RDrew Cover Letter Workshop

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Cover Letter Workshop given to Networking Groups

Cover Letter Workshop given to Networking Groups

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  • 1. Cover Letters Presented by Ron Drew, PMP
  • 2. The Transition 101 Model Are you prepared to do each one of these steps? Anger Help Me!! Stress Relief New Friends Foundation Onboarding Plan Get a Job Offer Networking + LinkedIN Resume Cover Letter Interview Layoff/Quit/Fired Marketing Plan No Plan = 2 strikes to start
  • 3. What Is a Cover Letter?
    • A supplement to the resume that includes more detailed information about yourself
    • It highlights key points in your resume
    • Expresses your interest in a position
    • Shows off your qualifications to a prospective
    • employer
    Hiring managers are looking for ways to exclude you as they narrow down their applications. Do not give them that ammunition.
  • 4. What Should My Cover Letter Accomplish?
    • Your cover letter should introduce the main points of your resume.
    • It should also help you to “sell” your qualifications to the prospective employer.
  • 5. Cover Letter Basics
    • Heading
    • Inside Address
    • Salutation
    • Paragraph #1
    • Paragraph #2
    • Paragraph #3
    • Closing
    • Signature
  • 6. Cover Letter Examples of Basics
    • Heading:
    • Address
    • City, State, Zip
    • Date
    • Company Address:
    • Name of Individual
    • Company
    • Address
    • City, State, Zip
    Salutation: Dear Mr. Dear Mrs. Dear Ms.
  • 7. Cover Letter Basics
    • Main Body of Cover Letter ... Keep it brief!
    • Paragraph #1 – Reference the position and note how you found out about the job
    • Paragraph #2 – Why are you interested in the position and what are your qualifications
    • Paragraph #2 or 3 – Support your qualifications with examples of experience
    • Paragraph #4 – Restate your interest in the position and request an interview
  • 8. Before You Write the Cover Letter
    • If you have a company or employer in mind, do some research regarding their policies and principles
    • Review websites, brochures, pamphlets and any other pertinent materials you can find about the company
    • If you can, try to speak with current employees; this
    • will provide you with a unique inside perspective
  • 9.
    • Once you’ve done your research and you have a
    • good idea of what qualifications the company is
    • looking for, it’s time to separate yourself from the rest of the pack
    • Before you begin writing your letter, take some time to brainstorm. Make a list of reasons why you’re the ideal candidate
    Before You Write the Cover Letter
  • 10. Preliminary Research
    • Find out
    • * General job
    • information
    • * Desired qualifications
    • and skills
    • * Key values and words
    • Check with
    • * Out Placement office files
    • * WWW
    • * Trade journals,
    • magazines, and
    • newsletters
    • * Company literature
  • 11. A Few Things to Keep in Mind
    • Do NOT over use “I” .....
    • Instead, place the focus on the employer and use the word “you”
    • Avoid writing more than one page; since you are
    • probably competing with other applicants, employers
    • just don’t have the time to read two pages
    • The point of the cover letter is to flesh out your
    • resume’s selling points not to repeat the same
    • things that appear in your resume
  • 12. Header
    • Sally Smith
    • Human Resources Director
    • Beiersdorf North America
    • 187 Danbury Road
    • Wilton, CT 06897
    • Dear Ms. Smith:
    • Address your letter to a specific person, ideally to the person who will interview you.
    • Look for the person’s name in company publications, or phone the organization and ask for the person’s name or for the personnel manager.
  • 13. Salutation
    • If you are addressing the letter to a specific person, start out with the formal salutation : Dear Mr. Jones.
    • If you don’t know the name use:
    • Dear Hiring Manager
    • Refrain from using the old standby’s:
      • To whom it may concern
      • Dear Sir or Madam
    • Never Use “Hi” or “Hello” or Hey There”
  • 14. Introductory Paragraph
    • Your first paragraph should:
    • Get the reader’s attention
    • Stimulate interest
    • Be appropriate for the job you are seeking.
    • Make your goal clear to reader and highlight the main points you will focus on in the letter.
    • Make the reader want to preview the rest of your letter.
  • 15. Opening Paragraph Example Dear Mr. Drew: As the enclosed resume attests, the Business Analyst position advertised on Monster.com is a perfect fit with my qualifications. My experience working as a Programmer Analyst at Unilever and my vast experience in the Information Technology has prepared for what this job requires, making me an ideal candidate for this position.
  • 16. Solicited Application Letters
    • Solicited application letters are letters written in response to an advertised job opening .
    • It is appropriate to mention where you learned of the opening in the first paragraph.
    • I believe that my knowledge
    • of sales and marketing along
    • with my proven communication
    • and leadership skills make
    • me a strong candidate for the
    • position of Marketing Director
    • posted on the Beiersdorf’s
    • Website in the Careers Section.
  • 17. Unsolicited Application Letters
    • Unsolicited application letters are written to companies that have not posted a job opening .
    • It is important to gain the reader’s attention and persuade them that you can contribute to the company’s goals.
    • As a company of one of the
    • fastest growing skin care
    • products in the world, do you
    • have an opening in your
    • Marketing department for
    • a recent college graduate
    • with a major in English and
    • Marketing and selling
    • experience?
  • 18. Goals of the Body Paragraphs
    • Emphasize your strongest qualifications or top selling points for the position for which you are applying.
    • Demonstrate how these qualifications will benefit the employer.
    • Refer employers to certain points in your enclosed resume.
    • Provide examples of your achievements that have benefited previous companies if appropriate.
    • Be specific in your descriptions.
  • 19. Body Paragraph Example As my resume highlights, I have offered high-responsibility computer and software support for users, IT staff and external customers. This experience, along with constant use of computers, has given me a thorough background of many different forms of software and operating systems including the Windows and Apple families, Microsoft Office, and Dreamweaver. I have also become very comfortable performing hardware and software upgrades on Windows and Mac machines and working with various types of networks including wireless and LAN. In addition, I master new skills quickly and complete tasks efficiently.
  • 20. Detailing Your Experience
    • Show (don’t tell) employers your qualifications
    • Include specific, credible examples of your qualifications for the position.
    • Use numbers, names of software you've used, or features of a project that may apply to the job you want.
    • As a customer service representative at Unilever, I provided quality customer service while promoting the sale of products to customers. I also handled upwards of $200,000 sales orders per day and responsible for reconciliation of sales orders.
  • 21. Using Active Language—Don’ts
    • Don’t be vague in your descriptions.
    • Don’t use weak verbs such as endeavored, tried, hoped, and attempted.
    • Don’t use sexist language such as chairman and manpower.
    • Vague: I worked as an agent at Unilever.
    • Weak: I attempted to attract customers.
  • 22. Using Active Language—Do’s
    • Use concrete words to describe your experience.
    • Use present tense to discuss current activities and past tense for previous job duties or accomplishments.
    • Be as specific as possible in descriptions; list dollar amounts and figures when you can.
    • Vague: I worked as a ramp agent for Delta Air Lines.
    •   Specific : As an agent, I assisted in loading baggage, oversaw fueling the aircraft, and stocked commissary items on the aircraft.
    • Weak: I attempted to attract customers.
    • Strong: I initiated a program to attract customers to Burger King, which resulted in a 5% increase in sales for the month of June.
  • 23. Organizing Your Letter
    • In general, cover letters should be no longer than one typed page.
    • Organize your body paragraphs to emphasize your strongest and most relevant qualifications. Only include the two or three strongest qualifications from your resume.
    • Make it easy for readers to scan your letter by beginning each paragraph with a topic sentence.
  • 24. Concluding Your Letter
    • Please take the time to look over
    • my resume. I would enjoy a further
    • discussion on this position in person.
    • I will follow up with you in a few days
    • to answer any preliminary questions
    • you might have. In the meantime,
    • Please do not hesitate to contact
    • me at 203-555-1234.
    • Thank you for your time and
    • consideration.
    • Sincerely,
    • Conclude by asking for a personal interview.
    • Be flexible regarding a date and time for the interview.
    • Be specific about how the interviewer should contact you.
    • If you say you will follow-up, make sure you do it!!
    • Include a thank you.
    • Use “Sincerely,” to close the letter
  • 25. Mailing Your Letter With Your Resume Double and Triple Check Before Sending!!
    • Coordinate the design of your letter with the design of your resume (FONTS etc).
    • Be sure to send both Cover Letter and Resume to prospective employers; they both reveal different kinds of information about you.
  • 26. Key Points to Remember
    • Appeal to company values, attitudes, goals, projects, etc.
    • Elaborate on the information in your resume. Don’t repeat the resume, highlight it!!
    • Use their words – Use the job description to help make the connection between your experiences and their employee wish-list
    • Provide evidence of your qualifications.
    • Proofread carefully for grammatical and typographical errors. The letter should be error-free.
  • 27. Key Points to Remember
    • Stress the Positive!!
    • Professionalism is a must !!
    • Show off your writing skills – the cover letter should be an example of your finest written work.
    • Don’t go over a page
    • Don’t give too much information - for example, very specific salary or geographic requirements
    • Always customize your cover letter and don’t forget to change your contact information
    • Maintain a friendly and professional tone throughout the letter
  • 28. Bad Example of a Cover Letter
  • 29. Where can you go to find extra help with your cover letter?
    • Department of Labor
    • Various Network Group Sponsors
    • Ask your Board of Directors
    • Ask a Friend to review it
    • Attend Network Group Presentations like this one for help with drafting, revising, and editing your resumes and cover letters
    • Google the Internet
    • Hire a resume writer
    “ You are the only person on this earth who can use your ability!! --Ron Drew
  • 30. Thank You for Your Attention
    • Questions?
    • [email_address]
    “ Remember that success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go” --William Feather