Five Ways to Build a Data-Driven Resume and Cover Letter

October 12, 2010
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j04464643 150x150 photo (data visualization)

j04464643 150x150 photo (data visualization)

According to a survey of 2,500 human resource managers conducted by CareerBuilder, 48 percent review 25 resumes for each open position. Additionally, 79 percent of human resource managers surveyed said they pay more attention to resumes that are tailored to their open positions.

How can job seekers tailor their resumes with the data HR managers are seeking? By presenting the positives of their experience in a real-time data visualization for HR managers, candidates can put themselves ahead of the crowd. Promotion seekers can also benefit from preparing such a visualization to prove their experience and readiness for a step up. 

Job seekers need to be continuously building their data queues to ensure this strategy is successful. You can start with social networks and online technologies? Here are five ways you can build your online data portfolio:

  1. Answer questions on LinkedIn. It’s simple to create an RSS feed of questions with relevant keywords. Spend a few minutes each day answering questions and recommending resources to show your knowledge in your field.
  2. Write a blog and comment on other blogs in your industry. By writing posts even once a month, you are building a visual representation of your knowledge. Commenting on other blogs shows you know how to network and are staying abreast of current trends and industry information. Use Google alerts to find blogs and topics for your posts.
  3. Utilize your professional network to get testimonials. LinkedIn’s recommendations are a flashing data billboard. By recommending others and getting recommendations on your work, you are giving HR managers a mini reference check.
  4. Build your own website and obtain your name URL. A website – which can be your blog – should be the one-stop data shop for HR managers to find everything they would want to know about you professionally. Keep this data up-to-date and add feeds to your relevant social network activity, such as your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter account (used for professional purposes only). Be sure to link to professional associations, alumni associations or conferences you attend.
  5. Create an optimized cover letter and resume. Most job seekers can send an electronic application with a Word or PDF cover letter. Be sure to embed hyperlinks as proof points for your data. By giving the HR manager direct access to your data, you are putting your application ahead of the rest and offering a real-time visualization of your professional life.

By utilizing the power of professional social networks and harnessing the data in visual format – your website, resume and cover letter – you are set to stand out from the flood of applicants.

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team

Image Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art