The job market is hard enough to get into these days without setting yourself up for failure. If you’re reading this article, then apparently you were Googling information on how to write a cover letter and make a great resume that will set you apart from all the other job seekers. So, let’s dig in and get you that job.
Fully Grasp What Industry You Are Trying To Get Into
It happens to the best of us: we go to college to become an accountant but find ourselves out of options there, so we start looking for anything. But that is quite fine. The important thing is to understand several things:
- How can your skill sets or knowledge be used in other capacities
- If you were to get the position, can you live up to your claims
- Is there anything you can do extra to make yourself appealing to an employer
These things should be figured out and understood before you start the application process. By knowing where you stand now, you can prepare ahead and give potential employers a sense that you know exactly what you want and how you’ll obtain it – employers love confidence (but not too much).
IMAGE: LIVE INTERNET
Your Cover Letter Can’t Be Overlooked
It can be easy to focus so much on your resume that you slack on your cover letter. And then there are those who get too carried away with their cover letter. Remember this: your job history and talents should have been covered in your resume. If you repeat information that is in your resume, this shows potential employers or recruiters that you not good at detail and/or sloppy.
Another thing to note is that you shouldn’t send the same resume to every job position, but rather tailor it specifically. What I mean is this – if you’re applying for a job in HR department, for example, you should emphasize all the experience and relevant skills you have in communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving and so on – effectively creating communication skills resume. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a job that’s related to fixing machines, there’s no need to go into great detail about your silver tongue, but rather tell them more about any tech knowledge you might have. Keeping it short but detailed and relevant is what every interviewer wants to see.
Cover letters are not letters to friends, so there is no need to get all flowery and descriptive about how good of a person you are. Nevertheless, it is okay to share a little about your ideals and objectives you feel are pertinent to the company in question. Keep the cover letter to about 500 words or so.
Lastly, know the difference between the cover letter and letter of interest. This can be confusing sometimes. A cover letter is for a job you know is available and you are applying for it. A letter of interest, on the other hand, is for those inquiring about a job that hasn’t been listed, but you want to ask if they’d consider you if one is or will be open in the future.
Clean Up Your Social Media Presence
Social media can make you famous or kill your reputation. Many powerful people have had their careers destroyed by social media, not to mention many people didn’t land that dream job because of it also.
Take a Facebook account, for example. If you were someone who posted racy photos of yourself or of others, then delete them now. Go through your posts and hide or delete anything that talks of things that are generally not socially acceptable. Extreme political views will also cause problems. If you’re thinking, “Well, this is my privacy and my right,” you’re not really correct. Posting anything to social media became public information as soon as you clicked the “post” button.
Some people have had their social media accounts for years, and it may be difficult to censor it all (that is if you have a habit of posting things you feel an employer would frown upon). Therefore, I hate to say it, but it might come to a point on choosing to delete your old account and opening a clean one to get the job, or simply hoping they don’t find anything.
Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt to Google your own name to see what comes up. Try Googling it in different ways, because one way may not show results, yet another way may have you up at the top search result.
Remember, in this age of super connectivity it is really easy to find out about people. Employers and job recruiters are really experienced at this. Don’t take any single digital print you leave on the internet for granted. Even if you made some questionable comments on YouTube, it could come back to bite you.
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