Using Cover Letters and Customized ResumesWritten by Scott Brown
I'd like to briefly discuss concept of "resume targeting." This is practice of customizing your resume for a specific audience. Targeting with resumes is same concept as advertisers customizing their message to a particular demographic. Recently, many big brand marketers have started customizing their messages to make their commercials more interesting so people using TiVo don't fast forward past them and so they stand out from other commercials. For example, Mercedes Benz recently started running commercials in New York City where a couple drives first to La Guardia and then to JFK Airport. For average viewer who sees a few hours of commercials a week, one that mentions two local places they're familiar with will stand out in their mind. The same goes for recruiters and employers who may receive hundreds of resumes a week. If they get one that's customized for their interests, it has a better chance of standing out.
It's a smart idea to have several versions of your resume available for different types of positions you're applying for. For example, if you're applying for jobs in both insurance and financial services industries, you could have two different resumes available with two slightly different Objective statements. Further customizing your resume for specific position you're applying for makes sense if it's a position you're really interested in and you want to stand out from pack. Keep in mind though that if you're sending out 100 resumes, it may not pay to spend 5-10 minutes customizing each one since landing a job is also partly a numbers game.
Cover letters can be a powerful way to establish a relationship with potential employer - especially if you haven't met person yet. They also provide more room for you to discuss synergies between your goals and theirs than is afforded in a resume. The goal of a cover letter is to establish a personal relationship. To that end, a cover letter needs to at least appear that it was customized for specific person it's being sent to. A good cover letter will reference name of company it is being sent to and position title. Even if you're sending out a lot of cover letters, this can be accomplished using Mail Merge function in Microsoft Word.
Workplace 911Written by Nan S. Russell
I've watched a few episodes of Nanny 911 and with chaos, out of control children and seemingly irreparable behavior, it strikes me as a precursor to Workplace 911. No, not a new reality TV show, but everyday workplace problems.
You see, kids who don't get their way, who learn to hit, manipulate, scream and throw things, grow up and go to work. By time they're adults, they've replaced their aberrant behaviors, like spitting, with more socially acceptable ones like sarcastic zingers and verbal tirades. They're liars, saboteurs, bullies, and road-blockers we meet up with at work. And I've met my share.
But here's thing. Just as those parents are challenged by Nanny to identify and correct what they're doing to encourage and reward their children's behavior, we need to challenge ourselves to do same at work. If you want to be winning at working, you need to uncover what you're doing to encourage and reward behaviors that you don't like. You need to recognize which hot buttons hook you into unproductive patterning at work and which, like those parents desperate to contain their children's behavior, reduce your results.
I learned in twenty years of managing there's one key that can change everything. Figure out what you're rewarding. It doesn't matter if you're five or thirty-five, whatever gets rewarded gets done. But, it's not as easy as it sounds. And don't confuse rewards only with something positive. If a co-worker gets you irritated enough to yell at him, he may feel rewarded because he's "gotten to you."