Candidate PacketYou want hiring managers to say “WOW” when they get your application, don’t you? Of course you do!

I’m going to teach you how to do it with the most complete, innovative and professional job application format.


Today’s Situation

I’m a hiring manager, and I took a lot of my time to carefully write my job specification or job description. What do I get? Even the best candidates submit cover letters that simply restate an attached resume, leaving it up to me to pull out the relevant pieces.

Frankly, it’s boring, tedious and I might miss something. I could pass over a good candidate if his or her resume doesn’t attract my attention, speak to me in ways I understand or call out the skills I need to find.


The Solution

Even though a website may say “Attach your resume here,” your new name for your resume is your Cut the Crap (CTC) Candidate Packet.

Yes, you can now proudly say, “Mr./Ms. Hiring Manager, attached is my Candidate Packet” not, “Attached is my resume.” Instead of implying, “Figure it out yourself,” send a Candidate Packet and show them, “I am providing all that you need to select me to interview for your position.”

(Caveat: The only time the Candidate Packet is hard to use is when the website requires a plain-text resume.)


How to Build a CTC Candidate Packet

Your Candidate Packet is a collection of three documents or sections in a single file. To repeat, all three sections should be in one PDF or one Microsoft Word file rather than three separate files. If you don’t know now, learn how to merge multiple documents and match all fonts and styles.

Working from the back of your Candidate Packet to the front:


Section #3: Resume

The back page of your Candidate Packet is your resume. Yes, it’s relegated to be the caboose.

Your resume is a supporting—yet required—chronological listing of your background. It is the only document in your Candidate Packet that is only about you. The rest of the sections are all about them. Remember that!


Section #2: Job Description Profile

The middle single section is called your Cut the Crap (CTC) Job Description Profile (or “JD Profile”). It is the biggest innovation I’ve developed, and it delivers the “WOW” factor I promised.

Your JD Profile will compare your background, skills and experiences with the job requirements on one page, in a table format with bullet points in each row.

In a two-column table, list the key requirements or specifications of the job—one per row—in the left column. Then, in the right column, match your skills, experiences and training to the requirements. And remember: always quantify, quantify, quantify!

You can see a more detailed explanation of this table, with example, on this page on my website and in my book Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era.


Section #1: Cover Letter

Your cover letter can only be written after you have completed the CTC Job Description Profile. From your profile, pull out the three most important points and highlight those in the body of your new-and-different cover letter.

It will highlight, in an easy-to-read format, the specific reasons why you’re the best candidate for the position and, therefore, why you should be considered for an interview.


Yes, it takes time, but once you’ve finished your first Candidate Packet, the rest will be easier. And, in my mind, delivering a Candidate Packet is not optional. As a hiring manager for over 30 years, and after reviewing thousands of job applications, I know you will only get the attention you deserve with the submission of a world-class application.

No more average! Cut the Crap, Get a Job! Use this new job search process for a new era NOW.

To download a form Candidate Packet to work from, click here: CTC Candidate Packet Example.

Image: Mark van Laere