A Cover Letter Expresses Why You Want To Work Somewhere

A cover letter expresses why you want to work somewhere

A cover letter expresses why you want to work somewhere
photo credit: Jannie Chien – Morguefile

 

Cover letters 101:

If you haven’t read my previous post on resumes, click here: http://goo.gl/H0Pxbr

Now that your resume is complete, you are now ready to compose a cover letter to email along with your attached resume.

Including a cover letter with your resume makes it easier for an employer to call you for an interview.  Introducing yourself makes you memorable, adds a human connection, and makes your contact info easily accessible to employers.  It also enables you to send out multiple resumes, and tweak each one to a specific employer in the cover letter.

A cover letter is a brief introduction to you, in a few paragraphs, summarizing your skills, experience, or courses on your resume that qualify you for the position you are applying for.

Before you compose the letter, decide what attracts you to this opportunity, and what skills or education or training that you have which are relevant to the position.  Expressing why you are interested in working for this employer and what skills you have to offer to the company makes a personal connection, that competing job applicants may neglect to make.

The cover letter includes contact information, such as your name, address, cell phone number, home phone number, and email address at the top, and the date. The salutation in the letter depends on if you know the name of the person who is hiring for the position, such as –‘Dear Mrs. Jones’, or if you don’t know the name, you could phone and ask, or you can write – ‘To Whom It May Concern’.

Start the letter with your intention: “I am applying for the position of landscaper for your hotel”.    Then explain why this position interests you and how you are qualified for it.  For example, as my attached resume shows, I was employed at Cedar Garden Center last year, and learned how to place and plant trees and flowers on-site under the direction of the head landscaper.  Adding information such as: “I enjoy working outdoors with plants, and have enrolled in the night school horticulture program at college” lets them know that you will work hard, you take pride in your work, and are planning a career in this field in the future.

This brief letter introduces employers to you, informs them why you want to work for them, and how you can help grow their business, gets you noticed amongst a crowd of applicants, and may land you an interview for the position!.

 

A Resume Is About What You Have To Give

A resume is about your skills

photo credit: Jeremy Wilburn via photopin cc
a resume highlights your abilities

Resumes 101:

As graduation season approaches, many young people begin their job search.  Perhaps you are seeking a seasonal job before heading to college, or are applying for your first full-time job in the workforce. The following are some tricks to help you stand out from the crowd on your job search.  Congratulations and good luck!

A resume is a short read for a time strapped employer, it is 1 or 2 pages long, detailing what you have to offer this employer to help their business, in a clear, neat, easy to read, and error free document.  It is not only about what job you want to get, it is also about what you can give, and you show this on your resume by demonstrated skills and accomplishments that are transferable to a new job.

  1. Contains a sentence that says what your job objective is – what position you are applying for, and why they need to hire you, rather than the other 100 people who emailed resumes to their inbox.
  2. It is constructed with descriptive action words and adjectives showing your enthusiasm and skills for getting the job done. If your employment experience is limited, use transferrable skills acquired from babysitting, paper routes, hockey teams or volunteer work.
  3. A quality resume alone won’t get you noticed, you need to send out quantities of resumes to increase your odds of landing a job interview.  On average, for each 10 resumes you send out, two employers will respond.
  4. Tailor the resume to which job you are applying for, and in some cases, send in a different resume for each job.  For example, if you have a lot of experience in a field of work you are applying for, list your work experience first, and education second.  However, if you have limited experience in your field of study, and need relevant work experience to match your educational qualifications, list education first, and work history second.  Your goal is to make an impression in the first 30 seconds of an employer considering your resume, to make him or her want to continue reading, so you have to grab them with the skills or education that are most desirable to that employer.
  5. If you do get called to come in for an interview, remember to dress appropriately for the job you are applying for.  Wear clean clothes similar to what the current employees at that workplace wear, have neat hair, turn off your mobile device and remember to thank the employer for their time at the close of the interview.    A follow-up thank you email with a “looking forward to hearing from you soon” comment is also a nice touch.

It’s How You Do The Job, Not What Job You Do

 

It's How You Do The Job
Resumes Highlight Your Skills and Abilities

Years ago, I ran a resume writing business, and many of my clients had lost their jobs.  The upshot of losing their employment was that many of them lost their self-confidence as well.

They had identified themselves with their profession, and losing it made them feel dejected.  From my  client who had worked at Tim Horton’s, to my client who was the television announcer for Molson’s Hockey Night In Canada, (and was off during the strike), it wasn’t WHAT job they did, but HOW they did it, and how it made them FEEL, that was most important.

As I compiled their skills and abilities on their resumes, and restored the client’s glass half full mentality, they grew more optimistic about selling themselves at job interviews to prospective employers.   It was easier to find a job with a positive emotional state.

One of my clients had experience as a janitor, but his dream job was to be a karate instructor, and he had taken karate classes for ten years.  We designed his resume to showcase his work experience, but also his karate experience, so he could work as a janitor, and train to teach at a dojo also.  His attitude about his job search improved immediately, having taken a small step towards finding his dream job.

It was the clients who envisioned their dream job, when applying for jobs, who felt motivated to excel at whatever job they got.

Even the simplest job can be done with passion, quality workmanship and love, in the spirit of service to others.   The following story illustrates that HOW you do the job is more important than WHAT job you are doing.

An old story tells of three stonecutters who were asked what they were doing. The first replied, ‘I am making a living.’ The second kept on hammering while he said, ‘I am doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire country.’ The third one looked up with a visionary gleam in his eyes and said, ‘I am building a cathedral.’

The first stonecutter is working to earn his pay for his labour.  The second stonecutter continues to hammer while saying he is driven to be the best stonecutter in the country.  But cutting the stone is his ultimate goal, without regard for the reason he is cutting it.   The third has a vision – he recognizes the significance in the task of creating a cathedral.  He sees the big picture and how his contribution connects him to his community.  Enhancing the spiritual lives of the residents fulfills him, and the fruits of his labour of love extend beyond benefiting himself, to benefiting future generations, long after he is gone. He puts his heart into cutting the stones, with an understanding of WHY he is cutting them.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/reid-bee/5424049276/”>jazzijava</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>