ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted August 26, 2016 by

Back-to-school free resume critique

Resume writing tips written on notebook courtesy of Shutterstock.com

kenary820/Shutterstock.com

College and university students who are starting their fall semesters know that right after Labor Day the frenzy of on-campus recruiting begins. There’s a little bit of a breather from mid-November until the beginning of January and then the frenzy continues through March.

When was the last time someone with training reviewed your resume and made specific recommendations to you for how it could be better? Are you missing keywords that employers will find when they’re searching a database? Is your language active instead of passive? Do you have specific accomplishments listed? Are your career goals spelled out clearly? (more…)

Posted February 17, 2012 by

How Career Coaches Help Job Seekers

Laura Labovich of Aspire! Empower! Career Strategy GroupEach month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes an Economic News Release outlining the duration-of-unemployment in the United States. As of February 3rd, 2012, the numbers indicate that longer than six month job searches still prevail. According to the survey, in January 19.3 percent of job seekers found work in less than 5 weeks; 22.4 percent in 5 to 14 weeks; 15.4 percent in 15 to 26 weeks; and the majority, 42.9 percent, found that their job search extended past 27 weeks.

According to Laura M. Labovich, founder of Aspire! Empower! Career Strategy Group, a DC-based career firm, “As a job seeker, getting expert career advice at the onset of a search is critical, and can shorten the duration of unemployment in the long run.” (more…)

Posted December 05, 2011 by

Give Yourself an AMAZING Cover Letter for the Holidays

Do you look forward to the holidays––and dread them at the same time? November and December often blur together as we move from Thanksgiving to the December Holidays. And the next thing you know it’s time to celebrate the next twelve months on New Year’s Eve!

If this sounds familiar, you, like many people, may be caught in a holi-daze. Cooking, shopping, entertaining, cleaning, and organizing take over. If you’re in the market for a new job you may be tempted to put off writing that cover letter till all the celebrations are over. (more…)

Posted July 03, 2008 by

Creating Your Cover Letter When Feeling Overqualified

Are you highly skilled in your profession, yet seeking a job that for which you are probably overqualified? It is never bad to come into a position already encompassing a boatload of skills. However, some employers are intimidated by applicants who they feel are overqualified, which means you may have your work cut out for you.
If you know you have high qualifications, but think this could stand in the way of the job you want, you can use your cover letter to change minds. Let’s look at some ways you can get this done …
Explain Your Motivation
If you’ve been in a top position for many years, you may feel that it is time to lower your level of stress and get back to the basics of your profession. For example, you may have been the director of a non-profit for many years, working diligently to write grants and develop initiatives to bring money into your organization. However, the strenuous lifestyle has left you ready to step into a smaller role as a non-profit event coordinator, something that will offer time to relax and be with your family.
While this is good motivation, an unknowing organization only seeing your background might question your decision to downgrade. So when writing your cover letter, it’s good to focus on how taking this step will offer fulfillment in your career – and life. Many hiring managers will understand your motivation, and appreciate you bringing your advanced knowledge to the table.
Remember that Your Experience is a Plus
By being overqualified, you’re coming with an overwhelming amount of experience – something the organization or company can truly benefit from. So when writing your cover letter, try to stay away from any verbiage that makes your level of experience sound like a handicap. Instead, try explaining some of the ways that your experience can enhance their mission. Take some time to research what they are striving for then incorporate your skills and advanced knowledge in a way that can present thought-provoking ideas for making a difference.
For example, you can explain how as coordinator you would like to create events to entertain disadvantaged children, or bring in business professionals to help homeless individuals prepare for the work world. It’s no secret that your expansive experience gives you a wide and beneficial perspective. But letting them know that your only agenda is using that experience to enhance their goals could positively affect whether you’re considered for the job.
Let Them Know You’re Not Going Anywhere
When writing your cover letter, it’s good to assure the employer you’re not going anywhere. Some hiring managers may fear that with your experience they may fall victim to an employee “hit and run.” That is, you may depart prematurely if you get bored. Even worse, you might ask for money outside of their budget, or suffer from a superiority complex. None of these behaviors are desired by employers. But by highlighting your commitment to all previous jobs, you can express that they have nothing to worry about.
Remember, being overqualified for a job is not the end of the world. So by focusing on your passion in your cover letter, you can overshadow any doubts prospective employers may have regarding your sincerity, and possibly secure that position you want.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of http://www.ResumeLines.com who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.

Posted October 05, 2007 by

Cover Letter Mistake #3: Call Me Because I Won’t Call You

The last paragraph of your cover letter can be very powerful. How you end it could leave a lasting impression with the employer – good or bad. So before you sign off using your typical, “Please call me at your earliest convenience to set up an interview” kind of mumbo-jumbo, take care to let the employer off the hook and put the responsibility to follow-up squarely on your shoulders.
Mark this date
By stating that you’re going to follow up with the employer on a particular day makes you appear confident and willing to go the extra mile for an interview. It makes them feel important and that you honestly want to know about the job if you are willing to follow up with them.
It also eases the pressure off of them since they expect you to call. If they’re interested in speaking with you, they might set your resume aside and mark it down in their planner that you are going to call. That way they can be prepared to schedule an interview.
Do what you say
Whatever you do, if you write in your cover letter that you’re going to call them on a specific day, by all means – do it! By not following through, you have jeopardized ever getting called by the employer.
This is actually worse than including a passive ending in your cover letter. By not following up like you claimed you would, you’re showing yourself to be irresponsible – not a highly sought out trait for a new employee.

Go the extra mile

If you follow up the date that you stated and never could get in touch with the contact, you can leave a voice mail stating that you were following up on the specific job posting. You can choose to follow-up with an email and/or try to call them back another day. The point is to let them know that you followed up when you said you would.
Now don’t get me wrong, you do want to try to actually speak to them. However, you don’t want to harass them either. Give it a couple of shots and if you can’t get them on the phone, leave a message and follow-up via email, if you so choose.
Follow-up is very important. That’s why stating you’re going to do so in your cover letter is impressive and important to the hiring manager. Keep it simple, keep your word and you might just come out with an interview.
Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and owner of http://www.ResumeLines.com who is now dedicated to providing job seekers with resources and products that promote job search success from beginning to end.

Posted August 22, 2006 by

A Cover Letter Tip Or Two To Get More Interviews

Here’s a cover letter tip to get more interviews. Use a bulleted format cover letter rather than a standard letter in paragraphs. The bulleted format is more eye catching, and is more likely to be glanced at by the hiring manager or other person assigned to sort through resumes. This tip will help you get your resume seen by more people and as a result get more interviews and more job offers.

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Posted August 22, 2006 by

Cover Letters for Teachers Should Emphasize Qualifications and Attitude

Cover letters for teachers need to emphasize qualifications as well as attitude. Education professionals need to come into the field with an attitude of service coupled with a commitment to excellence and a desire to work closely with students. Cover letters for teachers should reflect all of these points, as should resumes for teachers, and any other self marketing materials used by education professionals.

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Posted August 22, 2006 by

Cover Letter Writing Made Simple

Cover letter writing is almost as important a skill for a job seeker to learn as resume writing. The cover letter accompanies the resume at all times as the primary support document. Whether you use traditional mail, email, faxing, or another type of electronic submission, a cover letter should always be sent with the resume. There are, of course, other tools you’ll use when job seeking. Your cover letter and resume come first of course, followed by follow-up letters, thank-you letters for after the interview, reference sheets, salary histories, and job acceptance letters. If you have good cover letter writing skills, and good resume writing skills, the other written tools should be a snap to compose.

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Posted August 22, 2006 by

Cover Letter with Salary Requirement

Most professional job postings request that a resume or cover letter with salary requirement be submitted when applying for the position. Often, in addition to disclosing a salary requirement a history of previous salaries will be asked for as well. The first rule to follow when submitting a cover letter with salary requirement is that is the job posting or advertisement does not ask for salary information, do not provide any. All salary information is best broached by the potential employer at his or her chosen time.

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Posted August 22, 2006 by

How to Write a Resume Cover Letter

The initial contact with a potential employer usually is comprised of a cover letter and a resume, but many people don’t know how to write a resume cover letter that complements their resume. The resume is usually a basic description about an applicant including their education, skills and achievements. The cover letter is the perfect opportunity for an individual to specifically address the reasons why a potential employer might want to consider an individual for a particular job position.

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