Most people rely solely on their resumes to land them a job. What they do is they basically send out one hundred, two hundred, or even three hundred resumes and they wonder why no one calls them back. It is like sending your resume into a black hole. If you are freelancer, you may have lots of meetings with or leads from potential clients, and yet none of them turns to actual jobs. And pretty soon, you start doubting yourselves, worrying being jobless for months/years. When it comes to job marketing, you need to sharpen your marketing material: Resume, Cover Letter, or Freelancer/self-pitch deck. How you can create a better resume, cover letter and freelancer self-pitch that’s better than any others you are competing against?
Resumes matter. A good resume, cover letter and self-pitch can mean the difference between getting noticed, getting interviewed, and landing your Dream Job.
Unfortunately, hiring managers/clients have limited time, and they build mental shortcuts. Imagine you are an employer. Every time you posts a job opening, they generally get hit with hundreds, or even thousands, of resumes. With all these resumes, you know only about five percent would be a good fit for the job. To process all these resumes, you just scan through the resume
in just seconds
You look at the applicant’s experience, education, and quickly scan through the cover letter to see is this going to be a person you want or not.
If he/she doesn’t immediately stand out, you think then I don’t get what this person do, so move on to the next resume.
That is why so many resume just left in the black hole.
How are we supposed to create resumes, cover letters and freelancer self-pitch that can open the door to dream jobs when no one teaches us how to do it? When you google “resume tips”, what you will get are:
- Free beautiful templates
- List of must include items such as Name and Contact Info, Summary Paragraph, Employment History, Skills, Education etc.
- Chronological vs. functional format
- Generic tips like “choose a basic font”, “don’t forget to spell-check” or “review successful examples”
But how do I write MY OWN WINNING resume?
Isn’t there a better way?
4 steps approach
4 steps approach to writing resume, cover letter, freelancer self-pitch
This 4 steps approach is designed to help you transform your resume, cover letter, freelancer self-pitch into interview magnets. The approached is tested, proven and applicable to whether you are seeking your first full-time employment, switching jobs, apply for a part-time job, or seeking a client for your freelance business/services.
Step 1: Think from the view of your hiring manager/potential client
What people generally do when they search for a job? They start right away writing their resume with list of facts about yourself (job experience, education, interest and so forth…), and send it out to ALL the jobs they want to apply.
Top performers play an entirely different game. Before they start writing their resume, the very first step they do is to spend a dramatically high amount of time doing deep research to get crystal clear about the job they want before they ever send out a single resume. They research about the job online. They talk to peers in the industry. They build relationships / networks.
Rule number one: Hiring managers/clients don’t really, truly care what you did at your last job. They care about what you can do for them. They wonder about your potential for future success working for them. And your resume must answer these questions … within 15 seconds reading your resume.
How to do it? The very first step is to think from the view of your hiring manager/potential client. Get in their heads. What they need from this position? What are they trying to do? You have to address both the positives and negatives. What they fear? What are the challenges in the role/company/industry? How can this role help them to solve the issues?
Now these will be very different, depending on the job that you are applying for.
Remember your goal is to know the one or two things that would get them to notice, remember and call you above three hundred other people’s resumes!
For example, say you are applying for a marketing manager in a company. What is the hiring manager biggest challenges? Is the employer trying to make more money? Get more customers? Cut costs? Just stay stable in a bad environment? What are they trying to do? You need to know this and then write your resume accordingly.
You need to do deep research not only the title of the job, but what does this person do, where are they in the organizational chart, what are the code words that people use?
Research Framework Worksheet
To help you do your research effectively, we have created a worksheet for you – a research framework to guide you through what information you need to think through / collect, how to relate that info to YOU and suggested channels of getting all these information.
It encompass in 3 areas:
- The industry
- The company
- The job you are applying
Step 2: Plan your narrative
What is the number one problem with resumes? Most resumes are simply a list of facts. I went to school at X, then after graduate I did Y in Z Company. Problem with list of facts is they are unimpressive and not memorable. You only has 15 seconds to impress your client/hiring manager. How can you grasp their attention within 15 seconds?
Facts are not enough. An effective resumes need a narrative to market yourself, an underlying thread that ties all your facts together in a crystal clear story that can let people get interested in you within 15 seconds.
You need a narrative.
A narrative is a story, a thread that ties together all the elements of your resume together. When you get 15 seconds, it’s critical to have a powerful story that leaps off the page.
This is what most resume “experts” completely miss.
Resume, Cover letter & Freelancer pitch deck toolkit
So how do you write your narrative? In the toolkit, a step-by-step guide is available with tested examples to help you craft your own and reflect the story in your resume, cover letter and freelancer self-pitch.
Step 3: Write a focused resume, cover letter, freelancer self-pitch with your narrative
What makes a good resume? Here are 5 general insights when writing one.
Insight #1: Be laser-focused
A good resume is a focused resume. It helps the reader to grasp what you want to convey, let them know what you can offer to the job you apply and why you are the perfect person for the job… in just 15 seconds. Your resume must present your information quickly, clearly, and in a way that makes your experience relevant to the position in question. That means condensing your information down to its most powerful form. In order to do so, your resume/cover letter should be:
- Keep it as short as possible and within 1-2 pages.
- Distill, distill, distill! Long, dense paragraphs make information hard to find and require too much effort from the overworked reader. If that reader can’t figure out how your experience applies to the available position, your resume is not doing its job.
- Create bulleted, indented, focused statements. Short, powerful lines show the reader, in a glance, exactly why they should keep reading
- Make it a plain English.
- Take off all un-compelling points. Leave only the best.
Top performers, compared to most people, do their homework (Step 1 and 2). So by the time they sit down to write their resume, they already know the exact role they are targeting. Think about how to write up your experience in targeted, clear, bulleted, detail-rich prose. We have a step-by-step guide with examples in the toolkit.
Insight #2: You do not have to include everything in your resume.
Most people think the resume has to include everything from your history. BIG MISTAKE! Your resume is not a chronological list of facts. In fact, if you did something that doesn’t support your narrative, leave it out! It makes people think you have no/little idea what direction you are heading. Companies want to see focus, not a random list of jobs that aren’t coherent.
Resumes require discipline of succinct editing. The better you are at controlling the information you create, the stronger the resume will be.
For example, you are applying a senior project manager job and in the last five years you have worked as an online marketing executives, a pizza maker, and a product manager and then a project manager.
In this case, you don’t have to include the pizza maker in there. It actually reduces focus. The hiring manager is going to look at this and say, that’s kind of weird, why would somebody work as a pizza maker and now want to be a senior project manager two and a half years later. So just leave that off. Unless you can explain it and explain how it contributed to your main narrative.
Insight #3: Don’t just list the facts, tell them the details
Resumes should shout ability and achievement, not just claim responsibility. Employers should be visualizing you in the new position, not remembering you as “that account assistant from HSBC.”
Example: What’s the more memorable of the two?
- “I’m an expert in social media marketing”
- “I use over 8 social media platforms regularly, including YouTube, Twitter and my own professional blog which gets over 10,000 visitors per day.”
Harsh? Yes. But that’s the business. Remember the employers who read resumes don’t know you. They have no idea about your charming personality. All they know of you is the resume they see before them. Help them to know you more with vivid details.
Insight #4: Think Broadly
Applicants applying for specific job openings must customize the resume for each position. Many job hunters, particularly those beginning their careers, apply to many different jobs.
A person interested in a career in publishing, for example, might apply for jobs as a writer, proofreader, editor, copy-writer, grant proposal writer, fact-checker, or research assistant. The applicant may or may not have the experience necessary to apply for any of these jobs. But you may have more skills than you think.
When considering the skills that make you a valuable prospect, think broadly. Anybody’s who’s worked a single day can point to several different skills, because even the most isolated, repetitive jobs offer a range of experience.
Example: Highway toll collection – is a repetitive job with limited variation, but even that career requires multiple job skills.
- Helping lost highway drivers read a map means “Offering customer service in a prompt, detail-oriented environment.”
- Making change for riders translates as “Cashiering in a high-pressure, fast-paced setting.”
But unless these toll-booth workers emphasize these skills to prospective employers, it’ll be the highway life for them.
Insight #5: Clear, and easy to read format
Success with your resume and cover letter has everything to do with your messaging. Don’t over spending your time and energy on design, font size and margin. The number one rule is just make is clear and easy to read.
Resume, Cover letter & Freelancer pitch deck toolkit
So how do I write my resume, cover letter and freelancer self-pitch? How do I link each bullet point in the resume to my narrative? What to write in the cover letter to engage the hiring manager within 15 seconds? How do I craft my story and structure the slides in my freelancer pitch deck that can help me land the job? We dedicated four step-by-step guides with tested examples, and templates of resume and freelancer pitch deck to help you writing your winning job marketing materials.
Step 4: Review
Now you have your resume, cover letter, freelancer self-pitch deck ready. Here are the final steps before you send it out!
#1 Final Cut
Thinking too much about length considerations while you write will hamper you. Think instead of the story you have to tell, then layer fact upon fact until it is told while writing your resume, cover letter. When this is done, you can now go back and review it, and ruthlessly cut it to the bone if necessary. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can I cut out any paragraphs?
- Can I cut out any sentences?
- Can I cut out any superfluous words?
- Where have I repeated myself?
If in doubt, cut it out – leave nothing but interesting and relevant facts and action words!
#2 Final check on your message
Review every sentence in the resume, I mean down to the level of every word, is it really conveying what you want the reader to convey?
Is it conveying part of your narrative? Remember, narrative is really important. If you have no narrative, that’s why people will just write random words in their resume.
#3 Get feedback
Go ask your friends. Reach out at least 5 of them. Ask them the following questions after giving them 10-20 seconds to read your resume:
- What do you remember most from the resume/cover letter / freelancer self-pitch?
- How do you describe me?
Are these the answers you wanted to hear? If not, review your resume / cover letter / freelancer self-pitch until you land the message you want to deliver.
If you hear the same questions again and again, perhaps it’s time to review that in your materials
To further help writing your WINNING job marketing materials that can land interview after interview
The Resume, Cover letter & Freelancer pitch deck toolkit
The best end-to-end material on turning your resume, cover letter and freelancer self-pitch deck into interview magnets. It includes a content vault and a design vault.
1. Content Vault
6 Guides + 1 Worksheet
Overview: the 4 steps approach to write resume, cover letter, and freelancer self-pitch
Overview of simple, step-by-step system anyone could use to land a Dream Job
Research Framework: Think from the view of your hiring manager / potential client
To write a winning resume, cover letter or freelancer pitch, the very first step is to spend time doing research to get crystal clear about the job. To help you do your research effectively, here comes a research framework to guide you through.
How to write your narrative?
Most resumes are simply a list of facts. Facts are not enough. An effective resumes need a narrative to market yourself. This step-by-step guide with tested examples will help you craft your own narrative and reflect the story in your resume, cover letter and freelancer self-pitch.
How to write for each bullet in the resume that link up your narratives?
A narrative is a story, a thread that ties together all the elements of your resume together. In this guide, we will focus on how to write for each bullet in the resume that link up with the narratives that you set earlier.
Essential component for resume
Resumes matter. A good resume can mean the difference between getting noticed, getting interviewed, and landing your Dream Job. Here we list out all the essential components you need to include with a guide on how to write them.
Essential component for cover letter
Cover letter is your first chance to have a conversation with your prospective employer / client. Think of it as the written response to the question, “Why should we interview you for this job?” Here is a simple step-by-step guide to write a winning letter with tested examples.
Essential component for freelancer self-pitch
Let’s face it as freelancers the biggest challenge is to find clients and market yourselves. In this guide, we will go through: essential elements in your self-pitch presentation, and the structure of the winning self-pitch slide decks
2. Design Vault
Resume + Freelancer pitch templates
We took care the design for you so you can spend less time focusing on the little details that go into making your resume and presentation deck and more time focusing on the message and content!
- Various resume templates
- Size A4
- File Type: PPTX
Freelancer pitch template:
- Over 150+ slides in total covering various popular freelance job industry: social media marketing, education, music, design and creative, fitness and yoga
- Size 16:9 ratio
- File Type: PPTX
- Handcrafted Infographic in Powerpoint
- Vector icons
- Pixel-perfect illustrations
- All Graphic Resizable and Editable
- Picture Placeholder, drag & drop
See what other people
Just like you
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Compare the Resume, Cover letter & Freelancer pitch deck toolkit to ...
- Online Software / tool in the market. They usually charge $/month, mainly focus on helping you on resume design but not the content.
- Templates in the market. Mainly focus on theme design and give you bunch of infographics but not helping you on the actual content writing. They also don’t tailor made for the scenarios for freelancer pitch deck.
- Generic tips. Lots of tips available are list of must include items, or compare resume chronological vs. functional format. They cannot help you writing each bullet of the resume / each paragraph of cover letter / every slide of a freelancer pitch deck.
There’s a different option. This Resume, Cover letter & Freelancer pitch deck toolkit unlike any of these options.
It’s tested, affordable, and proven to work.
Only costs $57 (ONE OFF payment)