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Writing a Cover Letter / Job Application Letter

Writing a Cover Letter / Job Application Letter

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Writing a Cover Letter / Job Application Letter

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  1. Writing a Cover Letter / Job Application Letter

  2. Cover Letter / Job Application Letter • Similar to sales letter • Emphasize what you can do for the company and why you feel you are qualified • For organization, follow A I D A ttention nterest esire ction

  3. Attention (Paragraph 1) • Businesslike beginning. • Summary of qualifications • Name of referent • Question of reader benefit • News item related to employer • Other relevant reader-oriented statement • Mention of specific job or field of interest

  4. Interest, Desire, Conviction (2 or 3paragraphs) • Discussion of your qualifications from a reader-benefit or reader-interest • Education and Training • Work Experience • Significant personal attitude, interests, activities and qualities • Reference to resume

  5. Action (1 paragraph) • Request for interview at reader’s convenience, with suggestions when you will be available • Easy action • Phone number • Hours you can be reached

  6. Writing a Great Resume

  7. KISS Keep it Straight & Simple Short & Crisp One - Page Reader Friendly Follow Order of Relevance Use Bullets Be Brief and Clear Projects, Achievements Test of Recency, Knowledge & Relevance

  8. Prep Step 1: Know what you have to offer • Think of functional skills SAMPLE FUNCTIONAL SKILLS Advising people Handling complaints Planning agendas Analyzing data Interpreting languages Programming computers Auditing financial recordsInterviewing people Promoting events Budgeting expenses Investigating problems Recruiting people Compiling statistics Listening to others Reviewing programs Coordinating events Managing projects Running meetings Corresponding with othersMediating between people Selling products & services Creating new ideas Motivating others Speaking in public Delegating responsibility Negotiating contracts Supervising others Designing data systems Organizing people & tasks Teaching classes Editing publications Persuading others Writing for publication Try it now! List three of your functional skills.

  9. Prep Step 1: Know what you have to offer • Think of personal qualities SAMPLE PERSONAL QUALITIES Assertive Expressive Persistent Attention to detail Firm Perform well under stress Authentic Flexible Poised Candid Generous Resourceful Committed to growth Hard working Respectful Cooperative Honest Sense of Humor Curious Loyal Sincere Dynamic Open-minded Spontaneous Empathic Optimistic Tolerant Enthusiastic Patient Versatile Try it now! List three of your personal qualities.

  10. Prep Step 1: Know what you have to offer • Think of functional skills & personal qualities • Build your list of… • work experience • academics • volunteer work • classes • course projects • activities • clubs • languages • technical skills • and so on… Try it now! List at least five activities / experiences.

  11. Use Action Verbs! Keep it brief and to the point Your Résumé should be practical and not theoretical!

  12. What should I put on my resume? • Follow the three tenets of resume writing: • Every resume has a purpose • Everything on your resume supports that purpose • The items that best support your purpose come first

  13. Resume Categories – Identification • Name – Biggest thing on the resume • Full Address – May need current & permanent • Phone number with area code • Email – (Make it professional!)

  14. Resume Categories - Objective • What does an objective do? • Clarifies the purpose of your resume • Presents a clear statement of your goals • When should I use an objective? • Include it on the resume when it is very targeted • specific type of position • specific skills you offer

  15. Career Objective • General Abstract Version: • To progress, through hard work, from an entry-level accounts representative position to supervisory level position. • Personalized version: • To join Ahmed Advertising agency as an entry-level accounts representative and through experience and training, progress to a supervisory role in creative projects.

  16. Be sure to include: Names of Schools Degrees Earned Major / Minor Date Attended or Graduation Date Could also include GPA (general rule, include if 3.0 or above) Honors / Awards Selected Courses Resume Categories – Education

  17. Resume Categories – Experience • Required Information • Name of Employer / Organization • Location – City & State • Position Title • Dates • Duties, Responsibilities & Accomplishments

  18. Resume Categories – Experience • Guidelines for duties, responsibilities & accomplishments • Include most relevant skills & qualities • Most relevant information comes first • Use strong action verbs • Provide evidence of skills & qualities by quantifying information

  19. Qualification Highlights Summary Relevant Courses Course Projects Honors & Awards Resume Categories - Other • Work Experience • Management Experience • Research Experience • Leadership Experience • Other Experience • Computer Skills • Professional Associations / Memberships • Languages • Community Service

  20. Avoid giving too much information Hobbies Height, Weight Health Marital Status

  21. Putting It All Together…Formatting • Attract & hold your reader’s attention • Combinations of capital lettering, underlining, bold face type, and indentations can jazz up your paper • Well placed white space can help the reader’s eye move across the paper • Whatever format you choose, be sure to be consistent

  22. objective contact education major gpa overall in major ‘special coursework’ job title company experience tasks activities offices ‘refs available’ How does a good résumé look?

  23. Three Types of Resumes • Chronological • Functional • Hybrid

  24. Remember A resume does not get you a job… A resume does get you an interview. And, putting time and consideration into your resume is one of the best ways to prepare for your interviews!

  25. How to Give an Interview?

  26. There are different types of interviews: • On-campus interviews • The Group interview • The Panel interview • The One-on-One interview

  27. Employer Objectives * Meet you and put a “face” to a résume * Assess your communication skills * Get to know you * Describe details of the position * Fill in gaps in your résume or history * Determine if you are a good fit with the organization and the position

  28. Applicant Objectives • Sell yourself • Learn more about the position • Learn more about the organization • Get the job offer • Decide if you want the position


  30. Research -- Be able to ask ??? • Research -- Be able to ask intelligent questions • Newspaper articles • Talk to people who work for the company • Visit their internet site • Check Human Resource Department for press kit about company history

  31. Rehearsal Time • Interview with a friend • Practice typical questions using a mirror and tape recorder

  32. What Should I Wear? ?

  33. Dress For Success • Be conservative in dress. • Avoid loud colors and printed fabrics. • Make sure your clothes are nicely pressed.

  34. AT THE INTERVIEW It’s Showtime

  35. Body Language • Good Posture • Sit up straight: edge or back of the chair Avoid crossing legs and arms • Inviting Gestures • Firm handshake • Nod your head, indicates you are listening.

  36. Body Language • Eye Contact • Indicates confidence. • Speak Clearly • Standard English, not slang. • Not only what you say, but how you say it.

  37. Typical Questions • Tell me about yourself. • What are your strengths? • What are your weaknesses? • What are some of your goals? • Do you like working with others or on your own? Honesty is the best policy???

  38. Typical Tough Questions??? • What qualities do you have that offset your lack of experience? • Are you going to move to a better job as soon as you gain experience here? • If you are faced with a deadline you can’t meet, what will you do? Stay Calm. Don’t be Defensive. Focus on your Skills.

  39. BEHAVIOR-BASED INTERVIEWS Five Popular Behavior-Based Questions: • Give me a specific example of a time when you sold your supervisor or professor on an idea or concept. (Shows negotiation and persuasive skills) • Describe the system you use for keeping track of multiple projects. (Shows organization and prioritizing skills)

  40. Tell me about a time when you came up with an innovative solution to a challenge your company or class was facing. (Shows creativity and imagination) • Describe a specific problem you solved for your employer or professor. (Shows problem-solving and decision-making skills) • Describe a time when you handled a disgruntled customer. (Shows communication and customer service skills)

  41. Employee Questions • Whom would I be working with most closely? • How many people have held this job in the last 10 years? Where did they go? • What advancement do you see for me in five years if I have proven myself?

  42. Questions to Avoid • Salary • Research other companies, give a range • Vacations • Benefits • Sick leave

  43. Final Comments • Thank the interviewer for the interview • Decide a convenient time you can call on the hiring status

  44. TOP TEN NEGATIVE FACTORS EVALUATED BY INTERVIEWERS 1. Poor personal appearance 2. Lack of planning for career – no purpose, goals, or focus 3. Lack of confidence and poise – nervousness 4. Overemphasis on compensation as the deciding factor 5. Making excuses for unfavorable events in work history 6. Lack of tact, maturity, and courtesy – overbearing or egotistical behavior 7. Condemnation of past employers 8. Failure to look the interviewer in the eye 9. Limp handshake 10. Failure to appreciate the value of experience

  45. After an Interview Following Up