Over the past nearly 20 years of strategic communication consulting, clients have more and more often turned to me for help recruiting communicators. That work has now turned into a significant portion of my business. As a result, I’ve managed the search for dozens of communication professionals. And, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the truly ugly, in terms of applications, cover letters, résumés and interviews. Based on those dozens of searches and hundreds of interviews, I’ve developed these tips for job searchers.
1. LinkedIn profile
Unless you are in a witness protection program or running from an abusive relationship, you simply must have a LinkedIn profile. And it should be complete, accurate and up-to-date. If you’ve married or otherwise changed your name, make sure you are trackable with both names. I remember candidates from past competitions and I always consult LinkedIn for connections and any additional context.
2. A cover letter
Most postings will ask for a cover letter. Write one! This is both an opportunity to demonstrate good writing skills and also a chance to “sell” your candidacy. Don’t just summarize your résumé. I will have read it. And I want to answers to questions like, why you? Why this job for you? What special connection or skills do you have that are a great fit for this organization?
3. Résumé with results
The best résumés include not just your responsibilities, but also your accomplishments and results. What difference did your work make to your organization? Do you have measurable results? If you can show me this in your résumé, you automatically leap to the top of the pile.
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