It’s a good time to be a job seeker: U.S. job growth is strong, unemployment is on a steady decline, and openings are at an all-time high. That doesn’t make the search any less daunting. Differentiating yourself from every other job seeker on the market is no small feat, and the monotony of filling out online applications can make the task downright exhausting. That’s where a killer cover letter comes in. 

Done right, a great cover letter is like a secret weapon for catching a hiring manager’s attention. Next to your resume, it’s one of the most important, underutilized tools at your disposal.

Time.com has created a five-point checklist to ensure your cover letter is executing on all cylinders and putting you ahead of your competition:

 

Personalize – Every cover letter you write should be tailored to the job you’re applying for – just like your resume. Study the job posting carefully, and make a quick list of essential qualifications
Tell a Story – To grab a recruiter’s attention, a good narrative – with a killer opening line – is everything
Use Bullet Points to Show Impact – Hiring managers are usually slammed with applications, so short, quick cover letters are preferable to bloated ones.
Highlight Culture Fit – It’s often overlooked, but a major function of the cover letter is to show a company how well you’d mesh with their culture
End with an Ask – The goal of a cover letter is to convince the person reading it to make the next move in the hiring process – with a phone call, interview, or otherwise. Ending on a question opens that door without groveling for it.

 

Once you’ve taken the time to craft a great resume and cover letter, the hard part is over. Partner with AccruePartners, a team of subject matter experts who know the market, have connections and can find you the perfect opportunity that matches your skillset. Let us do the heavy lifting!

 

Dive into each of these tips further here. 

A resume should clearly define your experience and accomplishments. It provides a hiring manager with the justification to schedule an interview with you. A hiring manager will typically glance at your resume for a maximum of 10 seconds before deciding whether or not there is a match between your background and the position available. Make those 10 seconds count! However, sometimes sitting down and putting together this information on paper can prove to be difficult. Luckily, AccruePartners has created the “Crafting a Successful Resume” document to help aid you in creating the perfect resume.

When crafting a resume, it is important to give thought to the following questions:

There are a variety of different formats that can be used for a resume. However, it is recommended you use the following format. The following format is simple to modify on a job-t0-job basis, and easy for a reader to capture a picture of your work history in less than 10 seconds!

  1. Name
    • Your name should be at the very top of your resume and large enough to easily read.
  2. Contact Information
    • Your contact information should be large enough to easily read but slightly smaller than your name. You should also include multiple ways to reach you: phone number, email address, LinkedIn profile, etc. Do not include your social media handles.
  3. Summary
    • The summary highlights past accomplishments. Your summary should be written in paragraph form of up to four or five sentences at the front of your resume. This is your pitch and chance to sell yourself to your future employer.
  4. Education
    • A general rule of thumb for the location on your resume: If you have 10 or fewer years of experience, place your education in the front of your resume. Any experience exceeding 10 years should be placed at the end of the resume.
  5. Areas of Expertise/Technical Experience
    • This is your chance to highlight skills and software platform proficiencies that make you a fit for the role to which you are applying. If you list these skills and software, you must highlight your experience with them in your “Professional Experience” section. If you list skills and proficiencies without elaborating on them, hiring managers may question whether or not you are truly proficient in those areas.
  6. Professional Experience
    • Your professional experience should reflect the “MSA Model”

 

Learn more about how you can craft your resume to your advantage with our cheat sheet here.

Are you in the job market? Looking for new opportunities but coming up short looking on your own? Unlock the opportunities AccruePartners can offer you!

Made up of a team of subject matter experts that have extensive experience in their dedicated practice areas, we take pride in giving unique opportunities to top talent by taking the time to understand the needs of both the client and candidate. Powered with insightful market intelligence and an unrivaled depth of expertise, we are positioned to provide clients, candidates, and consultants with actionable results. Our Recruiters have visibility to job openings you may not be able to find on your own, professional connections at sought-after companies you may be trying to work at and offer top of the line career and job-seeking advice.

Unfamiliar with partnering with a staffing firm? Help us, help you! Here are a few things you can do to strengthen your profile and ensure our team finds you:

  1. Apply on our website and join our Talent Network – www.accruepartners.com
  2. Join LinkedIn if you don’t already have an account – www.linkedin.com
    • Join groups: “Charlotte Business Professionals,” Network Charlotte,” etc.
    • CONNECT, CONNECT, CONNECT
    • Add specialties: Excel, Concur, SAP, Salesforce, vendor management, procurement, financial analysis, SOX compliance, etc.
    • Put a photo up
    • Include your contact info – mobile number and email address
  3. Follow Networking Groups and attend local events
  4. Continue individual professional development (CPCC, UNCC, Lynda, Skillpop)

 

Some friendly reminders to keep in mind while working with one of our Recruiters:

 

Searching for a new job is a fulltime job in itself. Get a competitive edge, partner with AccruePartners!

 

Check out our helpful ‘How to Work with a Recruiter” cheat sheet.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment is at at the lowest we’ve seen since August 2007, coming in at 4.6 percent this month.

Companies are aggressively hunting for the best talent. Job searching? 2017 has great things in store for you but are you prepared for the new year’s trends? Use this December downtime to take full advantage of your search so you’ll be fully prepared for the new year.

 

Here are five key trends, provided by US News, that job seekers should expect to encounter in 2017:

 

 

 

 

 

Dive deeper into each of these trends on US News’ website here.

“Congratulations! You’ve landed your dream job and given a huge sign of relief. Now come the questions occupying your mind for your new role, and there will be plenty: workplace culture, new teammates, a brand new boss, and a whole new set of expectations are about to come your way. The plethora of unknowns can be consuming.”

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! This helpful article written by the Washington Post outlines what steps to take to become successful in your new position.

Read the full article here!