The Job Seeker’s WOW Factor: the NEW Candidate Packet
Don’t submit your résumé, send a Cut the Crap (CTC) Candidate Packet and get an interview!
You want hiring managers to say “WOW” when they get your application, don’t you? Of course you do!
I’m going to teach you how to do it with the most complete, innovative, and professional job application format.
Today’s Situation: I am a hiring manager and I took a lot of my time to carefully write my job specification or job description. What do I get? Even the best candidates submit cover letters that simply re-state an attached résumé, leaving it up to me to pull out the relevant pieces. Frankly, it’s boring, tedious, and I might miss something. I could pass over a good candidate if his or her résumé doesn’t attract my attention, speak to me in ways I understand, or call out the skills I need to find.
The Solution: Even though a website may say, “Attach your résumé here,” your new name for your résumé is your Cut the Crap (CTC) Candidate Packet. Yes, you can now proudly say, “Mr./Ms. Hiring Manager, attached is my Candidate Packet,” not, “Attached is my résumé.”
Instead of implying “Figure it out yourself,” send the Candidate Packet and show them, “I am providing all that you need to select me to interview for your position.”
Caveat: The only time the Candidate Packet is hard to use is when the website requires a plain-text résumé.
How to Build a CTC Candidate Packet: Your Candidate Packet is a collection of 3 documents or sections in a single file. To repeat, all three sections should be in one PDF or one Microsoft WORD file rather than three separate files. If you don’t know now, learn how to merge multiple documents and match all fonts and styles.
Working from the back of your Candidate Packet to the front:
Section #3: Back page(s): Your résumé. Yes, it is relegated to be the caboose. Your résumé is a supporting – yet required – chronological listing of YOUR background. It is the only document that is only about you. The rest of the sections, preceding your résumé, are all about them. Remember that!
Section #2: The middle single page is called your Cut the Crap (CTC) “Job Description Profile” or “JD Profile.” It is the biggest innovation I’ve developed and it delivers the “WOW” factor I promised.
Your JD Profile will compare your background, skills, and experiences with the job requirements on one page, in a table format with bullet points in each row.
In a two-column table, list the key requirements or specifications of the job – one per row – in the left column. Then in the right column, match your skills, experiences, and training to the requirements. And, remember, always quantify, quantify, quantify!
I have detailed instructions here and in my book, Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era.
Section #1: Your cover letter can only be written after you have completed the CTC Job Description Profile. From your profile, pull out the three most important points and highlight those in the body of your new-and-different cover letter. It will highlight, in an easy-to-read format, the specific reasons why you are the best candidate for the position and, therefore, why you should be considered for an interview.
Yes, it takes time, but once you’ve finished your first Candidate Packet, the rest will be easier. And, in my mind, delivering a Candidate Packet is not optional. As a hiring manager for over 30 years, and after reviewing thousands of job applications, I know you will only get the attention you deserve with the submission of a world-class application. No more average!
Cut the Crap, Get a Job! Use a new job search process for a new era NOW!