It’s tough looking for a job – often competitive, dehumanizing, frustrating, and puzzling. The process can make jobseekers doubt their self-worth, question their career choices, and try desperately to be everything the employer is looking for.
The result often is TMI – too much information:
- Resumes that are densely packed full of job details, on the off chance that one obscure activity will be just what the employer wants!
- Cover letters that are crammed with career stories, rationale for the search, and a long litany of past jobs.
- Interview answers that ramble on without really addressing the question.
It is tempting to try to include everything when you are trying to be that perfect candidate. But please resist the temptation and get to the point!
When you write a resume:
- Skimp on the “job duties,” sharing just enough to put readers in the picture.
- Focus on what’s unique about you – your specific achievements.
- Make sure nothing is too dense or difficult to read.
When you write a cover letter:
- Immediately communicate why you are writing.
- Share a few brief examples (again, specifics!) that match the employer’s needs.
- Limit your letter to 3 or 4 short paragraphs and/or bullet points.
In an interview:
- Listen to the question and make sure you address it.
- Tell a brief story that illustrates the point you are making.
- Pay attention to what the employer tells you about the job, the challenges, the opportunities – and share experiences that are on point.
You can always share more if asked … but if you don’t quickly capture attention by pinpointing just the essential information, you are not likely to get that chance.