Words to avoid in your cover letter and résumé: “I want to bring my wife.”
Seattle employers enjoy a reputation of embracing employee involvement, but there are limits.
Applicants do some really screwy things that result in committing what I refer to as JSS (Job Search Suicide.)
Such was the case of an applicant responding to an ad for a multi-state field sales representative in the South Sound. The position was hard to fill because it required a substantial amount of specialized technical knowledge. The hiring manager was tired of travelling to provide coverage in the interim and was impatient to fill the vacancy.
This particular applicant, a man with over two decades of solid results and relevant sales experience, had attached a well-written, informative personalized cover letter to his very professional résumé.
The résumé was four pages long. Because the information was so relevant, the length was of no concern to the recruiter. A real page-turner, he read it with an increasing sense of excitement as he imagined how good it would feel to get the hiring manager off his back.
Until the handwritten note at the bottom of page four. The applicant said he expected the company to:
- let him to bring his wife with him on multi-day sales trips
- pay him a $1,000 per diem to compensate him for being away from home, and
- pay his wife an additional $1,000 per trip as well.
Absolutely true story. Honest.
In a flash, all that great experience was worthless as the applicant’s package hit the TBNT (Thanks But No Thanks) file. That’s where résumés go to die.
So. What’s the nugget here for you?
Consider this: Before you submit your application package, reread everything, and rethink everything, from the perspective of those whom you hope will be reading it (the recruiter, possibly the Human Resources director, the hiring manager, the hiring manager’s manager, others who may interview you).
There are words to avoid in both your cover letter and your résumé.
Revise until your package is like Goldilocks’s porridge – not too hot, not too cold. Just right.
~~~ Please know it matters that you get back to work.
To get the interview, your cover letter and résumé must be targeted to each job you apply for. That’s how you make yourself stand out, the way a meatball stands out on a plate of spaghetti.
Are you ready to be the meatball, not the spaghetti? We say
“Think there’s no work? Nobody’s hiring? Burn your résumé. It’s time for a Professional Profile™.”
Need some help becoming the meatball? Please visit www.YourProfessionalProfile.comto learn more.