image courtesy Joel Tarling Illustrations

image courtesy Joel Tarling Illustrations

There is something I never understood until I was on the “hiring” side of a job interview. That is that a resume never gets you a job—it just gets you to the next step, hopefully. Understanding this should dramatically change the way you approach writing your resume and cover letter.


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It’s safe to say that even in a good economy, every job opening gets way more applicants than can possibly be interviewed.

Think about the HR person, if there is one in the company, or the poor, overloaded department head, if there isn’t an HR person, having to sift through all those resumes and cover letters. This is on top of their regular job, which is probably eating about 60 hours/week out of their life for them to have approval to add staff.

The truth is that a resume is what people use to WEED YOU OUT. This is true whether you’re doing paper resumes or posting them online.

Just when you’re ready to weep over the unfairness of it all, the futility of the effort on your end, in lopes a great resource to help you with the resume and cover letters. I found it in Steve Giegerich’s column, “STL Jobwatch,” in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Careers section on Friday, March 6, 2009.  Steve writes about < –which is FREE, so you should check this out, fer sure. Heck, I’m still employed three days a week, I’m a writer, and I’m going to check it out! 

If you have the time, before you go to the ResumeDictionary do read > Steve’s column <. It will set you up to understand how to use the resume resource. is the creation of Lindsay Capobianco and a team of writers.  

Lindsay Capobianco

Lindsay Capobianco

Lindsay has an English degree, and she figured if she didn’t know how to write a decent cover letter and resume, how would anyone without an English degree know? It’s not just writing, though; a good cover letter and resume is at least 50% writing/50% marketing. In the balance between the two, Lindsay says there are 197 words that can kill your resume. So, I gotta go: I need to see if I have any of those deadly 197 on my resume!

PS —  Lindsay is on LinkedIn!  Are you?