Tag Archives: cover letter tips

An Open Letter to College and University Career Centers

Hi there.  You haven’t met me yet
 but I and a whole lot of people would like to make your job a lot easier. We know you are overworked. Understaffed. Not to mention totally stressed out. And with a best guess, most definitely underpaid. After all, your job requires being a resource to each graduation year ranging in size from 500 at the smallest to several thousand students. And quite honestly, that is one tough task
 hats are off to the career center staff for pulling it off, year in and year out.  And believe it or not, there are… Read »

Career Chameleon 2.0: Six Tips You Need to Know Before Changing Industries

Let’s face it: the days of yesteryear when people slogged away in one profession or job have long gone past the wayside. Today’s work force is now highly motivated, mobile, and extremely transient.  Various numbers being tossed around these days range from 5-8 years at a single position before employees start poking around for new opportunities. Oftentimes, this can mean a lot of inter-industry switches
 you simply trade one company or organization for another while moving up, but usually, you stay within the same field. But what happens when the field you are in is in the midst of a… Read »

There Is No “Easy Button” For Preparing Career Credentials

Recently, a client asked for a ‘killer cover letter that I can plagiarize’
 and I just about fell out my chair. Other than the fact that I found this request to be offensive (simply because this person obviously doesn’t understand that this is how I make a living), this situation also revealed that the client didn’t ‘get it’ that an existing cover letter (or a rĂ©sumĂ©, for that matter) can’t be re-purposed for their own use. This copy-cat approach is simply not effective. Another time, in an ironic twist of fate, I received an email from a contact who said… Read »

Top 5 Common Cover Letter Pitfalls to Avoid

Some people may argue, legitimately, that many human resource managers and hiring directors barely exact a passing glance at the cover letters that job applicants labor so diligently over. But it never seems to fail that while many qualified candidates have a pretty solid rĂ©sumĂ©, most don’t deliver on the cover letter. So why are writing these documents so darned difficult? The main reason is that the majority of people are extremely uncomfortable with writing in general, and don’t really understand the exact purpose of a cover letter. Your goal with this document is to interest an employer in you… Read »

What You Absolutely Need to Know Before Emailing Your Résumé

Technology glitches aside, there’s a great deal of uncertainty when you email a rĂ©sumĂ© off for an open position. Mainly, you are worried whether you got the person’s (assuming it is the right person) attention, it made it to their inbox, and then there’s the worry whether it went into a spam filter by accident. The truth is that you SHOULD be very worried. Unfortunately, while you can’t control some of these factors, there are some things you can do to be as proactive as possible about sending your rĂ©sumĂ© via email. The first place to start, however, is your… Read »

Cover Letters – The Icing on the Cake

I get a lot of questions from clients about whether or not they should include a cover letter when sending in their rĂ©sumĂ©. My response is “Would you consider making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly?” The point being that the two go hand-in-hand, and unless a job position announcement specifically states that you should not send in a cover letter along with your rĂ©sumĂ©, you should ALWAYS include one. Why? There are multiple reasons. As more companies are using applicant tracking software to scan for job keywords, the cover letter also can get fed into this… Read »

Business Writing: An Essential Part of Your Professional Portfolio

I recently attended an industry meeting where the guest speaker addressed the topic of business writing, specifically emails. As I was listening, I found myself nodding in agreement to most of what she was saying, and also thinking about how often I receive disjointed, unclear and error-prone emails from various contacts. While these communiquĂ©s aren’t to be considered as ‘job applications’ per se, you never know where your correspondence might land. Especially when you are sending an email to a prospective employer and enclosing your rĂ©sumĂ©. If you don’t spell-check or proofread your writing, even in an email, consider what… Read »

Why the cover letter matters as much as the résumé

I have the occasional client who pauses when they are told what the investment level is for a cover letter. Why so much, they wonder. Is it really that important? Let me put it this way: What would happen if you had THE perfect rĂ©sumĂ©, but then sent along an accompanying cover letter that had grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors? What if you didn’t express thoughts in a clear, compelling way? How would an employer respond to this? If you guessed not favorably, you are right! Proofreading errors in a cover letter are the number one job prospect killer for… Read »