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Forget a Cover Letter and Make These 4 Resumé Edits Instead

According to this survey of 1,400 recruiters by Jobvite, a recruiting software provider, cover letters really aren’t powerful tools for finding a job anymore. The new secret to success? Simply, four simple edits to your resumé.

Add a summary
One way to provide more details about you is to include a summary. Write two or three sentences that highlight the qualities and experiences that make you different from other applications. The summary is where you share a high-level competency, industry niche or future-facing career focus. The summary replaces the “objective” that was once a popular component of a resume.

Include personal information
Applicants are also including personal interests in their resumes, says Bitte. Added to the bottom of the resume, it gives hiring managers a sense of the candidate’s personality before they call them in for an initial interview. You can include hobbies, volunteer activities, or relevant club memberships. If you are applying to a company with offices in more than one area, you might also point out if you are willing to relocate.

Highlight accomplishments
In addition to your employment history and job descriptions, include bulleted points under each entry with critical elements that hiring managers are looking for. “What were your two or three major accomplishments?” asks Bitte. “What results did you get? Offer concrete data, such as, ‘I helped increase employee engagement by x percent.’ This richness makes a resume stand out in comparison to your peers.”

Offer your social media handles
Hiring managers are looking at your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles, whether or not you include the links on your resume, says Bitte. It can be proactive to not only offer a link, but to be vigilant about what you’ve posted on these platforms because they give hiring managers a great deal of insight.

“What’s interesting is that companies aren’t judging your personality from your posts; they’re looking for a culture fit,” says Bitte. “Cover letters used to be the medium to figure that out, but that’s no longer the case. Today, social media can tell a hiring manager a lot more, and they’re using it to find the right fit.”


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