Michelle, an experienced recruiter shared with me how critical the resume is. How she detests resumes that are made to look all creative – it makes it harder to scan and find the key information.
Todd, who works for a large technology company, told me his company doesn’t even read cover letters until after they’ve scanned in all the resumes and done keyword searches on them – they only look at resumes that have that magical number of keywords that tell them the person could be a good fit.
The founders of 37 Signals, in their recent book Rework say that resume’s are pretty much useless. That it’s all about the cover letter. The resume doesn’t say who you are, it doesn’t tailor itself to the job. The cover letter is where you can speak to the employer and tell them why you’re different, why it’s worth their time to meet with you.
So who is right? Maybe they all are.
The fact is, if you want to increase your chances of getting hired you need to create a killer resume that showcases the skills and experience you have that is relevant for the job you’re going after. Plus, you need to have a personalized cover letter that communicates your passion for the job and why you’re a good fit for it.
Want that job? Increase your chances and cover your bases.
Do both and do them properly.