Putting Your Best Foot Forward: The Similarities between Resumes and Websites and Making Them Work for You

McCauley Services has been fortunate enough to have the opportunity for expansion recently and we’ve received our fair share of cover letters and resumes.  Reviewing these materials got us thinking about how similar the components of a successful website design and cover letter/resume are.  Doing both of these things well requires writers, applicants, and graphic designers to succinctly display what makes them so unique and worth the readers’ investment.  Below is a list of a few key elements we’ve found in all of these materials:

Get to the point – quickly!  Consumers have notoriously short attention spans.  Make sure that your website (especially the homepage) is easy to understand and navigate.  The same rings true for a resume- you shouldn’t include every single position you’ve ever held.  Focus on the jobs that demonstrate the skills most applicable to your desired position.  

Contact Information – Make it easy for people to get in touch with you.  Include a phone number and the name of someone (if appropriate) potential customers can contact with their questions.  Depending on your industry, an automated contact form may suffice; however, in some industries like medical care personalized assistance goes a long way to boost patient satisfaction.   For resumes, make sure your email address is a professional one (the opposite of hotguy21@email.com).  And for heaven’s sake, don’t use a current employer’s email domain as it looks unprofessional and communicates that you may not respect your position or your employer’s reputation.

References:  We all like when people say nice things about us, but it’s crucial for potential employers to know that what you’re claiming you can do/have done isn’t just a bunch of hot air.  Include references you know will be honest and helpful.  This is true with customer testimonials on websites as well.  Include the feedback of a variety of customers to demonstrate the scale of your services as well as your approachability.

Let people know that their time and money matter:  Your parents always taught you to thank people for their time and she was right.  It’s important to let prospective employers know you appreciate their interest in your skills as well as demonstrating that you’re excited about the possibility of matching those skills with their needs.   The same rings true with a business, you have to make sure your website offers returning customers an incentive to further pursue your company’s services.  Loyalty programs, specially priced product or services, and even newsletter-based savings can go a long way in showing you care. 

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