Dear Applicant

How to stand out in a post-resume world

Dear applicant,

Thanks for including me as a recipient to your mass-forwarded resume. You even took the time to write a cover letter that was longer than “Attached is my resume.”

In spite of the fact that this is more than what many candidates will do, it still isn’t enough.

Most companies receive a shit tonne of applications, so just because you’ve sent in your resume, it doesn’t mean that the company is obligated to actually look at it. It may seem harsh, but that’s just the way things are and you shouldn’t get pissed off about it.

What you can do, though, is make an effort to get noticed.

So now you might think about formatting your resume and sprucing it up with some nice graphics.

Nope, that still isn’t enough.

Even if you’ve made yours from scratch, big deal. There are hundreds of resume templates on Theme Forest that will look very similar.

You’ve heard this one before, I know, but I cannot stress enough the importance of a good, honest and SINCERE cover letter.

Do not send your applications to companies that you are not willing to kill to work at. Don’t settle for any company just so you can reach an imaginary number of applications in your head and then whine about how all the companies you’ve applied to aren’t getting back to you.

Disclaimer: This is not a framework nor is it the only way, these are just some guidelines.

Write a cover letter

Generally, you can structure a cover letter like so:

  • Tell me who you are.
  • Explain why you’re a good fit for this company and why you want to work there.
  • Express what you can bring to the table.
  • Describe how it will impact you.

Writing a good cover letter NEVER fails, so

  1. Cut out the shit
  2. Avoid using buzzwords like SYNERGY and I HAVE HIGH ATTENTION TO DETAIL
  3. Get to the point
  4. Be creative — everybody will be able to tell if you’ve copy-pasted one off of the Interwebs.

Have a portfolio

If you’re a developer, show me code.

If you’re a designer, show me art boards. Digital or otherwise.

If you’re xxxx, show me some work!

If you do not have anything yet, write it; make it.

This is what you want to be doing 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, right?! Show me why I should save a seat for you on the team. Make each application count and make it count GOOD.

What you do outside of work also matters, tell me about that too. I want to know what keeps you going and what excites you. This is important for me to imagine you better as a person and a team member. There simply isn’t enough time to interview every schmuck with a copy paste email and a $7 template-resume.

Lastly, please remember every employer is just as much a person as you are. Reach out to that instead of trying to impress with bullshit, because experienced people can cut right through the bullshit.

Good luck!

Edited by: Shaii Ong