Presentation on theme: "The Career Place Connecting Workers and Employers Cover Letters: Selling your skills on paper."— Presentation transcript:
The Career Place Connecting Workers and Employers Cover Letters: Selling your skills on paper
What is a cover letter? Your formal introduction A ‘must’ with your resume The first read, it can make or break your entry
Generating interest The goal is to get an interview! Should be brief and interesting Should not be a carbon copy of your resume Should highlight what you’ll bring to the job Should be job specific
Presenting yourself in two ways A cover letter comes in two basic forms… Letter of interest Letter of inquiry – Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably; however, they are different
Letter of Interest Targeted for a specific position Outline skills to meet company’s needs Helpful to use position announcement’s terms, lingo
Letter of Inquiry A marketing tool to… Obtain an informational interview Correspond with a networking contact Conduct company/industry research
Create the right impression: 10 Tips 1. Letter geared for specific job opening Adapt letter to needs of the job you want Refer to that job in opening sentences 2. Describe your related skills Tie your experience to your skills Show how they directly relate to the job description
Create the right impression: 10 Tips 3. Make it personal Address letter to a specific person If you don’t have a contact, call and ask Use a comma after the name 4. Create a catchy opener Readers scan for content Open with attention-grabbing sentences Describe why you’re the best for the job
Create the right impression: 10 Tips 5. Include vital information Name, address, phone with area code Should be clearly visible First thing reader will need to contact you 6. Type and proofread It’s your first impression…make it good Be sure it’s neat and professional Errors will reflect badly on you
Create the right impression: 10 Tips 7. Keep it brief Use action words, active sentences Limit letter to one page Three or four paragraphs 8. Be confident, creative, enthusiastic It’s a tool to sell your best asset…you! Let your personality shine in your letter
Create the right impression: 10 Tips 9. Keep copies Keep a copy of every letter you send Past letters make job search easier Copies make follow up easier 10. Request a response Your letter is written to get an interview Ask for one!
Interview Skills 70-80% of interview questions are competency or skills based: – “Describe a time when…” They are open ended and you should be able to provide detailed examples of your experience. Quantify your contributions! Be specific! What role were you in? Who was involved? What did you actually do? What were the results?
Interview Skills Ask the interviewer questions: – What do you see as the greatest challenge for this position? – What qualities do you see as most important for this position? This will help reveal what’s important to the interviewer. Play off of their answers.
Interview Skills Most people like to connect with other people. – Avoid generalized answers. – Give answers that will invite the interviewer to think about what you’ve said.
Interview Skills Make notes immediately after the interview. – What questions did the interviewer ask. – What went well? – What could have gone better? – Did you think of other questions to ask the interviewer after you left?
Interview Follow Up Email or mail based on the organization. – Thank them. – Reiterate why you are a good fit. – Close by saying you look forward to the next step.
Interview Follow Up Call – If the interviewer says they will let you know something by Tuesday and it’s now Thursday, give them a call. Identify yourself and what position you interviewed for Ask them where they are in the hiring process Let them know you are still interested in the position
Prepare for the interview Research the organization Take a few copies of your resume Know where you are going Show up on time Bring job references if they’ve asked for them Bring a pen and paper to take notes Bring a copy of the job posting Bring a list of questions you may have Dress appropriately for the job