’re capable of and what level of work you can produce.
That’s why your career marketing materials should be personally branded and represent you in the very best light.
Here are five things to do before you hit send:
- Review It One More Time. Scour your resume and cover letter for typos. Even if you’ve gone over it once, ask someone to review it as well. You want to make sure that something as simple as a misspelled word is not a deal breaker.
- Target Your Resume and Cover Letter. Make sure that you cater your resume and cover letter to address the particular needs and functions required in each of the positions that you’re applying for. That’s your job and it should not be left up to the recipient.
- Make Sure There’s a Qualifications Match. As you look at the job description, go back and forth between it and your resume as you ask yourself, “Does this person meet the qualifications that I seek?” If there’s a gap, you need to close it with clear illustrations of how you meet (and exceed) the qualifications they seek.
- Tap Your Internal Network. Who do you know at these organizations who could help you get the inside track or put in a good word for you? They will let you know if they are in a position to do so or not, so don’t be afraid to ask them for guidance and help.
- Secure Your Best References. Make sure that your references are in order and current. If you haven’t spoken to one of your references in some time, you’ll need to reconnect and re-ask their permission for support. Also, don’t be afraid to ask people you know who already work at the organization that you’re applying to. Their trusted word may be all that you need to get to the next step.