Whether you are searching for your first job in the marketplace or are trying to make a career change, you know that the competition can be stiff. In order to catch the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers, your resume needs to do more than just stand out in the crowd – it needs to encourage them to act.
One of the most effective methods for inspiring someone to take action is the “Call to Action Statement.”
This technique has been used successfully in the sales industry for centuries. It’s a simple statement, usually placed near the end of the advertisement or sales pitch, inviting the listener or reader to “act now” to take advantage of the product or service being offered.
So, what does this technique have to do with your job search? You may not have thought of it this way, but in effect, your search for a new job or career change really boils down to a sales pitch: you are selling your services. And as savvy marketers know, to sell any product or service you must get the potential buyer to act.
In the case of a job search, this translates into getting the hiring manager or recruiter to invite you to an interview.
Since virtually no company ever hires an employee without interviewing them first, winning an interview is the single most important goal of your job search process. Without the all-important interview, you’re just another piece of paper on the recruiter’s desk.
The best place to use a “Call to Action” statement is in your cover letter. You cover letter is the recruiter’s first impression of you as a person…not just a list of your accomplishments (that’s your resume).
Here are some tips for using this technique for securing your first job or the next exciting step in your career change:
- Always use the active voice in your writing.
- Use phrases that begin with a verb, such as:
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"Arrange a meeting with me…"
- Leave the reader wanting more. Mention some piece of information that you will share during your interview, such as an idea for solving a business problem they may have. (Refer to the following article for information about business problems and how to use them in your new job or career change search: http://www.itotalsearch.com/Business-Problem-Concept.html )
- Conclude with a final Call to Action with an interesting proposed agenda for your meeting or an excuse for exchanging some missing but interesting piece of information that is sensitive and best discussed in an interview. This very powerful technique will be explored further in a future article.
(By the way, you can learn more about writing an effective cover letter in my article "How to Write Cover Letter Using One-Third-Page Rule".)
Remember, the most important goal of your cover letter and resume package is to sell your services and secure an interview. So why not borrow this tried-and-true technique from the sales industry to bolster your bid? Your first job or successful career change just might hinge on a well-placed Call-to-Action statement.
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