Resumes & Cover Letters

4 Ways to Hack Your Resume So You Don’t Even Need a Cover Letter

Written by Peter Jones

You’ve written a magnificent cover letter that explains in detail what you could only sketch in your resume, and which paints you in the best light with all of the appropriate context. Trouble is, the recruiter you sent it to is too busy to bother opening the attachment. She skims your resume, and that’s about it.

If this is your worst nightmare, don’t worry! The trick is to write a great resume that helps tell your story. To get started, follow the best resume practice for 2016.

In addition, here are four ways you can sex up your resume to make it do most if not all of the work of your cover letter.

1. In Summary

Right at the very top of your resume, add a paragraph that encapsulates your elevator pitch. Tell them—and keep it short and sweet—who you are, why you’re different from the other applicants, and what makes you so special for that particular position. Scrap the traditional “Objective” paragraph. You won’t need it.

2. Get Personal

Add a little of that personal flair from your cover letter at the very end of your resume. Give them a sense of what kind of person you are, your passions, quirks, and special talents. You can even use this space to explain you’d be willing and eager to relocate, or give details about your particular stage in life vis-à-vis that job in that company. If they don’t feel like reading it, they don’t have to. But it can really set you apart.

3. Show Results

Don’t just list the great things you did in the descriptions of your former jobs, show them. Give concrete numbers and prove exactly how effective you were in that past project or position. This is exactly the kind of ammunition hiring managers love to have to fight to hire a dream candidate.

4. Be Social

Whether you like it or not, hiring managers are going to snoop into your social media accounts. Show them you’ve got nothing to hide and make it easy for them. The transparency and willingness to make their lives easier will not be lost on them.

Do these four things and it won’t matter if you ever write another cover letter again. You’ll be able to prove in just one document that you’re the right kind of talent and personality for their company culture. And if you don’t, you’ll save a lot of wasted time and energy.

About the author

Peter Jones