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16 Tips on Your Cover Letter, Résumé, and LinkedIn Profile

16 Tips About Hiring, Cover Letter, Résumés, and LinkedIn | The First Few Seconds

These tips will improve your chances of landing your new job

1.   If you have an e-mail such as or then change it before applying for a job to something like Then arrange to auto-forward all e-mail to your new more professional address. Your résumé needs to be professional and business-like.

2.   Design your résumé so that you can get it into 3 pages. It should be similar in length to your LinkedIn profile. You want to get it down to sufficient detail to attract and then grab hold of any Hiring Manager’s and Recruiter’s attention.

3.   Given the pace of the world and the changes impacting every profession, your résumé’s and LinkedIn’s hot zones are your last 10 years of your working life. Truth is, most Recruiters and Hiring Managers will focus on your last role and the one before that to make a judgement about you. Then they will back it up with further information as required.

4.   Write a cover letter and make sure it is sent to the right person for the right job! I cannot tell you how many applications I have seen or hear from Recruiters and Hiring Managers where applicants have sent their details off with the wrong cover letter for the wrong job. They might write: “I’d really like to work with ABC company…” when in fact the company being applied to is XYZ. Really WTF!

5.   Really think through what value you provide for your prospective employer. Be clear about this. Be able to articulate your value consistently with the selection criteria in mind.

6.   Do anything to keep your résumé active. If you haven’t got a role within 6 months, and you have not worked, it’s not looking good. Go and get a role driving as an UberX driver; go on Upwork, Freelancer, or Elance and get some work; and/or do so elsewhere. But get some work.

7.   Do not use pretty paper to have your résumé stand out. Time is too short today for any Recruiter and Hiring Manager. It’s not about the look – your résumé and LinkedIn is about your value and the substance.

8.   Focus on achievements and the value. Too many résumés are a laundry list of responsibilities.

9.   When it comes to the job market, connections, and networks rank above having to line up like everyone else for that sought after role. Use your LinkedIn profile and find out who knows who at the employer you are targeting.

10. If you don’t have over 500 LinkedIn connections, then build up to that. It’s a magic figure with LinkedIn and the perception you are connected.

11. Do not reach out to just anyone in LinkedIn. It’s off putting to most people. Instead network with them at an event and then request to connect. Alternatively, join a LinkedIn Group, post, interact, get known… then request to connect.

12. The more you are connected in LinkedIn, the more you can see who knows someone. LinkedIn allows you to see to 3rd level connections. 4th level connections are invisible. But someone 4 away might end up being a connection to someone you are directly connected to… and that then means they become 2nd level connections.

13. Get a quality head and shoulders shot on a plain background. Androids and iPhones have excellent cameras and there is simply no excuse to just have an avatar on your profile.

14. Use no less than 10 point font and ideally 12 point font for your cover letter and your résumé.

15. How many web sites are in serif font nowadays? Very few! So don’t choose to use serif fonts if you want to convey the impression of being contemporary.

16. Do not hand deliver your résumé. It’s odd, off putting and suggests you have too much time on your hands.  Most Applications are via job boards or Linkedin. Follow the instructions outlined in the advertisement.

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About the author:

Greg Weiss is the Founder of The First Few Seconds and CareerSupport365. He has almost 30 years success in HR and in career coaching people.  The First Few Seconds job readiness modules can be found here.

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