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Cover Letters the Get Results

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Cover Letters the Get Results

  1. 1. 1 Andrea Smith HRA/CTWorks So. Central asmith.ctwbs@ct.gov
  2. 2. To help list your accomplishments - think of a time when you:  Increased profits  Reduced costs  Reduced errors  Reduced conflict  Reduced losses  Improved quality  Improved teamwork  Made things smoother  Made things easier  Did what couldn't be done  Sped things up  Foresaw a need  Foresaw a problem  Foresaw an opportunity  Found an easier solution  Found a cheaper solution  Found a new opportunity  Accomplished the same with less  Accomplished more with the sameCreate a statement using the above accomplishment starters………….
  3. 3. Cover Letters can be very challenging 1) Time Consuming  Customizing one for every job you apply for - o Every Company o Every Industry Should a Cover Letter be include if it's not explicitly ask for ? 4
  4. 4. The Simple Answer 3) you will make it clear that you are highly interested in the job by using-  Industry - action words 4) your cover letter will enable you to present a rationale for -  Relocation 5) you can explain your reasons with targeted precision -  Gaps in employment  Taking care of family 6) employers often expect to receive a cover letters even though they -  didn't actually list cover letters as a requirement in the Job Ad 7) candidates who don't take the time to compose a letter are often –  Viewed as less motivated for the job Yes ! If you really want the job. A well-written Cover Letter will …. 1) frame your…..  candidacy for the employer 2) draw attention to your most……  Relevant qualifications 5
  5. 5. Exercise: Cover Letter Challenge 6
  6. 6. Exercise: (write a convincing statement) as to; Key question in the reader of your Cover Letter: Why you should be considered ? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Convincing The Reader 7
  7. 7. A powerful One-Page Sales Letter May be the Single Most Important Letter you ever write. Some Amazing Facts about Cover Letters 8
  8. 8. Fact # 1 •Most people pay more attention to their •resume • Than • cover letter • CL • first impressions 9
  9. 9. Fact # 2 you never get a second chance to make a first impression 10
  10. 10. Fact # 3 99% cover letter templates will not work! …………. Kathleen Watson, Professional Cover Letter Writer 11
  11. 11. 12 Job Search Campaign
  12. 12. Fact 4 Selling your skills in a highly competitive market. You MUST highlight your competitive edge as effectively as possible. 1. Use proven (high impact) words to draw attention to your skills. 2. (Research ) your demographics, employers. 3. Self-promotion is a MUST when it comes to writing your cover letter, (VALUE). 4. The best cover letter is coherent with the resume. Its up to you to take action. Cover letters are a marketing tools. Therefore, apply marketing principle in your cover letter is essential. 13
  13. 13. The average cover letter gets between a  3 to 10 seconds of attention before being discarded 14
  14. 14. Benefits of a Well-Written Cover Letter 15
  15. 15.  You will stand out from 90% of the applicants -  who won’t take the time to draft an effective cover letter.  In a carefully crafted letter - 1. You - come alive as an enthusiastic person 2. You - flesh-and-blood person 3. You – can show your creative ideas 4. You – can demonstrate your Goals 5. Your - personality is revealed 6. You – must include your skills and accomplishments which will make you stand out.  Unlike the resume- the cover letter enables you to - 7. You – will write to a real person 8. You – will show how your skills, talents, and accomplishments relate to their needs. …..Benefits of a Well-Written Cover Letter 16
  16. 16. …..Benefits of a Well-Written Cover Letter 9. You can describe with real passion  why you’d like to work for this y/organization. 10. You tailor the letter  to a specific company and  its particular situation or needs. 11. You can highlight and focus on  your most relevant skills  achievements/accomplishments. 12. You are able to reveal how you think IN THE COVER LETTER  organize ideas  communicate. 17
  17. 17. What Is An Accomplishment ? Synonyms – achievement - fulfillment - fulfillment - performance–Definition – ac·com·plish·ment Noun 1. Something that has been achieved successfully. 2. The successful achievement of a task. 18
  18. 18. Accomplishments • Measurable -- 19 Can be checked out --- Confirmed --- Tell the truth
  19. 19. Position: Teacher • Rough Notes:  When I first started, students were passing state exams at the dismal rate of 67 percent. I updated the curriculum and instilled the students with a love of history. By year's end, my students had achieved a 93 percent pass rate. • Accomplishments Statement:  I dramatically increased pass rate of eighth-grade students from 67 percent to a record high of 93 percent on state proficiency testing. 20 Measurable Examples: Accomplishments “Branding” Statement…..
  20. 20. 1. High-Powered Financial and Analytical Trainer | Propelling International Business Teams to the Top. 2. Program, Process and Project Manager | Creating and Implementing Innovative Technological Solutions. 3. Managed Care Professional | Building relationships with attention and integrity.
  21. 21. 22 Utilize this COVER LETTER Opportunity You can create a stronger, very powerful, credible and memorable impression of you by changing how you speak about yourself. Instead of saying: 1) I’m a great leader -- as candidates often state on their cover letters  Instead: give a work-situation which will position you as a great leader. 2) I’m passionate about helping people --  Instead: give a situation where it shows how passionate you are. Provide a short illustration -- that leads the employer to the desired conclusion. Each case or illustration should project a specific quality about you, without you actually saying it. You MUST Justify being a top candidate by illustrating why you are and not by saying that you are. . Elie Klachkindeveloper of career marketing tools. writer and coach. creator of resuMMe (MultiMedia resume)
  22. 22. Anatomy of a Cover Letter 23
  23. 23. Anatomy of a Cover Letter HEADER: DATE: INSIDE ADDRESS : SALUTATION : THE CARROT – Introduction: THE RATIONALE – Body: THE CLOSE – Last paragraph: COMPLIMENTARY CLOSING: JOB SEEKER INDENTIFICATION: YOUR SIGNATURE: Type your full name – Resume enclosed 24
  24. 24. Instead – address to the: 1) “Hiring Manager” 2) “Human Resource Manager” 3) “College Recruiter” or 4) “Selection Committee” When all else fails, don’t do the generic - - - “To Whom It May Concern” 25
  25. 25. Writing A Cover Letter 26
  26. 26. 1. HEADER: same header/address on the resume 2. DATE: Date you are sending the letter 3. INSIDE ADDRESS: a. Company’s Name b. Address, City, State and Zip Code c. Contact Person’s Name and Title 4. SALUTATION:  Dear Mr./Dr./Ms. (Mrs.) 5. THE CARROT: - Introduction The purpose is to gain attention, interest, desire and action. a. Talk about how you heard about the job, i.e. (Hartford Courant, Glassdoor, Indeed). b. your experience/education i.e. (years, degree/credential). c. and why you are applying for this position. i.e. (explain how are you are good fit). 6. THE RATIONALE: - Body/Justification The purpose is to strengthen and support information from your resume. a. Show that you know something about the company i.e. (History on the Company or why they exist), b. Show how and why you would fit in i.e. (give example of your personal attributes), c. Mention Soft-skills; i.e. (communication, problem-solving, time management - give examples). Address the Employer’s needs (found in the job ad) - d. Mention Hard-skills; (keyboarding, cust serv, marketing, maintenance, assemble) that makes you qualified for the position. e. Use the ‘SAR Method’ (S=Situation, A=Action, R=Result) -  Illustrate (a story) to the employer–i.e. (situations/accomplishments where you used the skills they're looking for. 7. THE CLOSE: – Last paragraph Close on a positive and upbeat note (closing argument for being the best candidate). a. Summarize your qualifications then, b. you suggest the next step to be taken -  i.e. (you would be following up with a phone call or email as to the progress of my application). c. Thank the employer for their time and consideration. 8. COMPLIMENTARY CLOSING: Sincerely, Andrea Smith Andrea Smith - Sign above where you typed your name. 9. Resume attached 27
  27. 27. 1) I think 2) I believe 3) Give me a chance 4) I’ll do anything 5) please 28
  28. 28. 29 The Active and Passive Voices are the two voices of verbs. Example: • In the Active Voice, the subject (you) DOES the action. • In the Passive Voice, the subject (you) DOES NOT DO the action, but the action is done to the subject. You want to give the first impression of - authentication Authorization Confidence
  29. 29. 30 Utilize this COVER LETTER Opportunity You can create a stronger, very powerful, credible and memorable impression of you by changing how you speak about yourself. Instead of saying: 1) I’m a great leader -- as candidates often state on their cover letters  Instead: give a work-situation which will position you as a great leader. 2) I’m passionate about helping people --  Instead: give a situation where it shows how passionate you are. Provide a short illustration -- that leads the employer to the desired conclusion. Each case or illustration should project a specific quality about you, without you actually saying it. You MUST Justify being a top candidate by illustrating why you are and not by saying that you are. . Elie Klachkindeveloper of career marketing tools. writer and coach. creator of resuMMe (MultiMedia resume)
  30. 30. EXERCISE: compose a cover letter Using the Sample Job Advertisement 31
  31. 31. Sample job advertisement Hartford Courant Customer Service Officer Customer service officer, Ref: 555JA We are a large pharmaceutical company looking for a customer service officer to join our administration team. This role would be suitable for an experienced customer service officer, preferably someone who has previously worked in a pharmaceutical or medical environment. As the customer service officer, you will: Meet and greet clients and customers Respond to internal and external enquiries via email, phone and face-to-face Manage customer order entries Manage and update client accounts Provide customers with quotes and product knowledge Update client databases Perform general administration tasks Support other departments We are looking for someone who is friendly, hardworking and thrives in a fast-paced environment. The successful candidate will also have: Excellent communication skills A warm, approachable manner At least two years experience in a customer service position Extensive experience using MS office software Experience using database management systems Should this position be of interest please email a current resume to Lionel Millier at lionel.millier@email.com, or mail to Karp Pharmaceuticals, 100 Green Street, Hartford CT 06451 32
  32. 32. To help list your accomplishments - think of a time when you:  Increased profits  Reduced costs  Reduced errors  Reduced conflict  Reduced losses  Improved quality  Improved teamwork  Made things smoother  Made things easier  Did what couldn't be done  Sped things up  Foresaw a need  Foresaw a problem  Foresaw an opportunity  Found an easier solution  Found a cheaper solution  Found a new opportunity  Accomplished the same with less  Accomplished more with the sameCreate a statement using the above accomplishment starters………….
  33. 33. Keep it Short 1. A Well-Written Cover Letter Serves --  as a sample of your writing ability  your enthusiasm to work for the employer  your value and fit for the job  Your knowledge on what you learn about the company and the job. 2. Make sure that your Cover Letters are concise (short). 3. 3 - 5 paragraphs 4. Every statement conveys something significant about - ‘why you are the best person for the job’. job seekers are concerned about burdening busy recruiters with letters when they are not asked for. 34
  34. 34. The Changes in Job Search Method Here are six ways the job search has changed and the tactics needed to get hired 1) Passive job searching is no longer an option - 2) Fewer jobs mean more competition - 3) Mistakes, even minor, are not tolerated - 4) Social media is the new recruiting tool - 5) Customization is critical - 6) Networking is more important than ever. By CareerBuilder , Posted Jan 31st 2012 @ 9:33AM By Debra Auerbach
  35. 35. Social Media Websites: (Job search) over age 40 Spanish-based An inside look at Jobs & companies BeKnown™ Career Hub for Tech/Eng 36
  36. 36. MODERN STYLE COVER LETTER 37
  37. 37. Should I Include My LinkedIn Profile URL on My Resume? The short answer to is YES ! LinkedIn Profile address has become a standard item to put in your resume header. WHY ? 90% of hiring managers now use social media - as a primary resource to research candidates.
  38. 38. – URL - uniform resource locator • is a specific character string that constitutes a reference to an Internet resource. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia URL: www./linkedin/ctworks85.com 39
  39. 39. Modern : Header on your Cover Letter: asmith.ctwbs@ct.gov www./linkedin/ctworks85.com 40
  40. 40. CHANGE YOUR ONLINE PROFILE - - OFTEN - employers can tell if your online information is current by the last update. Recommend Updating EVERY 7 TO 30 DAYS
  41. 41. ……..Writing A Cover Letter 1. CL - is a sales pitch, an attention - getter.  It identifies the singles most important reason why you should get further consideration for the job. 2. CL - is to the point –  one page and balanced. 3. CL - does not repeat the resume but information in the resume that relates to the Job Ad. 4. CL - must have  perfect grammar and spelling. 5. Font  margins at 1 ”.  times new roman  Font size 12 (no less than 11) 6. Make all statements positive 7. CL - is a personal communication  between you and the employer. 8. CL - should enable the reader to make a connection between  the company and your background. 9. Use the same bonded resume paper. 10. Identifies relocation issues  (willing to relocate)  an added incentive for the employer. 11. CL - Follow instructions in employment ads or recruitment directions. 12. CL - expresses your knowledge of the company and why you would like  to work for the company. 42
  42. 42. ……Writing a CL 13. Identify the employer's key words and use them. 14. Use industry jargon specific to your career field. 15. Use action verbs and phrases.  Make every work count.  Be specific avoid general statements. 16. Sound determined and confident  not desperate. 17. Show originality not cuteness. 18. Follow up  phone call, about five days after expected postage delivery. 18. Focus on the employer's need for a worker  rather than your need for a job. 18. CL - identifies mutual acquaintances  or company employees, if you know any. 19. standard Cover Letter format.  Block style; everything to the left. 20. Sign in blue or black ink. 43
  43. 43. Cover Letter Critiquing 44 available via email asmith.ctwbs@ct.gov
  44. 44. Exercise: Sample Cover Letter 45
  45. 45. Cover Letters that Gets Results 46 Andrea Smith HRA/CTWorks So. Central asmith.ctwbs@ct.gov

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