Posts tagged #Cover Letter

When is a Cover Letter Make or Break?

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Switching career paths can be a tricky road to navigate. Cover letters are a great tool to lead the way.

If your resume is filled with biological research experience but you want a role in sales, how do you portray your interest and value on paper? An effective cover letter increases the chance that you’ll catch the hiring manager’s eye. Otherwise, they may assume your resume landed on their desk by mistake.

Your diverse experience could be exactly what they are looking for, but you need to be creative to get them to see it.

What to Include in a Cover Letter

A great cover letter allows you to display your professionalism, and your unique career path goals more than a resume. Keep things in mind while building your cover letter to tell your story and catch the hiring managers attention:

  1. The Details Matter – Make It Perfect

    Is the date correct? Are you addressing the appropriate person? Do you use proper grammar and write in active voice? Are typos nonexistent? These small details matter when you have a few seconds of the hiring manager’s attention. Also, make sure to note which role you’re applying for. When in doubt, put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and think about what they would benefit from reading.

  2. A Short & Sweet Introduction

    Your introduction should be short and succinct. Briefly introduce yourself as a professional and how you fit the posted position. For example, if you’re applying for a career in sales but your experience is in research, your introduction may be, “I’m an experienced biological researcher looking to utilize my background and communication skills as a biomedical equipment sales director.”

  3. Keep it Skimmable

    The hiring manager likely won’t read through your entire cover letter. According to a research study, 33 percent of employers look for mention of the skills they asked for in the job description. Call this out clearly in your cover letter by pulling exact requirements from the job description into the letter and stating your qualifications.

  4. Translate Your Current Experience

    Regardless of whether you’re new to an industry or have been in it for 20 years, you want to translate your experience into value for the new role. Find the transferable skills that set you apart and qualify you for the role ­– then creatively and concisely list them in the cover letter.

Cover letters can be challenging to write, and our team of professional career coaches would love to help!

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we help professionals and students achieve their goals through job search execution services.

Posted on July 16, 2019 and filed under Career, Search Strategy.

Spring Cleaning Your Career Assets

Spring Cleaning Career Assets

We’re a few weeks into Spring - have you tackled your Spring Cleaning yet? Washing windows, cleaning under the couch, scrubbing behind the toilet...these aren’t the most fun tasks in the world. Understandably, most people procrastinate to the point where they might as well just leave the tasks for the following Spring.

While it’s OK to put off your household Spring Cleaning chores, don’t delay Spring Cleaning your career assets, including your:

Why Your Career Assets Need Spring Cleaning

If you are planning to look for a new job in the near future, it’s imperative that your information and resources are up-to-date. But even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, it’s important to regularly update your career assets. In our digital world, you never know who is looking at your online presence!

If you manage a website for your work, ensure that the most recent projects and new skills are added. If you don’t have your own website, check to see if the company you work for has an online bio or other digital resources where your name and information is listed to ensure it’s up-to-date. No matter who is reviewing your information, you want to put your best foot forward.

Networking should happen even when you aren’t looking for a new position. When looking for connections, whether it’s for project collaboration, mentorship, or just professional friendship, having all of your most current information and skills available to share is key to strengthening those relationships. Almost everyone looks up connections on LinkedIn after they first meet, so keeping your profile strong and up-to-date is important.

Your resume and CV will be much easier to update when you need it if you are keeping it current. Instead of scrambling to pull together an amazing resume in a pinch, you’ll only need a few minutes to look it over and make slight adjustments.

Finally, how is your skill set these days? Now is the time to update your list of skills on your resume/CV, LinkedIn profile, etc. But it may also be time to learn more new skills or update certification on those you already have. Time moves quickly and many skills become out of date even after only a year. Keeping up with industry trends and the skills needed to keep pace with your colleagues are critical for career success.

Set a recurring reminder in your calendar to Spring Clean your career assets every year. The time it takes to keep these resources current are well worth the investment for a successful long-term career strategy.

Posted on April 11, 2018 and filed under Career.

What, Why & How To Write A Cover Letter

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Resume and cover letter. Resume and cover letter. Resume and cover letter.

You’ve probably heard this short phrase more times that you want to count since searching for a job. It’s because these two things - your resume and cover letter - will ultimately land you the job. Even if you networked well and “know a guy,” someone will look at your resume and cover letter before hiring you. It’s THAT important.

What Is A Cover Letter?

When applying for a job, a cover letter is your opportunity to explain the content of your resume. It is a separate document, written as a letter, addressed to the hiring manager or Human Resources contact for the job for which you are applying.

Why Write A Cover Letter?

Primarily, it allows you to highlight experiences, circumstances, or skills that are not obvious in your resume. For example, employment gaps, school/training status, career changes are all examples of situations that should be addressed in your cover letter.

Many online application systems mark ‘resume’ as required and ‘cover letter’ as optional. Always send a customized cover letter. It shows you want the job enough to put the extra effort into writing a cover letter and provides the opportunity to stand out in a stack of resumes.

How Do I Write A Cover Letter?

Keep your cover letter short, sweet, and to the point. Your cover letter often times decides whether or not the hiring manger ‘turns the page’ to review your resume, so it needs to get their attention quickly.

Below you’ll find a template that you can use to be personalized and customized for the position, and company you are applying for. This template provides a general idea of what you should include. You need to have a customized cover letter for every single position that you apply for - no exceptions. Hiring managers can spot a generic cover letter from a mile away.

Cover Letter Template

Full Name

Street Address

City, State, Zip

E-Mail

 

January 23, 2017

 

Mr. /Mrs.

Person title

Company Name

Address

Houston Texas, 77489

To Whom It May Concern:

I am excited to apply for the position of ______ (#_____) that was listed on the job site ______/your company careers page/your staffing agency website.

This role appeals to me because ____. My background makes me an excellent fit for this role because. (EXPLAIN ANYTHING ELSE THAT ISN’T OBVIOUS FROM YOUR RESUME IN 1-2 SENTENCES, SUCH AS SIGNIFICANT EMPLOYMENT GAP DUE TO CHILD REARING, SCHOOL, CAREER CHANGE, ETC.). I would love the opportunity to leverage my experience working with X.

I have attached my resume for your review. I welcome the opportunity to personally discuss my qualifications with you, and I’m very interested in your thoughts on what roles would allow me to make this transition successfully, as I am flexible in this area. Please contact me at ###-###-#### or email at your convenience.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to review my resume. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Full Name

###-###-####

email

 

Posted on October 19, 2017 and filed under Search Strategy, Resume.