I have to add to all these articles, it cannot be stressed enough...your resume is the ONLY thing that will set you apart from the crowd. A client of mine posted a position last week for which I received about 75 resumes this week. I do appreciate that if people took the time to read the job description, write a decent cover letter and send an up to date, somewhat relevant resume the least I can do is read over their cover letter and resume. But what about the people who clearly did not bother to read the job description? Or the people who brought in their resume in person with white out over handwritten remarks on the top of the resume? What about the people who clearly have no idea what spellcheck is or how to use it? I admit that after reading 75 resumes, I am irate. This is a tough job market, I get that, and maybe these individuals are just hoping that sheer volume will give them an edge. Let me tell you this...if you send me a cover letter addressed to ANOTHER company, with a job that I am not recruiting for...chances are your resume is not going to be looked over very carefully. Don't ask me to do a better job of quality control on your application than you are willing to do. You just had to write up one resume and cover letter, I am reading WAY more than that.
Truth be told, I do not get hung up on the format of resumes or whether or not you have a cover letter but I am looking for YOU to tell ME why you are a fit for the position, do not ask me to read through 5 pages of irrelevant experience trying to find out if you might be a fit. You are the best person to know if you fit the requirements of the job description, make it easy on me. Assume the person reading the resume is an idiot...sometimes those of us who are reading the resumes are not on the top of our game...and sometimes, and this is a dirty little secret, recruiters are looking for a reason to say no to your application, as the sheer volume of applications for certain positions is overwhelming. Do not give them any reason to. Pay attention to detail, use the job description as guidance to do your cover letter and make appropriate changes to your resume and use common sense...if the position if for a Events Manager in an office environment, and your only experience is a heavy machinery operator, please do not bother sending me your resume.