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Three Easy Steps to Getting the Job Offer of Your Dreams!

If you want a powerful resume that gets results, you've got to use resume targeting.

kathi macnaughtonHi there! I acquired my knowledge of resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, and the great job hunt by serving 17 years in the trenches of health care management. I've reviewed thousands of resumes and cover letters and interviewed several hundreds of hopeful applicants.

I know what it takes to get a job. AND... I've also spent months researching all of the latest wisdom through the internet and by reviewing the most current reference books on the subject. So, I encourage you to read and digest this special report carefully. There are some real gems here...

STEP 1: Customize Your Resume to Each Job

One of the most important things you can do before you send out your resume the next time is make sure it's customized. What do I mean by that?

Well... I mean make sure the resume truly fits the position you're applying for. When I was recruiting, I used to hate it when I got resumes in stating a job objective that had absolutely no relation to the job the person was applying for!

You know where those resumes went... yep, to the circular file... or at best to the very bottom of the pile.

Don't let that happen to you. Take a few minutes to modify your resume so that you appear to be a great match for the job you want.

But don't just take my word for it.. here's a great article that really lays it on the line, and gives up a few other nuggets of wisdom as well.

Four Simple Steps To Better Results With Your Resume

By Jeff Altman

Is every job description you read the same? No.

Is every job you submit your resume to the same? Of course they aren’t.

If all these job descriptions are different, why do you submit the same resume?

Every day, people send the same generic resume out as though each position was identical and each employer was attempting to hire identical skills and attributes. Too often, the results they receive are like the broken watch that is right twice a day—hit or miss success.

They list their name, address, phone numbers and email address, list an objective, education, and chronology of experience with dates of employment. The resume includes some successes or accomplishments. This is their resume.

In the days prior to computers when changing a resume required you to re-type different versions, this made sense. Today, when computers allow you to customize, spell and grammar check documents so easily, you are missing out on opportunities and costing yourself money by being lazy and not tailoring your resume for each opportunity you are interested in.

Here are several steps that you can do to improve your resume and get better results.

  1. Each employer will be interested in different attributes of your experience. They often indicate it by the items they describe in their job ad. Emphasize the experiences that you have that relate to the skills being sought and the functions you will perform in the job they will ask you to perform. If you are applying for a staff position, emphasize your staff experience and minimize your management experience. If you are being hired to be a leader, write about your recent leadership.

  2. Employers are more interested in recent work, rather than work you did many years ago. Use more space in your resume to highlight recent experience, rather than things you did before George W. Bush became President.

  3. Like setting a goal where you make them specific, measurable, achievable within a specific period of time, describe your successes or achievements concretely. Reducing costs is a nice start but it is more powerful to describe something as reducing operational costs globally by 2%. Increased departmental sales by 27% resulting in... You get the idea. Use action verbs wherever possible (For more on this, read my article, Preparing an Effective Resume” on

  4. Ask someone you trust to critique what you’ve written. Too often, people believe that they can do everything by themselves without asking for help. Ask a friend in your industry to critique what you’ve written to insure you’re on target and aren't missing the mark.

When you go to a restaurant and order a meal, you have the expectation that it will be prepared in a way that will please you and be presented on the plate beautifully. Writing a great resume requires that you be the chef and prepare a meal that is both visually appealing and tastes great too!

© 2005 all rights reserved. Jeff Altman, Managing Director with Concepts in Staffing, a New York search firm, has successfully assisted many corporations identify management leaders and staff in technology, accounting, finance, sales, marketing and other disciplines since 1971. He is a certified leader of the ManKind Project, a not for profit organization that assists men with life issues, and a practicing psychotherapist. For additional job hunting or hiring tips, go to If you would like Jeff and his firm to assist you with hiring staff, or if you would like help with a strategic job change, send an email to him at (If you're looking for a new position, include your resume).

Want to get a more comprehensive approach to landing a job than what you're reading in this special report? Then, you'll be interested in reading about my friend, David Green's outstanding toolkit here — I HIGHLY recommend this article to anyone who's serious about landing the job of their dreams. David and I tell you the 3 reasons why 96% of all job seekers fail to maximize their job searches. This is important stuff, so click the link above.

STEP 2: Customize Your Cover Letter to the Employer

Customizing your resume is not enough. You also need to customize the cover letter you send with it.

First, customize the person you're sending it to. Show that you care enough about getting the job to find out who'll be reviewing your packet. Don't use a generic greeting like, "Dear Sir or Madam" or "Dear Recruiter" unless you have to. And please... NEVER use "To Whom It May Concern." When I'd see those letters come across my desk, I'd think, "It doesn't concern me..." and pitch 'em!

Here's another great article on writing cover letters...

7 Deadly Cover Letter Writing Sins

By Vincent Czaplyski

Don't start off your job search with one (or more) strikes against you by committing any of these common cover letter blunders. Each is easy to avoid, but they can sink your chances of an interview if you include them in your letter.

  1. Sending your letter to the wrong person, location, or department.

    Do you really want your letter to land you a job at the company you're sending it to? Then take the time to verify that you have the proper name, title and address for thehiring manager or other decision maker who should receive it.

    Unless you're absolutely sure you already have the most up-to-date contact information, take a few minutes to call andask. Otherwise you may as well not bother sending your letter - it most likely won't reach the intended recipient. And if it does, he or she won't be impressed that you didn't bother to take this simple step.

  2. Irritating your potential employer with a pushy, arrogant or conceited tone to your letter.

    Are you truly God's gift to humanity? If not, chances are you ought to come across with a bit of humility, not braggadocio. Save the "I am too good for you not to hire me" stuff for when you're bragging to your friends about the great job you just landed. (Even they probably won't beimpressed - and they already like you!) Instead, let your accomplishments and skills speak for themselves.

  3. Typos, misspellings, punctuation or grammatical errors.

    There's no excuse for leaving any of these mistakes in a cover letter (or a resume for that matter). If such matters truly aren't your strong suit, ask a friend to look yourletter over for you. Blatant errors like these are just one more reason for a hiring manager to shunt your resume and cover letter aside, never to be seen again. Why? Because they'll think you are too lazy, too uncaring or too unskilled to be a good fit at their company.

  4. Writing rambling, unfocused sentences and paragraphs.

    Few hiring managers want to think they're reading a newly discovered missing page from James Joyce's Ulysses. Especially when all they really want to understand is whythey should read the enclosed resume. Tightly written sentences and three or four short paragraphs that communicate the answer to that question will help ensureyour resume gets read, not tossed.

  5. Writing long letters, even if well focused and well written.

    Here's a good rule to live by: Don't go over one page. It's a cover letter, not your autobiography. Capture your reader's attention quickly and impress him or her with your well written main points. Then let your resume do the rest of the talking. Until the interview of course.

  6. Writing a letter that is all about you, and not about what you can do for your prospective employer.

    Do you listen to WIFM? Sure you do. That's What's In it For Me, the little radio station in our heads that everyone listens to, including the person who receives your letter. Your potential employer wants to know what you can do for him or her, not the other way around. Make sure your letterhighlights why you will be able to help their company sell more widgets, design better satellites or otherwise make itsfuture brighter.

  7. Using odd layouts, too many fonts, colors and other attention getting devices.

    With rare exception, attention getters like overly busy layouts, exotic multi-color designs and odd sized paper have no place in a cover letter or resume. Save it for thedecorations at the next office party.

Follow these common sense suggestions and you'll write a cover letter that is bound to make you stand out-and landyou an interview.

© Copyright 2005 by Vincent Czaplyski, all rights reserved. You may republish this article in its entirety, as long as you include the complete signature file above withoutmodification. Copywriter and consultant Vincent Czaplyski is founder of, your online source forprofessionally written "industrial strength" resumes and cover letters guaranteed to land you an interview. Article Source:

Want to get a more comprehensive approach to landing a job than what you're reading in this special report? Then, get your copy of David Green's outstanding toolkit here — I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who's serious about landing the job of their dreams.

STEP 3: Do Your Research Before the Interview

In the ideal situation, the interviewer and the interviewee are equally interested in finding a perfect fit. Look out for yourself. Ask hard questions about work conditions, drawbacks, and low points. If asked tactfully and backed up with research, well-directed questions of this sort won't offend a responsible interviewer. After all, a happy employee is going to be more productive than someone who hates his job. offers insider company research on thousands of top employers. You can also fill out an employer survey on Vault and qualify to win $500. This is a great way to find out about an employer and impress the interviewer with your "insider" knowledge!

In a minute, you can read a great article that provides many winning questions you can ask in an interview, but first let's talk about a few possible pitfalls.

  • What are the hours? If your research hasn't revealed this already, you should ask if a job advertised as 40 hours a week really takes 50 or 60 hours a week, or more. You have a right to know how much you'll be working and should protect yourself by asking in the interview whether or not this is truly a 40-hour-a-week job. Interviewers should be honest with you about this; it's information you need to know in order to make a good decision. If you're going to be slammed with work from nine to nine every day, it might not be worth it for you.

  • Pay? Be aware that overeagerness to ask about salary can make you look unprofessional. Asking about salary while calling up to schedule an interview is a bad idea. The best time to ask about salary is after you've gotten the job, but before you've accepted. Even if money is your prime motivation, wait till late in the interview to ask money questions.

    Still, salary and other benefits are important. Before you go in for an interview, think about how much you need to make to live comfortably, and how much you think you deserve to make, given the responsibilities and your qualifications. You can find pay information at specific companies with Vault company research.

  • What type of work will I be doing? Before you go in for an interview, think about which type of work environment suits you best. As we saw earlier, different corporations develop different attitudes. The atmosphere on the floor of the New York Stock exchange is very different from a public library in a small town. Some jobs require you to work with a team in order to produce a final product, while you'll work in solitude in others. It's your responsibility to find the environment that best suits you.

  • How long will I be here? Before the interview, you'll also wish to think about your commitment to the job. The interviewer will be concerned about how long you will be able to stay with them. Are you looking for summer employment between school terms, for a six-month experience, a three-month internship, or a lifelong career path? In establishing a career, consider that anything under a year does not constitute a valid work experience to some employers. In many jobs it takes six months just to get up to speed.

  • Are there walls? When you go in for the interview, be alert to the work environment, both physical and human. Pay attention to the way the company gets its work done. Imagine yourself coming into that building every day. Do people in the office wear Armani or Levis, DKNY or Dickies? Do they crowd into cubicles or kick back in plush, well-ferned offices? Is there a backslapping, good-ol'-boy, "see the game last night, Joe?" feel to the place? Do the workers seem happy or do they wander round the office like zombies? Are there stains on the carpet, interesting art on the walls? If you look at the interview experience as an opportunity to gather as much information as you can about the company, you'll have plenty of factors to sift through when it's time to make a decision.

  • Big fish in small pond or cog in machine? How big a company do you want to work for? Will you be more comfortable as a prominent player in an office where everyone knows one another, or as a single, relatively unnoticed cog in a massive corporate machine? Smaller companies are more likely to offer flexible hours and vacation policies, and they may offer more opportunities for immediate, diverse, and substantive involvement. In addition, a smaller company may be a growing company. It can be exciting to ride a company as it grows, to watch and participate in the formation of its culture and lingo. Smaller companies also tend to suffer less from bothersome bureaucracies, so your ideas have a better chance of immediate implementation.

    By the same token, it's difficult to hide in a small company. Everyone will soon realize if you're not producing. It may be more difficult for you to take vacation, or even a long lunch. Small companies also tend to pay less and can't offer the benefits of a larger firm. And especially in these consolidation-crazy times, they're somewhat more susceptible to buy-outs and bankruptcy than a big, established operation. Fortune 500 companies, on the other hand, can usually afford higher salaries than smaller places can. They also offer more comprehensive benefits, and may offer a wider variety of potential places to live.

    In the interview process, employees at small companies understand that they don't have the name recognition of bigger places and won't expect you to know as much about them. This is why it's an especially good idea when interviewing with a smaller place, to find out who they are and what they do. Make sure you thoroughly check their web site, if they have one. At least research the industry in which the company's involved if you can't find anything more specific. Also,'s company research provides insights into workplace culture at major employers.

Click here to learn more about how you can research your future employer at You can also fill out an employer survey on Vault and qualify to win $500. This is a great way to find out about an employer and impress the interviewer with your "insider" knowledge!

Now, here's a great article with tons more interview questions you can ask a recruiter during the interview...

Interview Questions: How To Stump The Interviewer

By David Richter

In the limited time an interviewer has with you, their mission is to know you and assess your worth, especially in relationship to the other candidates interviewed. Asking you questions is the way they accomplish that mission.

Since interviews are two-way streets, your time should be spent assessing the position, the company, the employees and anything else that could sway you toward, or detract you from, the job opening at hand. To accomplish this, you’ll want to come to the interview prepared to ask your own questions. Keep in mind that although an interviewer may like you and want to see you continue through subsequent interview stages, you may decide that, based on their responses to the questions you have posed, the job may not be for you.

The following represents a sampling of questions an interviewer may ask. Preparing meaningful responses in advance will impress your interviewer:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • How are you different from other candidates?
  • Why should I consider you for this position?
  • If hired, what will your greatest challenge be?
  • Tell me how you would perform on the job, if offered?
  • Why should I want to get to know you better?
  • What qualifications do you possess that pertain to this position?
  • Tell me about your professional background?
  • What did you like the best about your most recent job?
  • What did you like the least about your most recent job?
  • Name your biggest strength.
  • Name your biggest weakness.
  • What are your goals – short and long-term?
  • How do you set goals for yourself?
  • What was your biggest accomplishment in your previous job?
  • What motivates you to be successful?
  • What was your biggest disappointment?
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • How would your previous boss describe you?
  • How would your previous subordinates describe you?
  • What was a major problem you faced in your last job, and how did you deal with it?
  • Describe a time you had problems with a supervisor, and how you handled that.

The following represents a sampling of questions you may want to ask. Knowing ahead of time the responses you require will allow you to quickly assess the viability of your pursuing the position further:

  • Are you the one who will be making the hiring decision?
  • Who will I report to?
  • How much travel is involved?
  • Where do you see the company headed?
  • What are the company’s short and long-term goals?
  • How would you size up the company’s position in the marketplace?
  • What are the opportunities for growth here?
  • What new products are being developed?
  • How would you assess revenues, year over year?
  • How would you describe the corporate culture?
  • Is this a new position, or am I replacing someone?
  • If I am replacing someone, what happened?
  • What exactly are the responsibilities of the position?
  • What are the biggest problems facing your company?
  • What qualities are you looking for in a candidate?
  • What is the next step in the interview process?
  • What is your timeframe for bringing someone onboard?

Copyright © 2005 TopDog Group. All rights reserved. David Richter is a recognized authority in career coaching and job search support. He has spent many years in recruitment, staffing, outplacement, counseling psychology and career management spanning most industries and professions. David founded TopDog Group in response to the needs of job candidates to have a higher quality of career coaching and support available on the Internet. David understands the mechanisms for success. He has formulated specific strategies anyone can use to secure interviews and receive offers. His extensive knowledge and experience sets David apart in this field, allowing him to offer a wealth of information and a vast array of tools, resources and strategies not found anywhere else. He has shown countless job seekers how to differentiate themselves and leverage their potential to the highest possible level, making a real difference in their careers. David holds both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology. David's website address is:

The bottom line is... ask the right questions, and you'll not only be in a better position to evaluate the company and the job you're applying for, you'll also be quite likely to impress the interviewer with your thoroughness!

So, there you have it... 3 easy steps to landing the job offer of your dreams!

STEP 1: Customize your resume to each job.

STEP 2: Customize your cover letter to the employer.

STEP 3: Do your research before the interview.

Follow those 3 steps and you'll do well in the job hunt!

If you enjoyed improving your job hunting skills by reading this FREE special report, you'll want to get a copy of David Green's great job seeker toolkit, "The Best Job Search Step By Step Secrets".

I really can't recommend this resource highly enough. It goes into much more detail on the 3 steps I've covered in this report, PLUS he offers a bunch of really valuable bonus gifts... all for a great price.

Get your copy of David's outstanding toolkit here — before it's too late. If you want to read a great article I created with David's help first, click here.

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