In today’s stiff job market, you need a grabby résumé and cover letter.
A survey by CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive
found that about 20 percent of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds looking at an application, while roughly 40 percent dedicate less than a minute.
Job seekers need to make an impression, and fast.
This spring, CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive asked nearly 3,000 hiring managers nationwide to identify résumés and cover letters that stood out. Some were bizarre, others hit the right chord and resulted in a job. Here are some responses from the survey:
Hiring managers offered examples of résumés and cover letters that were unusual.
1. Easy there, Tiger. One hiring manger said a candidate referred to himself as a genius and suggested the hiring manager come to his apartment to interview him.
2. Meadow Soprano, is that you? In her cover letter, a candidate talked about her family being in the mob.
3. “Swamp People” is hiring. Someone applying for a job in management mentioned “gator hunting” as a skill.
4. Let’s hope he’s talking about the band. A candidate listed “phishing” as a hobby.
5. Here’s the story … A candidate advised a hiring manager that her résumé was set to the “The Brady Bunch” tune.
6. We’ll get back to you, your highness. A candidate indicated he was “homecoming prom prince”—in 1984.
7. Is that anything like Klingon? When applying for a job in Antarctica, one candidate said he could speak “Antartican.”
8. Be very, very quiet. One jobseeker’s résumé was decorated with pink rabbits.
9. The extra “e” is for … A candidate for an accounting job listed “deetail-oriented” as a skill—and misspelled the company’s name.
10. OMG. A candidate’s cover letter contained “LOL.”
Not only did the following techniques catch the hiring manager’s eye, but also made a positive impression—and landed the person a job.
Hired: A candidate who sent his résumé in the form of an oversized Rubik’s Cube. The hiring manager had to move the tiles around to see the résumé.
Hired: A stay-at-home mom who listed her skills as nursing, housekeeping, chef, teacher, bio-hazard cleanup, fight referee, taxi driver, secretary, tailor, personal shopping assistant, and therapist
Hired: A candidate who created a marketing brochure to promote herself.
Hired: When listing accomplishments on his résumé, this candidate added the lessons learned from each position, including how he would have handled certain situations differently.
Hired: A candidate applying for a management position in the food and beverage management industry created a résumé in the form of a fine-dining menu.