Archive for the ‘Cover Letters’ Category
The Fax of the Job Search
Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Despite the overwhelming use of e-mail, most offices still have fax machines. There is a HUGE opportunity here for job seekers. In an almost-too-good-to-be-true situation, you can almost guarantee your resume will be read by someone, AND passed on to the decision maker (or their support staff).
Here’s why. People apply online the majority of the time, and mail their resumes when they really want to stand out. Very few send faxes, which means that it’s more likely that anyone receiving it will actually read through your documents. In fact, one HR employee actually told me he reads EVERY faxed resume.
The second part of this situation is even better. If you address someone by name on the cover sheet, the odds are very good your resume will be placed in their inbox. This means they’ll at least glance at it while sorting through the mail. With hundreds (or even thousands!) of emails coming in daily, do you think the same can be said of resume attachments?
Here’s how you can make this strategy work for you:
1) Find out the name and title of the hiring manager (try asking a networking contact or investigating on LinkedIn).
2) Find out the fax number of the department by asking a contact or calling the company’s main number.
3) Send your resume and cover letter WITH a cover sheet.
4) Follow up a few days later.
Though faxing your resume is a great strategy for standing out, it’s not a magic bullet. Use this tool, but keep cultivating your contacts and following up with decision makers. Your persistence WILL pay off!
You Can’t Go Wrong With C.A.R. Stories
Sunday, September 25th, 2011
If you haven’t heard of the acronym C.A.R. (Challenge, Action, Result), you may have heard of some of its variations: Problem, Action, Result (P.A.R.) or Situation, Action, Result (S.A.R.) to name just a couple. They all basically mean the same thing, and are typically used in resumes and interviews.
Research has shown that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. These stories can indicate to a prospective employer that you are the best candidate for a position – by illustrating what you’ve done in the past. Below is a sample C.A.R. story from the book, “I Want to Work in an Association – Now What???”
CHALLENGE: Membership had been declining for years due to older members retiring and fewer people entering the profession.
ACTION: Designed a college recruiting program to promote the profession to students in relevant majors.
RESULT: Membership has been up 26 percent among 22 to 25 year-olds in the last two years.
This scenario can be formatted as a bullet point on a resume or as a response to an interview question. Review job descriptions, determine what key qualifications are needed for your target positions, and create C.A.R. stories that speak to your success. Though you can never have too many, aim for at least 10-15 scenarios to start. On your resume, include the biggest relevant successes. For your interview, practice all the stories until you are sure you can confidently recite them in person.
Take it a step further, and include a few of these situations in your cover and thank you letters. Take every opportunity to remind employers of your accomplishments!
Killer Cover Letters
Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
I recently read an article from Salary.com that discussed the purpose of the cover letter. I used to think people innately knew what a cover letter was for, but in the past month I’ve seen a few that have me rethinking my position. A cover letter, simply put, is supposed (more…)