Originally posted on the SmashFly Intern Blog.

In my last article (which you can read here) I asked recruiters a few questions, one of which asked if they read cover letters. The answer to that question from those who participated in the discussion is a resounding YES. If you’re like me and you’re trying to establish your career, having a solid cover letter is extremely important in helping you add value to your application. The cover letter isn’t going to get you the job, but it is a tool you can use to your advantage as long as you can make it relevant by articulating your value/uniqueness/strengths/experiences that your resume can’t capture.

After reading the responses from my last post, I’ve concluded that the job search and application process requires a few important tools that you should keep ready in your toolbox. Most likely it won’t be one thing that will get you a job, or at least an interview, it’s an effort that requires pursuit from several angles. These are things you should constantly be working on if you want to get a job in this economy.

1. Experience: Your work experience is key because you can’t express the value of hiring you if you don’t have the experience to back-up your skills and abilities. Simply saying that you’re a hard worker isn’t good enough. You have to prove it by showing how you bring results to the company. Get experience any way you can like by becoming an intern.

2. Resume:
A strong resume is one that shows results you’ve brought to an organization. Don’t just cite duties and responsibilities, how did you improve your company’s business? Metrics are a great way to explain your success.

3. Cover Letter:
Cover letters are extremely important. Different recruiters look for different things in cover letters, so you’re never going to please everyone. My advice is to use your cover letter as a vehicle to express a side of your personality that you can’t express in your resume. Resumes tend to look generic so a unique cover letter can set yourself apart. When I say unique, I don’t mean, “I was born with six toes”, it’s more, “this was a problem we faced in our company and this is how I solved it”, or “this is a story about how I became passionate about this type of career.” Make sure you don’t repeat your resume and using a canned cover letter is lame because it doesn’t differentiate you. Make sure you don’t have any spelling or grammar errors because according to one HR professional, those types of mistakes stick out like a glaring light.

4. Network: Having a good network is very important as it seems a majority of jobs come from networking. It’s important to have different types of people in your network, including recruiters. Utilize LinkedIn for professional networking and make sure you follow up with people. Having a good profile on LinkedIn is also important because recruiters will search for you on the site and they may not contact you if you don’t have a profile or if it’s incomplete.

These are just a few important things you should be doing in your job search. Feel free to comment if there is anything you would like add to this topic. My last article was the most active article I’ve had and I appreciate everyone for participating.

About the Author: Sean is a Marketing Intern at SmashFly Technologies. SmashFly is the provider of the first recruitment marketing platform called WildFire that enables companies and staffing firms to easily distribute and more importantly measure the performance of their recruiting efforts online.

The WildFire recruitment marketing platform offers every tool you need for your recruitment marketing needs all in one centralized solution including Real-Time Recruitment Metrics, Job Ad Distribution (job boards, social networks, SEM, email & SMS campaigns), Recruitment Opt-In Database, Recruitment CRM, Web Commercials / Micro-sites and Resume Sourcing services.

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