It’s important to understand that your résumé and cover letter are marketing tools that the average employer takes about 20 seconds to initially review. They’re not reading: they’re skimming. So you need to make it clear right off the bat how you can add value to the employer with both of these documents.
Strong résumés don’t have to be lengthy. One to two pages that feature your most relevant accomplishments. Remember when highlighting your experience, start with action verbs focused on meeting the needs of the employer. Customize your cover letter to each position you're applying for. A strong cover letter will answer two questions: why are you the right fit for the position? And how will you add value to the organization?
Neither your cover letter nor your resume can get you the job you want; hiring managers look at your interview conduct to determine whether they want to extend a job offer. A cover letter simply introduces you to the reader and, if written persuasively, compels the reader to learn more about your skills through a careful review of your resume.
Stop by the Pathways Center or call (319) 352-8615 to schedule an appointment for help organizing these important career search tools.