When a job opening gives you a chance to write a cover letter, write a good one! Take 15 or 20 minutes to research the employer online (visiting the company's own website and news sites, for starters) in order to say something company-specific in your cover letter. "I am interested in the job because it sounds interesting" doesn't cut it in this job market. Try, "Given your recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems, I'm guessing that the IT Integration Specialists you're seeking now should be folks who've been through data-integration projects in the past, as I have. At IBM, I ..." and so forth.
The writer, Liz Ryan, created an example wherein the (hypothetical) resume writer was a former IBM employee, now trying to find a job with the acquirer of Sun Microsystems.
Back in March 2009, a lot of people became former IBM employees, right around the time IBM's second patent application on outsourcing started to get discussed a lot. The IAM blog was talking about IBM reviewing the intellectual property of Sun Microsystems. [See IPBiz post titled
IAM on IBM's Kappos, not touching the political or patent pulse?]
Since March 2009, Oracle put in a bid for Sun Microsystems [see Oracle Faces Scrutiny Over Sun Deal: Oracle Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc. is facing close antitrust scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic, raising challenges for the company in closing the $7.4 billion deal within the timetable it gave investors. ] and David Kappos has become USPTO Director.
Further, if IAM was right about the "100 IBM lawyers", then Liz Ryan's (hypothetical) resume writer doesn't have much of a chance. Perhaps Liz should ask Rick Clark.
IBM to withdraw second patent application on outsourcing
and think about the point about Google-searching in the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic", wherein Liz's advice is one notch above
what Rebecca Bloomwood was found doing.
and think about text from an essay by William R. Brody, College Goes Global:
a diploma from the "right" university is incomparably more valuable than just any old degree. Meritocracy be damned: pedigree counts.
**UPDATE 25 Feb 2011.
Two Myths About Resumes by Susan Adams