Tag Archives: Job Help

6 Cover Letter Tips & Tricks

Think no one reads a cover letter? Wrong. The small things really do make a difference. Read The Temp Connection’s Cover Letter tips and tricks below:

1.     Send a customized cover letter for each application you submit. 

The letter can be similar to other jobs you have applied to, but you want to change the company name and job title in each cover letter. You also want to show that you have done some research on the company and why you would make a great fit. Complete the statement “I like your company because….”. Compliment the organization on what they have done right and what you admire about them. This shows you’ve done your research and that you’re already invested.

2.     Make sure you connect the skills and experiences… not necessarily your education.

Try matching your skills to the qualifications listed in the job description. Make it easy for them by highlighting exactly what they are looking for. New grads, especially, often make the mistake of over-focusing on their educational backgrounds. At the end of the day, what hiring managers care about most is your work experience and what you can walk through the door and deliver on day one.

3.     Don’t apologize for your missing experience. 

When you don’t meet all of the job requirements, it’s tempting to use lines like, “Despite my limited experience as a manager…” or “While I may not have direct experience in advertising…” But why apologize? Instead of drawing attention to your weaknesses, emphasize the strengths and transferable skills you do have.

Here’s what that might look like: “I’m excited to translate my experience in [what you’ve done in the past] to a position that’s more [what you’re hoping to do next].”

4.     Your cover letter should complement, not duplicate your resume. 

Don’t make it terribly long and just repeat what you have on your resume. Less is more! Get right to the point. You only need three to four paragraphs with three to four sentences each. Discuss your soft skills and strengths, and discuss what makes you passionate about your career and this particular position.

5.     Keep it conversational and show your personality off.

We can’t tell you how many cover letters we’ve seen from people who are “absolutely thrilled for the opportunity” or “very excitedly applying!” Yes, you want to show personality, creativity, and excitement. But downplay the adverbs a bit, and just write like a normal person. This is the opportunity to slightly brag about yourself and mention achievements that didn’t make it into your resume!

6.     EDIT!

We shouldn’t have to tell you to run your cover letter through spell-check (you should!), but remember that having your computer scan for typos isn’t the same as editing. Set your letter aside for a day or even a few hours, and then read through it again with fresh eyes—you’ll probably notice some changes you want to make. Keep an eye out for small mistakes that spell-check can’t catch, such as “manger” in place of “manager.”

Tip: Have a friend take a look at your cover letter. Ask him or her two questions: Does this sell me as the best person for the job? and Does it get you excited? If the answer to either is “no,” or even if you receive a little hesitation, go back for another rewrite.  Remember, one spelling or grammar mistake can be all it takes to turn off the hiring manager—especially if writing skills are an important part of the role you’re applying for.

 

Elliana Vaughn joined The Temp Connection team in February 2017. She currently serves The Temp Connection as a Recruiter and Sales & Marketing Coordinator. She can be reached via email at elliana@thetempconnection.com.

5 Tips for After Your Interview

So you were invited to interview for your dream job! I’m sure you spent quite a bit of time picking out an outfit to wear and researching the company/position beforehand. After the interview, you think you did a pretty darn good job! What’s next?

What you do after the interview can make as much of a difference as what you do during the interview. Don’t miss these key steps to making a positive, memorial impression, and hopefully, getting a job offer.

1. Get Their Contact Information

The first most important thing you can do during an interview is asking for your interviewer’s contact information. Even if it’s awkward, you are meeting this person and you never know how your paths might cross in the future.

So, after interviewing, ask your contact for a business card. If they don’t have a card handy, ask for their email address and write it down.

2. Send a Thank You Email Immediately

A simple ‘thank you’ email can make a huge difference and differentiate you from other candidates. So many people forget about this one really simple last step, and therefore, the candidates that take the time to do this really stand out of the crowd!

The best way to follow up is to send an e-mail within 24 hours after the interview. Reiterate why you’re the best choice for the job and thank them for taking the time to interview you. Even if you aren’t interested in moving forward with that position/company, I’d still suggest sending a simple “thank you” email. You never know what affiliations that company has, or what contacts are in the interviewer’s network. This simple step may benefit you in the future.

3. Send a Thank You Letter

To show the interviewer how serious you are, utilize snail mail. While emails and phone calls can occasionally come across as somewhat cold forms of communication, handwritten notes are warm. In your note, thank them for their time and address a few things you discussed in the interview. Make sure to tailor the letter to each company.

Typically “snail mail” will take 2+ days to be delivered. This will bring their attention back to you, and give them an opportunity to recollect their thoughts regarding your interview and qualifications.

4. Keep Notes

After the interview, write down who you met with and the date of the meeting, what you talked about, what you learned, your impressions, and any concerns you have. It’s important to keep track and to stay organized with the contacts you made.

5. Call for a Status Check

Contact your recruiter! Ask if they can provide you with any feedback and/or coaching so you can fine-tune your interviewing skills.

We hope you can utilize this information in your job search! Check out The Temp Blog’s Coaching Corner next month for more tips & tricks.

 

Elliana Vaughn joined The Temp Connection team in February 2017. She currently serves The Temp Connection as a Recruiter and Sales & Marketing Coordinator. She can be reached via email at elliana@thetempconnection.com.