2 Tools That Will Improve Your Resume And Cover Letter

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Photo by Hirepurpose

Looking for work can be both stressful and time consuming. Typically, you have to constantly revise and update your resume, tailor your cover letter for each application, and polish your interviewing skills. And it doesn’t end there. Even if you get an interview, you may find that you do not, in fact, have what the company is looking for. Therefore, how can you increase the likelihood of getting an interview and getting hired?


One way is to make use of competitive intelligence techniques by leveraging web sources such as LinkedIn and SimplyHired. If you do not already have a premium level account on LinkedIn, you should get it. Veterans receive one free year of LinkedIn premium access.

Related: Your resume absolutely needs this one thing »

Using LinkedIn is a lot easier than it may first seem. At the top of the LinkedIn page, next to the search bar, is a link to the “Advanced Search.” You can use this to search for jobs with certain keywords along with check boxes that will allow you to drill down the results. You can try keywords in your resume and look for jobs that mention skills you have. You can further look at location, what the job function is, and industry. This gives you an idea of the available jobs with your skillset. In addition, it offers the ability to see which connections of yours are associated with those jobs.

SimplyHired is a job aggregator that collects job information from across the web. One unique function offered on SimplyHired is insight into job trends. On the homepage, you can search job trends under “Job Search Tools” by entering in key words from your resume and cover letter. A time series graph pops up to show the percentage of jobs with your search terms anywhere in the job listing.

For example, if you are in information technology, and you are proficient in SQL, typing “SQL” in the search bar will show you a graph that trends down. Yet if you search “database administrator,” the number of jobs trends up. Why? It could be that employers are looking for people with different skills. If you type in “MongoDB,” you will see a chart that trends up, meaning more jobs are being posted for people who know MongoDB.

These functions can help you refresh your skillset, and restructure your resume so that you are attractive to employers. I recommend plugging all of your skills into the keyword search bar and see where those words rank.

Making use of analytics tools on these and other websites, such as Hirepurpose, can allow you to find where the jobs are, discover what employers are looking for, and strengthen your marketability to those employers.

George Washington takes command of the Continental army. (Mount Vernon via Smithsonian)

The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch; Flatiron Books (413 pages, $29.99)

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New York City has seen dark times, but in the spring and early summer of 1776 the outlook was especially grim. The Revolutionary War was in its early, chaotic days, the British fleet sailed en masse toward the city, and in a desperate defensive measure, General George Washington ordered thousands of his Continental troops into lower Manhattan. Almost a third of the city's citizens fled, and Washington's filthy, untrained and undisciplined soldiers quartered themselves in the elegant houses left behind. They were hungry, cold and scared, and they numbed their fear with drink, gambling and prostitutes. They were about to face the greatest military force in the world, outgunned and outmanned, fighting for a country that hadn't been created yet.

In hindsight, America's victory against the British seems like one of history's inevitabilities, but in the beginning it was anything but. And had a small group of pro-British conspirators had their way, the Glorious Cause might have lost its essential leader — George Washington — to imprisonment, execution or assassination.

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