The Secret to an Above-and-Beyond Job Application

You know the importance of a well-written resume. But don’t stop there. Get your resume the attention it deserves by adding a follow-up letter to your application package. Angela from RedRocketResume shows you how.

Mature business woman portrait

So you’ve found a great job opening and sent out your resume. Now just settle in and wait for the call, right?

Not exactly.

In almost every scenario, the right approach for job search/career development success is a 1-2 punch:

  1. Follow the prescribed channel.
  2. Make a move that goes above and beyond.

So yes, send in your resume in the manner requested, whether that’s an email attachment or submission via the company web site. But then find a way to take an extra step of follow-through.

Keep in mind these two facts:

First, for virtually any position, in any industry, hiring managers are looking for candidates with drive and follow-through.

Second, hiring can be a chore, and hiring managers are often slogging through a mire of dozens of resumes.

Show your spunk—and keep your name at the top of the hiring manager’s pile—by sending a follow-up letter.

Here’s how:

A few days after submitting your resume and cover letter, send a brief note that highlights the key match-up between your professional abilities and the hiring manager’s needs.

Make your note as personalized as possible. That means, ideally, you’ll send it directly to the person leading the hiring decision and address them by name.

To decide what goes in your follow-up letter, ask yourself this:

What do you wish the hiring manager picking up your resume will get out of it?

What are you hoping they’ll notice about your experience?

What do you hope will come through?

Brief, descriptive answers to those questions comprise your cover letter.

Here are some examples of effective follow-up letters:

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You’ll notice short paragraphs, references to further detail in the resume, and brief recaps of resume highlights.

These follow-up letters will be most effective if tailored to their target. That means think about your target company and match your tone, level of formality versus friendliness, and topics of interest.

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