Are you interested in having hiring managers or HR say "WOW" to your application compared to all other applicants? I'm Dana Manciagli, author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job! and I'm going to teach you how to provide the most complete and innovative yet professional job application format.
Today's Situation: I am a hiring manager and I took the time to write my job specification or job description. The best candidate sends in a cover letter that simply re-states their résumé, leaving it up to me to pull out the relevant pieces. Frankly, it's boring, tedious and I might be passing over a good candidate if their résumé doesn't speak my language or call out the skills I need to find.
The Solution: Even though a website may say "attach your résumé here", your new name for your résumé is your Cut the Crap (CTC) Candidate Packet. Yes, you can now proudly say "Mr./Ms. Hiring Manager, attached is my Candidate Packet" versus "attached is my résumé". With the latter, it implies "figure it out yourself." With the former, the Candidate Packet implies "I am providing all that you need to select me to interview for your position."
The only time this Candidate Packet is hard to utilize is if the website requires a plain-text résumé.
How to Build a CTC Candidate Packet: It is a sandwich of 3 documents or sections in the same file. To repeat, all three sections should be in one PDF or one Microsoft WORD file versus attaching three separate files. So learn how to merge and match all of the fonts.
Working from the back of your Candidate Packet to the front:
Section #3: Back page(s): Your résumé. Yes, it is relegated to be the caboose. It is a supporting-yet-required chronological output of YOUR background. It is the only document that is only about you. The rest, in front of your résumé, will be all about them. Remember that!
Section #2: The middle single page is called your Cut the Crap (CTC) "Job Description Profile" or "JD Profile". This page is detailed in another blog on my site and in my book "Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era" and is the biggest innovation, delivering the "WOW" factor I promised. It must be one page, in a table format with bullet points in each row.
Section #1: Your cover letter can only be written after you have completed the Document #2, the Cut the Crap JD Profile. From this profile, you will pull out the three most important points and highlight those in the body of your new-and-different cover letter. It will highlight, in an easy-to-read format, the specific reasons why you are the best candidate for their position and, therefore, why you should be considered for an interview.
Once you do your first Candidate Packet, the rest will be easier. But each one takes time. And, in my mind, delivering a Candidate Packet is not optional. As a hiring manager for over 30 years, and reviewing tens or hundreds of applicants for every job, I know you will only get our attention with the submittal of something world class versus average.