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Showing posts with label TIPS TO FOLLOW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TIPS TO FOLLOW. Show all posts

Friday

How to write a perfect job application letter



Confused on how to write a cover letter? We have a solution for you. These tips will help you write cover letters that will get you noticed and hopefully get an interview invitation.

BEFORE YOU WRITE

Each cover letter takes preparation. Here we’ve outlined some things to keep in mind when preparing to write your cover letter:


Think about yourself and your experiences. 


Then think about how you would like to relate your experience to the organization you’re writing to. Which of your talents, skills, personality traits and accomplishments should this particular organization know about? Brainstorm a list for yourself.

How did you hear about this opportunity? 

 If it was through a personal contact, write down the name. If through an advertisement, write down where and when you saw it, and list the specific points the ad wants you to include.

What do you know about the organization you’re writing to? 

What attracted you to it in the first place? Maybe it’s personal (a friend worked there), or maybe you are impressed with what the organization does or admire their unique work philosophy. Do some research about the company online or through trade magazines, etc.

Whom are you writing to? 

It’s always best to write to a real, live person (with a title) if you can, so if you’re not responding to an ad that includes a specific contact, try to look up the name of someone in particular to write to. Be sure to spell both name and title perfectly.

 If you cannot find a specific person to write to, try “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Human Resources.” Avoid gender-specific salutations such as “Sir” and “Ma’am.”






You can also get to know 



THE RIGHT FORMAT

Busy people don’t want to read long letters from people they don’t know. 


The cover letter should be one page long, and in standard business letter format. 

This means that you may indent your paragraphs or not – but not indenting gives a bit more room. Leave wide margins (minimum 1 inch) and use a clean, simple font like Arial or Times New Roman. 

Don’t be tempted to use a tiny font just to fit everything on one page; 10- or 12-point type is best. Write clearly and avoid hyphenated words at the end of a line.


COMPOSE THE LETTER

Paragraph One: 


The first paragraph is the most important. Because it will be the first thing your potential employer reads, it has to make a great impression. 

Start out by telling how you heard about the job – friend, employee, newsletter, advertisement, etc. This is especially important if you’ve been referred by a mutual acquaintance. 

For example, if a friend recommended that you write someone he knows at a company, don’t start with “My friend, John Kamau, told me you have a job opening so I thought I would write.” That will not “wow” anyone. 

Instead, try something like “I was thrilled when my friend, John Kamau, told me there was an opening for an assistant photographer at your company.” Show a little excitement and passion for the potential employment; then follow this with a few key strengths you have that are pertinent to the position you’re looking to obtain.

Paragraph Two: 


Here you should describe your qualifications for the job – skills, talents, accomplishments and personality traits. But don’t go overboard. Only pick the top three talents or characteristics that would make you stand out as a candidate. 

Your résumé is there to fill in the details. When writing this, think about how you can contribute to this company and why your specific skills, talents and accomplishments would be best for the company.

Paragraph Three: 


Describe why you think you’d fit into the company – why it would be a good match. Maybe you like their fast growth, know people who already work there or you’ve always used their products. Companies feel good if the candidate feels some connection to them and has a good understanding of how the company works, even before he or she is hired.

Paragraph Four: 


Mention the enclosed résumé, give them a reason to read it in-depth (e.g., For my complete employment history and applicable computer skills, please see the included résumé) and ask for an interview. 

Suggest a time and a way for you to follow up. Make sure you give the reader ways to easily contact you.





MAKE YOUR COVER LETTER STAND OUT

No#1 
 Be yourself. 

A “formula” approach is fine, but each letter should reflect your personality and your enthusiasm. Let it shine through. Take pride in who you are and what you’ve done. The reader is looking for a human being, a person who knows what he or she can offer and can express it well.

No#2   
Clearer expression. 


Most people come close to expressing what they really want to say but usually miss the target. Take the time to craft your words and sentences to mean exactly what you intend and you’ll be in great shape. Ask others to review your letter/résumé to ensure that you’re communicating what you want to say.

No#3  Write in the active tense


Active verbs are the key when writing cover letters and résumés. Instead of saying, “...my best attributes include team play and motivating people,” say “I’m a dedicated team player who can motivate people…” The latter promises a go-getter employee – someone who can take action instead of waiting to be led by the hand.







COMMON MISTAKES



Writing to a department or title.


 It’s always best to write to a real person with a real title. The exception to this is when you’re answering an ad and specific contact information is not provided.


 Using “Dear Sir.

 Many cover letter readers are women. If you cannot get the name and title of someone to write to, it’s safer to use either a job title or generic title like “Dear Human Resources Manager,” or “Dear Sir/Ma’am.”

 Overusing “I.”

 It’s okay to refer to yourself, but not in every sentence. Remember to use “you” even more. Show the “you” to whom you are writing that you’re more concerned with meeting his or her needs than meeting your own.

 
Exaggerating your experience.


 Don’t “stretch” anything you say. Be completely truthful while still presenting yourself in the best possible light.

 
Forgetting to give the employer a way to contact you.


 Never forget to include your phone number or email address or both. How will the employer let you know about your upcoming interview if he or she can’t call and tell you about it?

 Forgetting to attach your résumé.




All the best



Thursday

How to write a good career objective in your CV


Try reading an objective written by a job seeker on their CV and you will be astonished by how dull the statements are. When it comes to CV writing, many would rather stick to the safe and tested method even if it doesn’t add value on their CV’s. What happened to being unique? Sample this career objective written by a job seeker with a finance background.



"To utilize my professional skills and knowledge acquired in reaching my potential and achieving the goals of a respective organization hence build a stronger career”

Is there anything unique with this candidate? Does the objective tell you what the candidate is capable of doing or what’s he or she has done before? Below are the tips when it comes to having an objective on your CV.

1.   Choose two adjectives to describe your work style such as, “Dependable and conscientious student seeking…” or “Detail oriented and quality conscious accounting clerk…”

2.   Inform your potential employer of “what is in it for them”, such as, “seeking to utilize 10+ years experience in the industry…” or “…proven sales record…”

3.   One sentence is good, but making sense is better! If warranted, two sentences or in some cases a short paragraph will improve an objective statement.






4.   If you know the job title for which you are applying, use it. There is nothing to be gained in trying to define a new position for yourself.

5.   If you have read the job description in an advertisement, try to mirror one or two of the words listed. For instance, if the job indicated a desire for a self-starter, then experiment with using the same term or one with the same meaning.

6.   Grammar and spelling count! It is expected that CVs and resumes will have short sentence fragments, abbreviations, and little punctuation, but your career objective statement should be written without error.

7.   Avoid being too general. It is better to do a little research with the company and uncover some of what they may be looking for than to write an over-generalized objective.
Ambition is nice, but statements such as “work my way up to…” will impress no one and may undercut your credibility. Do not promise more than you can deliver! If you are chronically late, then describing yourself as punctual will only undermine your credibility later when it is discovered that you have misrepresented yourself.

And here is an example of a career objective or profile if you like.

“As a fully qualified head-teacher with 15 years of varied experience, there’s much I can offer to the education of our young children. I have more than 10 years of experience in mentoring and coaching teaching staff in ABC school. I’m confident that my passion for the teachers’ and children’s development, together with my skills and experience will enable me to make a significant difference at your school.”

All the best.


SOURCE: KENYAN POST 

Saturday

Applying For A Job By Email? The Way To Do It - Part 2



APPLYING FOR A JOB BY EMAIL? THE WAY TO DO IT

When applying for a job especially through email, you need to ask yourself two questions: "What's the best subject line for an email in response to a job ad?" and "Should you attach the cover letter to the email, or copy and paste it into the body of the email?"
I always wondered this myself, so I did some research and here's the consensus:

Best email subject line: “John Githinji CV for Sales Manager Position
It's straightforward and informative. It tells the recipient who you are, what you're sending, and why you're sending it.

This isn't a concrete formula, however. Since some job ads require you mention a job reference ID number when you apply, you should substitute the name of the position with the number. Example: “John Githinji CV for Sales Job REF #5527.”

Best way to include your cover letter:
Copy and paste your cover letter into the body of the email.
Why is this preferred method?

  Three reasons: Here is why?
1.   It gives the recipient one less attachment to open,
2.   It gets to the point faster than writing the awkward "here is my CV and cover letter" and
3.   It gives you the ability to make an impact as soon as the recipient opens your email.

Be sure to attach your CV to your email. And as always, refer to the company's job posting and apply, using whatever guidelines they specify. Adhering to the employer's guidelines will not only ensure your documents get to the right place at the right time, it will prove that you pay attention to details and follow instructions!

Now start applying for those jobs.

Learn How To Apply for a job through email - Part 1



Applying for a job through email.
You probably are thinking now that you know how to do it, do you? Almost 90% of job applications these days are electronic and most employers are favouring job application by email. 

This is a true inference even if you look at the jobs we advertise. Now that we know that going green is the next big thing, don't you think it is time for you to know how to apply for a job through email.

As I said you think you know it but believe me, most people don't. If you look at the Emails we receive from job applicants, as an employer you can find it very hard to shortlist candidates because of the format of the job application. If you make it very hard for an HR executive to go through your CV, you will likely not be on the shortlisted candidates.

Here below, I want to share with you the Dos and Dont's of a job application through email:

Dos

1.   The subject line of the email should be the reference in the application letter displaying the intention of job application and the job applied for.

2.   If the job has a reference number, please include it on the subject line of the email. Check carefully in the job application and this will make it easy for the employer.

3.   Do NOT attach certificates in pdf or scanned copies unless asked to because the information you are displaying is a repeat of what you have said in the CV. This makes the email heavy for nothing.

4.   The main body of the email should be exactly the same as that of the application letter. Do NOT change anything.
5.   Attach only two documents in your application, a CV and an application letter (the same as the email body) in MS Word or PDF format, Attaching the letter is necessary in case you are shortlisted and the employer needs to print it.


Dont's

1.   Do NOT include the CV as a subject body, this easily distorts the format of the CV especially if you copy paste it from a Word document.

2.   Your email address should very clear and if it is not, please ensure it is. The email should contain your two names for example if your name is John Kamau then an example of your email address should be john.kamau@gmail.com and that is it. Avoid any other innuendo.

3.   Maintain your professional names and not any other fancy nicknames and then write them in a clear way without adding any madoido in them. If your name is Dennis dont wirte it as Deynnis or Dennys.

4.   Avoid a lot of colors in your email. I know there is temptation to incline to beauty but some people do NOT like a lot of color. Imagine if you were working and someone sent you an email with a lot pink and red on the background. It distorts the message.

5.   As I said before avoid attaching a lot of documents in the application like certificates, recommendation letters and any other relevant paperwork, you will get the opportunity to show them because, I assure you they do NOT have anything to do with short listing. Save them for the interview.



With the hope that this tips will help you, we at Jobstanzania.net wish a good day



Prepared by HCC - Kenya 

Monday

Advice to Jobseekers




There are thousands of people like you out there. 

Don’t just list your educational qualifications. Sell your skills and uniqueness to employers in your CV. 

Mention things you’ve done. 

Add growth numbers or anything that shows how much of a super candidate you are. 

Let your CV look professional, search online for samples or let a good CV writer help you out

Jobs Tanzania Team




Thursday

Why Someone Less Qualified Got The Job and Not You



Believe me when I say it’s a soul-crushing feeling. I know, because I’ve felt it. You probably have, too, seeing Someone Less Qualified Got the Job and not you

You’re legitimately more talented, knowledgeable, and hard-working— but you’re not getting called back. Meanwhile, your loudmouth Facebook friend who still manages to party Thursday-Sunday just nabbed a great position in your same field. What gives, universe?

The unfortunate truth is that talent, even when backed by experience, does not always win. There are three main reasons someone less qualified got the job.

1. Your resume/cover letter doesn’t do you justice.

A recruiter has a limited amount of information to go on. (That is, they can’t just lounge around your house and get to know “the real you” the way a new friend or romantic interest might.) So it’s up to you to communicate exactly what you want them to know through your cover letter, resume, and/or online presence.

You have to show them that you’re great, in the most obvious way. And to do this, I recommend focusing on “punching up” and “paring down.”
“Punching up” is about starkly highlighting your strengths— really selling them with concrete language. For instance, you may currently be saying:

During my time at Jobstanzania Limited, I managed five accounts, doing my best to ensure that the projects moved forward in a timely manner and that the clients were satisfied with the result.

But what you should be saying is:

While with Jobstanzania Limited, I juggled five accounts, blasting through any administrative obstacles that threatened progress, facilitating clear conversation between the client and web development team, and maintaining highly cordial client relationships that ensured everyone always felt heard and taken care of.” 

The second part, “paring down” is about cutting the fat; getting rid of anything that dilutes or distracts from your most impressive points.

Since it can be difficult to judge your own resume, you’d be well-advised to get outside help with this revision process— asking others to pick out the parts they find most impressive, so you can punch them up and pare down the parts that aren’t as electric.






2. You’re too forgettable.

Recruiters are gathering information on many people at a time. Likely, they’ve already read several resumes immediately before yours, and they’ll read more immediately after finishing reading your resume.

A job posting could easily gather a dozen people who meet its exact qualifications. And I’ll bet you your competitors all claim to be “detail-oriented” and a “team player,” too.

All else being equal, memorability can be enough to climb to the top of the stack.

How you stand out will depend on your industry. For instance, if you’re in Public Relation field, in place of a bland mission statement at the top of your resume, you could list some fun headlines a reporter could theoretically use to write about you for different audiences. If you’re an Engineer, you could describe (and include a link to) a fantastical 3D model you created for fun.

3. The worst of all “A Google search raises red flags”
Finally, it very well could be that the recruiter just had a bad feeling about you. (Harsh, I know, but let me explain.)
It’s common practice to Google candidates, and quite frankly, the main reason is to sniff out bad vibes. Recruiters want to put a face to a name, see what you’re talking about, and filter out those people who strike them as irresponsible, incompetent, or unfriendly.

Even a bad profile photo can be a red flag. And while a recruiter is unlikely to admit something like this has colored their opinion of you for the negative, it’s your responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t.

As a preventative solution, I recommend testing your profile photos using a free online tool like PhotoFeeler, to be certain you’re being shown in your best light online.
By now, with all this talk of punching up resumes and optimizing online image, I hope you understand that landing a killer job is about crafting the most desirable image that you can.

It may not be the definition of fair, but unfortunately recruiters are not mind readers and can only see as much “awesome” as you put in front of them.

All that said, I hope you’ll get out there and show the world how much better you really are than that jerk on Facebook!

Monday

How to Create a Good Reference List


There are many tools a job candidate needs for an effective job search; a good résumé, an attractive cover letter, thorough preparation for interviews and of course, a great reference list.
Many job candidates however overlook the importance of a reference list and how it plays a part in the big picture.
Your reference list serves a purpose to confirm the information you provide in your cover letter and résumé, and it allows your potential employer glean in on information he can’t find no matter how hard he scours different search engines.

This is so because the people you include on your reference list will help the potential employer have a clearer idea of who you are; perhaps you successfully feigned expertise or portrayed an admirable charisma during the interview, your potential employer can easily detect this by speaking with your references.

Who should be on your reference list?
A reference list brings to memory the age-long process of marriage in the African traditional setting, where families of the husband go around the prospective wife’s village or environment to gather background information from people unrelated to the woman.

So here goes; your reference list shouldn’t have personal contacts – of your father, siblings, relatives or friends – especially if you have no real work experience with them.

Potential employers think of these personal contacts as your get away ticket to the job because your father would most likely sing your praise to any potential employer if your job depends on it.
That said. You can include the contact information of your former boss, a colleague, your mentor, direct supervisor, clients you’ve worked with etc.

Note it that your choice of reference is very important.

Getting Started:

Don’t wait until you are asked for a reference list. That you have “references available on request” in your résumé gives you no excuse to wait for that request. Compiling a list at the time potential employers want it only gives you limited time to really get the best of references.
Start compiling right before the interview, most recruiters suggest you bring it with you to the interview. It shows you have good organisational skills – that you know what to do without being asked to.

Weigh your options
Potential employers contact references to draw out information on the candidate’s;
Strengths and weaknesses, professional conduct, attitude with co-workers, accomplishments, duration of employment, personal character, attendance, general observation of work ethics etc.
Bearing these in mind;
Write down a list of people you think can provide accurate information and are also your biggest fans.
Next, write a few more; just to make sure you have people you can quickly reach if those on your first list are unavailable.
Call your prospects and make your request to include them on the list. Make sure you do this before you hand the list to your potential employer. Not many people appreciate cold calls and surprising your references with such calls may backfire.

After your references agree, you can do some preparation with them by asking them certain questions, depending on your relationship with each person. Asking your own questions helps you gauge your value as each reference sees it. This will help you adjust your expectations and give you the advantage to alternate your choice of reference(s) if the need arises.
Give your references updates especially when you can sense your potential employers might contact them soon; it prepares their minds towards the time of call.
Show appreciation even if your contacts were not called, it shows you are grateful for their concern and respect them.

What to include in a reference list.
Name of reference, company, email address and phone number.
 You may include a brief description of your work experience with each person to give your potential employers some basic guidelines on what to ask each reference. It shows you are open and puts you in good light.
Most importantly, since the impact and greatness of a reference list depends on people, you need to have a good work relationship with co-workers, clients, your boss and that stranger you don’t know. Some potential employers go as far as calling people who may have something to say about you but are not on your reference list.
Also remember that a reference list is not the first thing you need to ace an interview but it requires as much effort to help you get that job.

So tell me, what do you think about references and reference lists?

written by:  Adejoke Adekunle
Blog Editor at jobberman.com limited

Friday

HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER



This post is about how to write a cover letter, what’s important, what’s not, and we’ll give you a template to follow.  This is one you may want to read now, but then bookmark for later when you actually have one to write!

Full disclaimer, I’m not a huge cover letter fan.  Everyone has a slightly different opinion on this topic, but for me personally, I rarely find them necessary (the experience on your resume trumps almost anything in the cover letter) and I think even though they are commonly requested, they’re not always read.

Regardless, they’re still important in the hiring process (for now) and it’s a part of the job/internship process that is very daunting for people.  So here’s a little tutorial on how to write a good cover letter.


First, let’s explore the key elements of a cover letter:

1. Introduction

This is the part of the cover letter where you are going to explain “basics” (who you are & what you’re writing them about).  Don’t over-think this part.

You really just need to say something like “I’m writing to express interest in the X role posted on Y” and then give a 1-2 line intro “about you” (kind of like your headline).  This can be something like “I’m a recent graduate of X University with a passion and desire to work in the X industry”.

Your introduction paragraph can be pretty brief (just a few lines). This is the part where you set the stage.

2. Bringing your skills & experiences to life

The next section is probably the most important one.  This is where you are going to bring the most important skills/experiences from your resume to life.  Of course, you probably have a lot to choose from but you only want to include a few things to keep the cover letter really focused.

First think about what your big strengths are.  You’ll want to tell the reader exactly what you can bring to the table and how your strengths will help you on the job.

Then (based on the job description) you’re going to highlight a few things you’ve worked on in the past that are really relevant to the job you are applying to.  So if the job calls for “developing innovative social media strategies to increase online community” you might want to say something like “In my past internship at X company, I managed the Twitter and Facebook accounts and increased readership by X% through X strategies.”

3. Why you’re interested in the job/the company

This section of the cover letter is really important.  Companies want to know that you’re not just blindly applying to jobs, but that you’re being really thoughtful about it.

This is where you need to do your company research and incorporate it to tell the story of “why you want to work there”.  The good news is, you’re going to need to know this for the interview anyway, so consider it good practice!

This paragraph should always be customized to the job and company you are applying for/to.  You might want to say something like “Through my research I learned that the company has a passion for X.  This is really important to me because…”

4. Wrap up/next steps

This last paragraph is a more “technical” one.  You basically just want the company to know any pertinent details about your situation.  If you have any parameters around timing you might want to include them here (i.e. “I will be available to start working anytime after May 1”).  You can also let them know the best way to reach you even though your contact details should already be on the page (i.e. “I would welcome the chance to discuss this role further and can be reached at…”)

So there you have it, the basic structure for the cover letter.  As always, the more customized you are, the better so start with this “template” but feel free to deviate from it as well.

A few other tips to wrap up:

Don’t write your life story, your reader is busy! – One page should be more than enough for a really solid cover letter.  I’m a big one-page fan for all application materials to be honest because I know how busy recruiters can get.  Most people don’t have the time for super long/hard to follow docs.

Keep formatting clean & easy to read – Similar to my advice on resumes, don’t get too fancy and keep your cover letter easy to read.  Times New Roman is always a safe choice.  I also like keeping the header on your resume and cover letter the same (just so your materials look very aligned and consistent).

If you have a contact, address it straight to them – If you know who is handling the recruiting process (and will read your cover letter) do address it to them.  Otherwise to “To whom it may concern approach” is fine.

Good luck with your cover letter writing and leave a comment if there are any questions we can answer on this topic!

Tuesday

Are You Making These 3 Resume Killing Mistakes?


Have you overlooked common mistakes on your resume?
I review resumes daily, and I find the same three blunders repeated by countless job seekers. Review these top 3 mistakes below. Then take a good look at your own resume and make some adjustments.

Using An Objective Statement

The problem with an objective statement is twofold. First, the employer already knows your objective is to get the job—and second, these statements are typically written in such a broad-based, generic, and vague manner that they don’t tell the employer anything about you as a candidate—and they fail to set you apart in a sea of other candidates.

Long List of Bullets

If your resume is one long list of bullet points, you’ve already lost your reader and ensured that anything past about the third bullet point won’t be read. As the human eye scans the resume it looks for content that stands out. Information needs to jump out at the employer, be easy-to-read, and keep his or her attention.

Creating one long list of bullet points makes it hard to keep the reader’s attention. Especially if your resume is very text dense.

Duties Without Accomplishments

If your resume contains the phrases “duties included” or “responsible for”, or if your resume only contains a listing of your job duties … I’m talking to YOU. These phrases are passive, boring, and only tell the manager what your job description says—not what you actually did. And what you did is more important. It’s what the employer will actually want to know.

While it’s always good to provide a concise description of what your position entailed, it’s more important to share the successes and accomplishments you achieved within each role. These are unique to you and will help you stand out when compared to other candidates vying for the same position. Additionally, even duties and responsibilities can be written in a way that conveys challenge, action, and result.

Take a good long look at your resume to make sure it doesn’t contain one of the above issues. If it does, then consider revamping your resume to help set yourself apart from your job search competition.


Written by: Jessica Hernandez, resume expert and she is the President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. 

Thursday

Why Should I Hire You: How to Answer the Toughest Job Interview Question


One of the most common, and toughest, interview questions: Why should we hire you for this job?

Why do so many recruiters ask? They want to make sure you’re confident; that you can do the job. They want you to prove, in one answer, that you are the right person to do the job.

This is a very open-ended interview question. It’s also sort of a bold question, one that is kind of meant to challenge you a bit and see how you respond to pressure. It’s like the recruiter is telling you, “I’m interested…  now close the sale.”

Let’s dive into how to answer this common interview question in the most impactful way possible:

1. Know the Job Description Really, Really Well

That’s right. I know I always say this, but you absolutely need to know the job description like the back of your hand to ace this question (and any interview, for that matter). Study everything from the overview to the daily responsibilities to the qualifications. Truly understand what you are interviewing for and know what your interviewers are looking for. Think of the job description as a wish list that your future manager has written.

2. Know How to Apply Your Past Experiences

Read through the “responsibilities” or “tasks” and be able to talk about similar tasks you’ve done in the past. Look at the qualifications and desired qualities and be able discuss how you meet (if not exceed) them. This question is sort of about you… but it’s more about how your skills line up with what the company is looking for. You probably have many great accomplishments, but you should be focusing on the ones that most closely match the job you’re going after.

3. Talk Results

Remember I said this answer should be a little “bold”? If you’re proving yourself to your interviewer, you’re going to want to talk about what you personally can bring to the table. Something along the lines of, “I see you’re looking for someone to manage X. I am confident I’d be able to execute on that by doing X, Y, and Z.” You don’t want to be just another candidate. You want to be seen as an asset who is ready to add value right away.

4. Make Sure You Come Across As a “Good Fit”

You’ve already shown off your hard skills and qualifications in the first part of this answer, but I’ve seen even the most qualified candidates not get the job based on that pesky notion of “fit.” Doing well in a job isn’t just about what you do, but also how you go about doing it.

In a small or growing company, you might want to express that you’re willing to “get your hands dirty” or “pitch in wherever needed.” In a more structured company, you may want to talk about how focused and task-oriented you can be. Learn as much as you can about the company (and the company culture) before the interview and emphasize why you’d fit in there.

5. Close the Sale and Make It Compelling!

Again, when this question is asked in this way, you should be going into sell mode, and every good sale has a great closing. Wrap up your answer in a way that is confident, concise, and enthusiastic. While you don’t want to go totally overboard, make it memorable too.

As you answer this question, it’s important to strike the right balance between being confident and being a total egomaniac. It’s always important to gauge the interviewer’s reaction and adjust your answer accordingly as you go. However, this question is someone basically forcing you to explain “why me,” so don’t be afraid to show off a bit.

Wednesday

Your Guide to Writing an Eye-Catching Cover Letter


In a job market that’s more competitive than ever, it’s critical that your cover letter stand out. With the advent of online job postings, you’re competing with a more global and wide-ranging group of people, so consider the content of your cover letter carefully. And never submit a resume without one—that’s a great way to be dismissed by a recruiter for lack of effort.

Here are some pointers on how to craft the perfect cover letter:

Use details to show how your experience is relevant
Make points in your cover letter that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Is it a marketing job? Specify the roles you’ve played and tasks you’ve undertaken that make you a qualified candidate.
If your cover letter looks like a template, the recruiter will likely feel you aren’t making an effort, and the letter probably won’t speak to why you’d be a great fit for the job you’re applying to.

Give it personality
Avoid sounding monotonous or boring in your cover letter; recruiters will assume you’re like that in person, too. Be excited about the position (but avoid using exclamation points), and be inspired by the work you would do for the company.

Be confident
Sign the letter “I look forward to hearing from you” rather than “I hope to hear from you and that you think I am qualified for the role.” Assume you will hear from the company in your tone—otherwise they will sense your lack of confidence and question your qualifications.

Use proper spelling and grammar
The best way to turn off a recruiter is to use improper grammar or spelling. This says that you don’t have an eye for detail, that you don’t necessarily truly care to work at the company and that you’ll make the same kinds of mistakes when you come on board.

No one wants internal or client communications to be filled with errors; it’s bad business. To brush up on your grammar for free, check out EnglishGrammar101.com for online grammar lessons.

Allude to your network as it pertains to the job
Networking is a critical part of your job search today. If you’ve met someone within the company, reference that person and why they inspired you to apply. It helps even more if the person you’re submitting your resume to is someone you’ve met—tell them why you enjoyed meeting them and why you’d like to work with them. (Appealing to their ego doesn’t hurt!) You can network your way into the job without looking desperate.

Consider length
It’s critical that your cover letter not be too long. Keep it concise and to the point. Recruiters read so many cover letters in a day they might only skim the really long ones. You want to be heard, so keep that cover letter tight.
Before sending the letter, read it over and put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. In a sea of competitive cover letters, is this a cover letter you’d be inspired to respond to?


Credit: Cara Aley 
Cara Aley is a freelance writer who writes about everything from recruitment strategies to doctor reputation management. She is currently VP of Operations for Two Degrees, a one-for-one food bar company.

 


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