• Education in America: Losing the Three-Legged Race

    July 29, 2011 by

    Every time I hear about how school systems have to cut their budgets, I hear the mantra of “back to basics,” how we can cut all the arts and extracurricular programs as long as we get back to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.

     

    What I rarely hear is how the education itself needs to get back to basics. As we focus on shrinking budgets, lower test scores and falling reading levels, we seem to miss the bigger picture. From the earliest colonial times in this country, education was a partnership between the teacher, the student and the parent. If we’re going to talk about education, let’s start with that covenant, that three-legged table that has always propped up public education in America.

     

    TEACHERS: We are hiring untrained teachers right out of college and at the same time we are firing experienced teachers. As a result, we are seeing much turnover in the teaching field. Exposing a teacher’s scores makes the teacher accountable, but also makes him or her resentful. It is not fair outside of the context of simultaneous accountability to parents and students too. Teachers do need accountability, but they need support and fairness as well. How is it fair to judge a teacher on his or her scores, if that teacher had a student with a medical issue that was not resolved all year by the parent? There must be accountability in place for all three — parents, students, and teachers. If an individual setting is not working, which leg of the table needs strengthening? Can this be our new dialogue? If resources are low, how can business, government and administration all work together to re-create a setting that will work. The achievement gap is not about race or money. It is about the three-legged table and whether it is in place or not. Let’s take the teachers we have and coach them into how to work the three-legged table. Let’s teach them how to ask for help when the student and parent legs are broken and how to engage not only the student, but the parents as well.

     

    STUDENTS: Michael Kirstian, emeritus education professor at Stanford, estimates that 6o percent of incoming community college students and 30 percent of freshmen at four-year colleges need remedial reading and math courses. In Charlotte, North Carolina 30 percent of high school freshman drop out before they graduate. This problem needs to be addressed on an individual basis. Do we think these students are dropping out because they’re dumb? Or are they losing interest in their education because education has lost interest in them. Standardized testing, budget cuts, growing class sizes, dwindling numbers of teachers all add up to making students feel as if they are being abandoned. We cannot limit ourselves to engaging their minds. We must engage their hearts, ignite their dreams and show them that education is the key to unlocking it all.

     

    PARENTS:  Parents in the top range of our achievement gap know how to provide quiet time for homework, have their children to bed on time, provide proper nutrition, hire tutors for customized, individualized programs and set the stage for success at home. Parents in the lower range are often challenged simply to provide any kind of meal, and those in the middle are working as hard as they can but still fall short. However, many parents in the top range volunteer at school, but their time is not used wisely. In this era, it’s all hands on deck. These parents should be put to work providing as much one-on-one attention as they can. We know there are parents who do not do their part, but instead of trying to punish them, we can help establish accountability on their parts in return for support for their child in the classroom. Helping to stabilize those children will afford teachers and administrators the ability to show that their kids can succeed with help, and present a contract to their parents about the basics for nutrition, sleep and creating a home environment conducive to learning and homework.

     

    We all have to be committed to doing our part to educate our next generation, and the only way to get back to basics is one child at a time, one parent at a time, one teacher at a time. We need to rebuild this three-legged table so it can support the next generation and beyond.

     

    By Beatrice R.D. Hair, MA.Ed.


    Beatrice Hair is the founder and owner of the Salisbury Tutoring Academy, the One-on-One School, which is a franchised tutoring academy for ages four-to-adult. She was awarded the title of U.S. Small Business Administration 2010 North Carolina Small Business Person of the Year. She received the Congressional Recognition Award from Congressman Howard Coble for her work in April of 2010. In May of 2010, she was personally congratulated by the U.S. President Barrack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. Beatrice is also author of the new book H3LT: The Hair Three- Legged-Table Solution for Education (www.staltd.com).

  • 9.4% of Job Seekers Re-locating — Two Year High

    July 28, 2011 by

    The percentage of unemployed managers and executives relocating for new positions jumped to its highest level in nearly two years, possibly signaling increased willingness by job seekers to take a loss on the sale of their home. Similarly, the increase may indicate willingness by employers to help the newly hired relocate.

    Over the first two quarters of 2011, an average of 9.4 percent of job seekers finding employment relocated for their new positions.  That is up from an average relocation rate of 7.6 percent during the same period a year ago, according to the latest Challenger Job Market Index, a quarterly survey by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

    The percentage of job seekers relocating plunged in the wake of the housing market collapse.  Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2009 through the end of 2010, the quarterly relocation rate averaged just 7.5 percent.  In fact, the 7.5 percent rate averaged in 2010 was the lowest annual average since the firm began tracking job-seeker relocation in 1986. 

    “The 9.4 percent relocation rate in the first half of 2011 is still low by historical standards, but the increase does indicate that job seekers are finally beginning to loosen the stakes that have kept them tethered to a specific region,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

    Prior to the recession, job seekers were significantly more open to relocation.  From the first quarter of 2005 through the third quarter of 2007, just before the recession began, an average of 16.1 percent of those finding employment each quarter relocated for the new positions. 

    Relocation began to sink along with the economy in the last quarter of 2007.  From the fourth quarter of 2007 through the end of 2008, the average relocation rate dropped to 11.5 percent.  It rebounded to an average of 15.3 percent over the first three quarters of 2009, only to fall off a cliff at the end of 2009 through 2010, when the housing market continued to weaken, even as other segments of the economy began to slowly improve.

    “Since there has been little improvement in the housing market in 2011, one might conclude that the increased relocation in the first half of the year is due to the fact that prolonged unemployment is compelling more job seekers to relocate, despite the challenges of selling a home in this market.  At some point, the job seeker may simply conclude that it is worth taking a loss on a home sale to get back on the payroll,” said Challenger.

    “Banks have also been a little more willing to work with financially distressed homeowners on renegotiating the terms of the mortgage, making it possible for the unemployed to sell their home and relocate.”

    According to Challenger, the employment situation is beginning to slowly improve in a growing number of cities across the country, which may keep relocation rates relatively low in the coming quarters as job seekers are better able to find positions without moving.

    “However, at the moment, there are definitely parts of the country that are recovering faster than others.  Job seekers who are willing to expand their searches to other states and cities are significantly improving the chances of success by opening themselves up to a much wider number of opportunities.  Basically, when you cast a wider net, you are more likely to catch more fish,” he said.

    The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in June 26 states saw nonfarm payroll employment grow, with the biggest gains coming in Texas, California, Michigan and Minnesota.  Between those four states alone, payrolls experienced a net gain of 92,000 new workers.

    As of May, according to the Bureau’s latest data on metropolitan employment, 42 cities had unemployment rates below 6.0 percent.  Another 49 had unemployment rates between 6.0 percent and 7.0 percent.

    “Texas may be one of the best targets for job seekers considering relocation.  It is booming right now, thanks to having a good mix of the types of industries that are currently doing the best in this recovery, including technology, health care and energy. They are luring employers from other states with low taxes and other incentives, so it will need to continuously expand its available labor force,” said Challenger.

    “The job market in Texas and other states are expected to continue improving in 2011.  However, if these state economies improve faster than their housing markets, current relocation rates will be unable to provide enough supply of workers to meet demand.  This could ultimately be the biggest obstacle to achieving lower unemployment,” warned Challenger.

    “Demand for new workers is not at a level that would force companies to bring in talent from outside their region.  However, as the local talent pool starts to become depleted as the economy improves, companies will be compelled to cast a wider recruiting net.  Unfortunately, the immobility of the workforce may mean that some employers will have to delay expansion plans, thus slowing the recovery,” he said.

    “There have been a few examples of employers paying for the most talented candidates’ relocation costs, including covering any losses incurred by selling a home that is under water.  However, those examples are few and far between, as most companies continue to keep a tight rein on costs. 

    “As the economy continues to improve, more large companies might have the financial ability to increase their relocation budgets and help offset the difference between the home value and selling price.  However, small- and medium-size companies, where most of the new job growth is expected to occur, probably will be unable to cover the costs of relocation and make up for a candidate’s lost home value,” said Challenger.

  • Employers Report Summer Heat Wave Hurting Productivity

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    As stifling heat waves continue to bear down on much of the United States, many workers are feeling a different type of burnout this summer. A recent survey on employee productivity found that 26 percent think workers are less productive in the summer and 45 percent think workers at their organization are currently burned out on their jobs.

    Nicer weather, vacation-fever, and kids being out of school led the list of reasons for the perceived summer productivity dip. Looking at overall productivity trends year-round, 30 percent of employers say workers are more productive today than before the recession began; 12 percent feel workers are less productive than before the recession.

    Employers who saw a rise in worker productivity during the recession primarily attribute the increase to the fear of losing a job and the effects of downsized staffs on individual workloads. In addition, 73 percent are seeing the increase sustain today and 14 percent state productivity has increased even more.

     

    “The recession produced consequences for not just those who were laid off, but also for the many employees who were asked to work harder as a result of leaner staffs,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “While getting more out of a smaller workforce is a sign of organizational agility during unpredictable times, it’s hard to see such yields in productivity holding forever. Headcount will be needed to meet increasing demands.”

     

    Worker Burnout

    When looking at burnout from the worker’s perspective, employers have cause for concern. Seventy-seven percent of workers say they are sometimes or always burned out in their jobs and 43 percent of workers say their stress levels on the job have increased over the last six months.

    The rising stress could be a result of heavier workloads. Forty-six percent of employees reported an increase in their workloads in the last six months, while only eight percent said their workloads decreased.

    The national survey for Careerbuilder was conducted May 19 to June 8, 2011, and included more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals and nearly 5,300 employees.

  • Is The Human Spirit Essential in Business Strategic Planning?

    July 27, 2011 by

    Terry Murray thinks the difference between a company that’s surviving to one that’s thriving isn’t buried in their bottom line, but rather, it’s hidden in their hearts.

    Murray, an executive coach for Fortune 1000 companies, entrepreneurs and startups believes that companies that are driven by inspiration and positive emotions become inherently more successful than companies that focus exclusively on the profit-loss statements.

    “Business and the human spirit are not mutually exclusive,” said Murray, author of The Transformational Entrepreneur – Engaging the Mind, Heart, & Spirit For Breakthrough Business Success. “In fact, the integration and alignment of taking a mindful approach to business is an accelerant towards success in today’s volatile marketplace. It cultivates authentic presence, positive communication, full engagement, adaptability, and taps into the creativity of human beings.”

    Murray’s view is that the human element is oftentimes the spark that separates good companies from great companies.

    “The competitive dynamics of business have changed,” he said. “Today and in the future, the source of value creation for companies is, and will continue to be, the efficient commercialization of intellectual property. Because of this, human beings, and their creative input and adaptability, are more important than ever. Fully cultivating and leveraging human talent requires engagement on an entirely new level – of engaging the mind, heart, and spirit. Research from Applied Behavioral Economics also reveals the importance of engaging customers emotionally and cognitively. Doing so requires a new level of consciousness to emerge in business, one that authentically aligns and integrates leadership, strategy, and culture.”

    Moreover, research is showing more and more that creativity in corporations – where the next big ideas come from – is linked to how good employees and managers feel about working there.

    “The competitive parameters of global markets are also changing rapidly and in unprecedented ways,” he added. “This demands adaptive change and creative solutions to maintain competitive advantage. As an example, the 2010 IBM CEO survey indicated the single most important attribute CEOs are looking for in future leaders is creativity and the ability to cultivate creativity throughout the organization. Yet they continue to lead and manage in very traditional ways that disengage associates. Gallup’s study on employee disengagement showed that 73 percent of employees are disengaged or activity disengaged with their employers and only 27 percent show up with any passion or excitement. Some managers might say, ‘So what?’ Well, in a study conducted by Gallup and published in the Harvard Business Review, companies that engage both their employees and their customers on an emotional level enjoy a 240 percent improvement in financial performance. So, making your staff feel good about their work is clearly very good for your bottom line.”

  • Brazil’s Job Market is Booming, Says New Brazil Employment Outlook

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    Brazil’s economy seems to be recovering from the global financial crisis.  As a result, workers are in demand for a variety of jobs.

    As it begins preparations to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Brazil — South America’s largest country and economy, is one of the first emerging markets to begin an economic recovery, according to a new report from Going Global, the leading provider of employment, career and culture resources. With an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, Brazil is experiencing job growth and talent shortages in many sectors.

    “Brazil’s strong recovery from the global financial crisis has spurred increased hiring activity and a buoyant employment market, enabling the job market to become increasingly candidate-driven,” says Mary Anne Thompson, founder, Going Global. “Many workers in the private sector are seeing double-digit pay raises, and last year average salaries in Brazil increased 6.5 percent.”

    Talent shortages persist in many of the growing industry sectors in Brazil. Recruiting professionals report infrastructure, oil, gas, consumer products, technology, financial services, and capital markets are the most in need of talent. Hiring in Brazil has been active across all sectors, with the heaviest volumes in FCMG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), manufacturing, agribusiness and heavy construction.

    Especially scarce in Brazil are engineers with technical backgrounds, experience with big oil finds, and knowledge of infrastructure, but Brazil turns out just 35,000 engineers a year, compared with India’s 250,000 and China’s 400,000 engineers.

    “One problem Brazil is facing is that their companies and universities have not created sufficiently qualified people to satisfy the new demand,” explains Ms. Thompson. “Multinational organizations looking to hire in Brazil are seeking successful candidates who are flexible, skilled in communications between Brazil and headquarters, adaptable and multilingual. Although many companies invest in homegrown talent, there is also room for skilled foreign-born executives to work in Brazil.”

    The talent shortages in Brazil have resulted in high salaries and large executive bonuses. Chief executives and company directors earn more in São Paulo, Brazil’s business capital, than in New York, London, Singapore or Hong Kong. For example, a CFO with 12 years’ experience or more can earn $400,000 to $530,00 USD in São Paulo, while a CFO with the same experience would earn approximately $125,000 USD in New York.

     

    The 10 Jobs Most in Demand in Brazil

    1. Technicians

    2. Skilled trades

    3. Production operators

    4. Secretaries, PAs, administrative assistants and office support staff

    5. Laborers

    6. Engineers

    7. Drivers

    8. Accounting and finance staff

    9. IT staff

    10. Sales representatives

    According to the 2010 Talent Shortage Survey Results by Manpower

     

    To read the full report, Going Global Employment Outlook: Brazil and to see tips for a successful job interview in Brazil, visit www.goinglobal.com.

  • Top 5 Attributes College Grads Want In Their Employer

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    New college graduates prize opportunity for personal development in potential jobs and employers, according to results of a new study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    Responses from the nearly 20,000 graduating seniors taking part in NACE’s 2011 Student Survey show job security and good insurance benefits are also attributes they value highly in a job or employer. In contrast, for those graduating from 2008 through 2010, “opportunity for advancement” was never further down the list than second place. Among Class of 2011 respondents, “opportunity for advancement” didn’t even make the top five most important job/employer attributes. 

    Prompting the change? One possibility is the effect the recession and the subsequent competitive job market have had on expectations about jobs and employers. 

    “We’ve seen personal development moving up the list since the recession, suggesting that students recognize they may need to look for job satisfaction in other ways,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.   

    In fact, results from a NACE study from the early 1980s show a similar reaction to a highly competitive and difficult job market: Class of 1982 graduates taking part in the survey also cited “opportunity for personal development” as the most important attribute of a job or employer. 

    The top five attributes of employers most desired by the Class of 2011 are:

    1. Opportunity for personal development;
    2. Job security;
    3. Good insurance benefits;
    4. Friendly co-workers; and
    5. High starting salary.
  • LinkedIn’s Universal Apply Button Great for Small Employers But Horrible for Large Employers

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    The big news in the job board world this week was the introduction by LinkedIn of what it is billing as a Universal Apply button.

    How does it work? Employer career sites, job boards, and anywhere else a job posting ad appears can now be modified to include the above button so that candidates who have a LinkedIn profile and actually care to use it (two very different groups) can click the above, click another couple of times to confirm, and their LinkedIn profile information is sent to the employer as an application. The benefit to the job seeker is convenience as they save a lot of time by not having to fill out field after field of information that they’ve already provided — maybe — to LinkedIn.

    That sounds pretty good and I think this button will prove to be popular with some employers, but I also believe that most in the recruitment industry have overlooked the legal problems it will create for large employers. For virtually all employers who are federal contractors (basically any employer with more than 50 employees), the federal government has a “guilty until proven innocent” policy with respect to anti-discrimination practices. Employers must prove that their employment practices are not designed to be discriminatory and also that those practices do not have a discriminatory effect.

    Many and perhaps most of those employers have decided to shield themselves by not resume searching as they can’t feasibly record each and every search, the people who came up in the search results, and the resumes those people had at the time of the search. Similarly, those employers require all candidates to apply at the employer’s web site using the same process. If some candidates can apply one way and other candidates another, then the employer will have the burden of proving that the candidates in both groups are the same as far as race, gender, age, etc. go or that the minority candidates were put at no disadvantage. Good luck proving that.

    So I question how any employer which is subject to an audit by the OFCCP (the federal office which regularly sues large employers and makes them prove they aren’t discriminating) can use this LinkedIn universal apply button. Third party recruiters (headhunters) will love this as it will make it easier for candidates to apply to their job postings. Rogue corporate recruiters or organizations which are ignorant or have chosen to ignore the law will also love this button. But for the vast majority of Fortune 2000 and federal government employers, this button is going to need to go unused.

    I certainly understand LinkedIn’s desire to make their apply button ubiquitous and some employers will feel the same way, but I can also foresee significant resistance by job boards and other sourcing tools and employers who actually track the source of their hires.

    If an employer posts a job to Monster, Careerbuilder, CollegeRecruiter.com or any other job board, that employer should want to know how many applications they received from that posting and how many of the applications turned into hires. But if the employer includes the LinkedIn apply button, who gets credit? I suspect LinkedIn even though the candidate read the posting on a different job board. And by “different,” yes, I am referring to LinkedIn as a job board. Anyone who still doubts that doesn’t understand their business model or is naive.

    So why should an employer care whether LinkedIn gets credit or Monster etc.? Because it should influence how that employer spends its recruitment advertising dollars moving forward. If they end up with the mistaken belief that LinkedIn is driving its applicants because of the apply button taking credit away from Monster etc. then the employer will spend more money on LinkedIn and less money on Monster. That will end up hurting the employer and Monster and benefiting LinkedIn. That isn’t in the employer’s best interest.

    I applaud LinkedIn for the innovation and for those employers who don’t spend money advertising their job openings then the source of hire isn’t all that important. More and more, that group seems disproportionately skewed to third party recruiters. They typically spend far less money advertising positions than do corporate recruiters and that makes sense because third party recruiters don’t add much value if all they do is advertise an opening and then screen the applicants.

  • Job Search Tips: Are Niche Job Boards For You?

    July 26, 2011 by

    You may have pondered the idea of jumping onto a niche job board to conduct your searches but wonder if it’s good for you.  While everyone is definitely different in their approach to conducting a job search, when comparing the niche job board to larger boards that spread across all industries, the answer to whether it’s good for you is “Yes!”

    If you want more details as to why the niche job board is a good option for just about every job seeker, here are some reasons to consider:

    Sometimes Large Job Boards Are Too Broad

    While it is undoubtedly beneficial to use numerous tools available to you while job seeking, you might notice that some tools are not as helpful as others.  In the case of the larger job boards that cover all industries, you may have a difficult time being found by recruiters who have to sort through many applicants.

    By using a niche job board, you have the opportunity to look for jobs and be exposed to recruiters in a smaller environment.  You know for sure that the jobs you’re looking for are directly related to your profession, and recruiters can find you more easily because the number of seekers who have posted resumes is fewer.

    You May Locate Opportunities Not Found Elsewhere

    Some job seekers are surprised to discover that jobs offered on niche job boards are oftentimes not found elsewhere.  This is because some hiring managers are not interested in posting on a larger job board, then sifting through applications that are not targeted to the job.

    Their success rate is often better when they utilize a niche job board that deters candidates who are not really focused on the industry.  So they post jobs in this setting and nowhere else.

    Hiring Managers Sometimes List Personal Contact Information

    Very often, hiring managers don’t post their direct contact information on larger job boards because they don’t want to be bombarded with calls and e-mails.  But on smaller niche job boards, you may find that a hiring manager will allow you to e-mail your resume directly to him or her versus routing you to a generic application.  This gives you the opportunity to engage in more intimate communication throughout the application process.

    The good news is that there are more and more niche job boards cropping up that cater to just about any industry you can think of.  So if you think participating on one is for you, then now’s the time to jump on board!

    For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume or visit our blog.

     

    Author: An exceptional resume authority, Jessica Hernandez and her team of credentialed writers partner with professional- and executive-level candidates to open doors to jobs at prestigious corporations, achieving over a 99% interview-winning success rate.

    Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

  • Job Interview Tips: 3 Opportunities to Make a Great Impression in the Interview

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    In your job interview, the details matter. The big picture is often the same, in terms of the process, but how you handle each individual step tells the interviewer a tremendous amount about you and how you’ll approach the job. Here are 3 opportunities for you to stand out from your competition:

    Presentation

    Make a great first impression by dressing well for your interview—usually that means you should try to aim for conservative but stylish. What you want is to look like you’re on top of the trends while avoiding things that could potentially offend an interviewer (like a tattoo) or distract from your message (like strong scents or a low-cut blouse). I think pants are fine for women to wear, though.

    Watch your body language, too. Lean forward, smile, be calm—no nervous, fidgety gestures.

    Overall, you want your confidence and professionalism to shine through. If you’re unsure about how you’re coming across in an interview situation, make the investment in a personal interview coaching session.

    Preparation

    You know you’ve got to do your research on the company before your interview—do you know why? It’s because (1) you don’t want to waste your allotted interview time on things you can find out on your own; and (2) it helps you formulate in-depth, knowledgeable questions (asking questions is important), come up with targeted answers for typical interview questions, and create your 30-60-90-day plan.

    Go through your brag book and highlight things that you think will really play well with this interviewer at this company. When the time is right in the interview, you’ll be presenting job-relevant information—it’s evidence that counts.

    Planning

    Create a 30-60-90-day action plan for what you’ll do in the first 90 days on the job. It doesn’t have to be complicated…it just has to show that you’ve thought about the position and how you’ll be successful at it for this particular company. But remember, it’s not a one-size-fits-all document: a 30-60-90-day plan is most effective when you include company-specific details that customize it.

    Don’t forget to coach your references! Give your references a heads-up that you’re going for this interview, and maybe even remind them of particular instances or qualities that will be especially helpful for this position. Good references can be the finishing touch that convince the hiring manager to offer you the job.

     

    Author Byline: Peggy McKee
    Author Website: http://www.career-confidential.com

    Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

  • How to Make Your Cover Letter a Perfect Fit for Any Opening

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    Let’s face it, a blanket cover letter just isn’t going to cut it these days. So how can you make the best use of your time while maximizing your results? Here are a few simple steps to customizing your cover letters. (And if you don’t think you SHOULD customize your cover letter for each application you submit, then we have bigger problems than I thought …)

    A MEMORABLE OPENER

    Here’s a mistake I see more and more job seekers making: the opening line on their cover letter reads, “Please accept this in response to the (position) advertised on month day, year …” What’s wrong with this kind of opening line? Everyone uses it. The point of your job search is to stand out from the crowd—not get lost in the midst of it. Instead, try using something similar to your branding statement. You can easily tweak your branding statement to be a customized opening line.

    For example: With more than 10 years of profit-driven project management expertise …

    What’s different about this opening line? I’m already addressing the company’s need for a bottom-line-driven project manager; sharing my years of experience; and hitting the job title on the dot. That’s three big points you’ve scored in the first line alone.

    FACTS THAT SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS

    After you’ve written your opening lines (which express your interest in the position and introduce you to the prospective employer) immediately jump into how you can meet the organization’s needs based on the requirements the company posted in its online ad or job description.

    “I see you are interested in hiring someone with strategic-change management experience.” (Or whatever the key requirement of the position is—highlight it here). Then tell—or even better, SHOW—the reader why you have that experience: “In my present role with ABC Distributors, I did XYZ, which resulted in JKL.” Showing the potential employer—right off the bat—that you possess a desired attribute or requirement for the position will prompt the hiring manager to invest more time in reading your resume. If your cover letter states—in so many words—“I am the perfect match for your opening, and I can meet/exceed your needs …” then you immediately get my attention, and I’m more likely to invest time in reviewing your resume. Here’s a tip: do not use bullet points or material word-for-word from your resume; provide the hiring manager with fresh information on your cover letter.

    DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT

    Here are a few small details to remember when crafting a cover letter to fit a specific opening:

    -Make sure that your cover letter heading matches your resume’s.
    -Include your branding statement with your header at the top of your cover letter. It enforces your brand and provides a polished touch.
    -Include a quote from a former employer if relevant and hard-hitting. This is a great way to “sell” what you’re capable of accomplishing for an organization. If the prospective employer has a specific requirement in its job ad—and you’ve already done that somewhere else and have a great recommendation or quote from a previous supervisor to back it up—WOW!! There really isn’t any better sales/marketing material than that. Not much can beat a quote about your results.

    CLOSE WITH CONTACT

    Always offer at the close of your letter to follow up with the employer/hiring manager via phone, e-mail, snail mail, whatever … within a specific time frame (be it one week or two or whenever). Also, be sure to include your contact information so they can reach out to you. Keep the closing professional, polished, and concise. You don’t want to appear desperate or unprofessional.

     

     

    Guest Post by Jessica Hernandez of http://www.greatresumesfast.com. Jessica has a true passion for the job seeker, evidenced by her desire to share everything she can with everyone she can about resume writing and interviewing.

    Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.