Career Change Galway

Selling yourself on paper…!

Annie Lankford talks about selling yourself on paper so as to secure job interviews in the future, below are some brief extracts from her thoughts.

There are 3 common types of cover letters:

  • 1-2 body paragraphs
  • Match desired skills/experiences listed in the job/position description
  • Use key words
  • Expand on your resume
  • What skills did you gain?
  • What knowledge did you learn?
  • How does this relate to what the position is calling for?
  • Chance to explain employment gaps
  • Be confident!

Key Questions:

  • The specific organization/business
  • The job that you are applying for

Where you explain to the employer why you should be selected for an interview, create a critical first impression of who you are to the employer

  • References are on a separate sheet of paper from CV
  • Should have the same exact heading and layout of your CV
  • First and Last Name
  • Job Title
  • Organization/Business/Institution
  • E-mail and phone number
  • If reference no longer works there, try to get their personal contact information
  • Consider writing a brief statement on how you know the person

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a picture of who YOU are!

  • Avoid family and friends
  • Professional references: those that are familiar with your “work”
  • Supervisors, executive directors, co-workers, etc.
  • Personal references: those that are familiar with your overall character
  • Religious leader, teacher, professor, person you volunteered for
  • Ask permission if it’s OK to list them as a reference
  • Give a copy of resume + job description to references

How To Sell Yourself On Paper:

  • Name and Contact Information
  • Use same header as resume
  • Date
  • Recipient’s information
  • Name, title, company and address
  • Salutation
  • Avoid “To Whom It May Concern”
  • If unable to locate specific contact person:
  • “Dear Hiring Manager”
  • “Dear Hiring Committee”

What can you do for the employer?

  • Why are you writing?
  • Specify position
  • HOW did you learn of the position?
  • Why are you interested in applying?
  • Playing up your skills
  • Gaps in your employment
  • Explaining “other experience”
  • One Page
  • 10-12 point font (Times, Arial, Calibri)
  • Use standard business letter (block) format
  • Print on resume or high quality paper
  • Proofread, Proofread, PROOFREAD!

Body Paragraph:

  • Application Cover Letter
  • Referral/Networking Cover Letter
  • Letter of Interest

Why are cover letters so important?

A letter sent with your resume that:

  • Provides additional information about your skills and experience
  • States how you are the best match for the job that you are applying for

Closing Paragraph:

  • Did you emphasize your related experience and skills?
  • Have you sold yourself on paper?
  • If roles were reversed, would you consider your CV to be a strong applicant?
  • Summarize your qualifications
  • Express interest in an interview/meeting
  • Thank the employer for their time and attention

Source: prezi.com

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