Happily and without hesitation I am helping a good friend of mine through the job search process. Cover letter, resumes, and what have you. To be honest with you, I kind of miss it. Sure it was exhausting, time-consuming, and stressful. At the same time it was fascinating to see just how different each organization was or was not, especially those in the same industry. It was fun, or at least challenging, to see what organizations wanted in a candidate (or thought they wanted). Many of the job descriptions I read were written for the optimal candidate, which I believe can hurt the job search. We can all look good on paper, how do you look after six months on the job?
Often I wondered “did I use the right keywords?,” “did I portray myself as the right person?” Truth be told a resume is just a piece of paper and you can put anything on a piece of paper. Somewhere along the line the Cover Letter replaced the hand shake and face to face introductions. The term “cover letter” leads people to believe if its read at all, it’s before the resume. Hardly. Could you imagine going to a job interview and formally introducing yourself after you have listed your experiences and accolades aloud? No? Good. Because that is ludicrous.
Most are cynical about the process, stating “Its all about who you know.” I always chime in after they’ve released this cliché and add “No, It’s more like who knows YOU.” Who is likely to reference you? Who is ready to battle for you? And with that, you have every reason to build a good network. Sure some people get picked because their dad is golf buddies with a VP, and you know what? That kid is probably going to be halfway decent at his job. He also probably had a Firebird in high school that ran on broken hearts and pheromones, AND it had T-tops! Sorry you had a gold Buick Somerset. It happens, move on.