Resume and cover letter - How good are yours?

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nalandmark

Wes Bucey said:
I disagree! You MUST address the issue of the two points in the ad:

Wes, I am trusting your judgement on that one, and I think I will include the forceful story, if I can somehow make it forceful enough.


My guess, after reading several revisions, is that nalandmark does not have real experience in facing down pressure from colleagues, subordinates, AND superiors with an unpopular judgment call.

You seem to have a shrewd understanding of someones profession by looking at just the cover letter. But you are wrong that I don't make unpopular decisions on a regular basis. My current boss uses "quality" as a marketing tool, instead of the right way to do business . He gives creadance to what I say only when it doesn't affect his bottom line. He is really passive aggressive and only gets stressed when I tell him he is wrong about something that he knows he is right about. (Even when he is not right)

Reading between the lines of the job listing (even in the skeletal form it has been described to us) tells me this recruiter is being unusually candid in describing the kind of pressure a job candidate may face when on the job. Further interpolation tells me the open position has probably been a revolving door for precisely the reason incumbents can't take the pressure.

My take was that the position was open through some sort of attritian, and the manager sees an oportunity to fill the position with someone who will do it right. Of course, I am a glass half full kinda guy.

Perhaps nalandmark does NOT have the requisite experience and aptitude for facing such flack. Many of us here in the Cove are experienced warriors in the battle. As I look at nalandmark's Profile, I see his past two years have been at an extremely small company where everyone probably acts like "family."
That was the idea when I took the position, but as most of you know being in charge of quality is not the best way to make friends. In fact, the "family'' atmosphere has worn off a long time ago, and now I frequently have to call the staff out, including the boss,for not maintaining basic quality control procedures.
Previously, he was at Pfizer, which has a reputation of being a civilized place to work. I can't imagine any tales of 2nd and 3rd shift workers at Pfizer grumbling if an incoming or outgoing shipment got put into quarantine because of a suspected nonconformance.
Wanna bet? Try telling the off shift supervisor his sample isn't as good as he knows it is and see how civil they are.

I further imagine nalandmark feels stymied in growth opportunities at a small company and wants to broaden his horizons.

I'd be lying if I said there was alot of growth potential at this firm. But I actually want to leave for different reasons:
Money is always an issue and after the latest layoffs I'm the most expendable.
I want to make improvements to our quality system, but quality is not part of the culture.
I want to get into a position that is based on the quality of the product; there are less grey areas in that environment.
I won't deny it, the money is better.


This particular opening seems like a tough fit based on what I've seen so far. I envision a recruiter making a similar judgment. I have a lot of experience putting a positive spin on a story, but I need something of substance to spin. I don't see it so far. Most recruiters will not be as charitable of their time and energy as we are in the Cove. This recruiter will just move to the next candidate.
The thing is this is what I did at Pfizer! I was in the quality lab, often on off shifts. I have shut down production because of my analysis. I have been questioned about my skills after doing it. I did ensure the supervisor that I knew what I was doing. I have been managing employees in my current role. I'm just having trouble showing that "I've been there and done that" in the way that you are suggesting. Wes, you have been nothing but honest with me and I really appreciate it, I guess I want to know is it better to put in a story with questionable bite, or just leave the story out?
 
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nalandmark

short example

I just came up with this revision. Let me know what you think.
 

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Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
nalandmark said:
I just came up with this revision. Let me know what you think.

I think it's too negative. You say,

. I have shut down production while at Pfizer. I have shut down production at my current job.

It sounds like the next line will be, "I shut down production where ever I go, and I'll shut down your production too, if you're not careful."
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Look. I'm trying to be as frank as I can without being insulting.

There are ways to make normally unpalatable material so that recipients can swallow it without retching. The mark of the experienced, capable person tasked with presenting bad news is that he makes it presentable so that recipients are grateful to receive it now, rather than later when it can do more damage. As I wrote in one of the above posts
Similarly, the lab nerd caught in the situation described in the job listing needs to have the knowledge and the force of personality to get the big picture across to affected workers that assuring quality starting ingredients will keep them ALL employed over the long term. "Better safe than sorry," as my mom would say.

Bottom line:
Ultimately, the blocked or quarantined shipment may be released into production, but everyone needs to have faith that the lab nerd is doing his best to limit false alarms. Faith that an alarm today may save their jobs tomorrow.

On his part, the lab guy has to be on constant alert to avoid "crying wolf."
As Jim writes, you have to avoid appearance of being a guy who relishes the power of shutting down a line. It would be like being the guy who brags about being the executioner at a prison.

If I write what MY answer to the job listing would be, you might be tempted to copy it, but that would be unfair both to you and the recruiter. It would be extremely difficult for you or anyone to maintain the facade of having the depth and variety of experience I possess for more than a few minutes during an interview. Experienced managers like Rob Nix or Jim Wynne or many others here at the Cove could similarly make their own responses and be able to defend and expand upon them during an interview and reasonably expect to get through to the next level of interviews.

The overwhelming question is: "Would we make the effort to go for the job ourselves?" Probably not. None of us has any idea of who your competition will be to get the listed job. What we do know is that you MUST get the attention of the gatekeeper to get to the next step (interview) and your current letter will not stand against even mediocre competition. Right now, the most important person you have to influence is the gatekeeper who will either act on your letter or discard it.
 
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Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Update

It's been a long time since we had any addition to this thread. Is everyone happily and profitably employed?

In another thread (What do job candidates want to see in job listings?), we are raising the topic of what an employer should put in his job listing to get the right candidate. Any employers got any comments about what they do or don't want to see in a candidate resume?

Some of you have probably gotten new positions since we began this thread. Did this thread or its companion (Tips to get past the "gatekeeper" when job hunting ) help you?
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Re: Update

Wes Bucey said:
It's been a long time since we had any addition to this thread. Is everyone happily and profitably employed?

In another thread (What do job candidates want to see in job listings?), we are raising the topic of what an employer should put in his job listing to get the right candidate. Any employers got any comments about what they do or don't want to see in a candidate resume?

Some of you have probably gotten new positions since we began this thread. Did this thread or its companion (Tips to get past the "gatekeeper" when job hunting ) help you?
Monday "bump!" Comments?
 
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Benjamin28

The advice on here is indeed very useful, and I find the insight from those experienced in varied perspectives quite interesting. I'd like to say, good resumes and cover letters are certainly not the product of one draft one shot, it's good! Rather, a good cover letter and resume should be reviewed and revised, critiqued, and revised until you achieve what you feel is the best you can produce without presenting false information.

Another thing I take into great consideration on cover letters is the flow and style. If i've done my homework I already know what the company is looking for, what I have that makes me suitable, and what items I want to cover in the letter.....the next step to me is to make that cover letter shined and polished in it's style and use of language.

Anyways, I wanted to bring this thread back up to say thank you for the useful information. As always the cove offers such an abundance of advice and information, I'm glad I've found this forum.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
I'm still eager to know if any of these job hunt threads have been helpful to someone in hiring or getting hired. If so, how about a testimonial for the next crop of job seekers?
 
A

amanbhai

long long discussion but real interest me.
I have to take time out to read all these stuff.
thanks to all participants.:applause:
 
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