Like a lot of companies, Sinclair & Co. has received a lot of resumes lately. Many are from new grads, some are from folks trying to break into the industry, still others are from people who have found themselves without a job but with lots of pertinent experience. Each is doing its best to stand out among the tidal-wave of other resumes on my desk.
Honestly, most resumes I get are well written. But there are a choice few that garner attention for the wrong reasons. Either they are just bad (typos, misused words, incoherent thoughts) or the author tries so hard to stand out that he or she crosses the line.
Just so we’re all on the same page, please adhere to the following guidelines when you send in a cover letter and resume to Sinclair & Co.:
• Clearly connect your previous experience to work that’s relevant for an agency. We’re not particularly interested in your waitressing job at Hooters or the time you served as a summer camp counselor in 1992.
• Don’t tell us that the reason you moved from job to job was because of your boyfriend and the fact that he just couldn’t commit, so you finally left him and went home. We’re trying to keep the drama to a minimum here.
• Read your letter before you send it. Fix your fonts so we can’t see where you did a search-and-replace for our company name (indicating that you sent the same letter to 14 other agencies). Also, don’t forget to do a search-and-replace for the company name.
• Any reference to a bodily function is taboo. There is no place for that in a cover letter or resume.
• Use of the phrase “I hope you haven’t torn up this letter yet…” is not illustrative of your self-confidence.
Of course, these are just guidelines. But keep in mind that a professional and clearly written cover letter and a resume that outlines the position you are seeking and your relevant skills are the best ways to keep your name on the short list if something becomes available.