We have all been on that hunt for the perfect job—the job that gets you excited to go to work every day, the job that advances your skill set, the job that pays the bills. Job searching can be thrilling and stimulating, frustrating and exhausting, or all of that rolled into one! So where do you start? How do you communicate your uniqueness and talent to a prospective employer? If you are unemployed, underemployed, a recent graduate, or in a career transition, we are confident this information will help guide you in the right direction.
Our suggestion is that your first step be to create a succinct and easy-to-read resume to list your skills, experience, and education. Do not stop there. A resume can only give a snapshot of your personal work history. In order to give yourself the edge you need in applying for jobs, you will need to compose a cover letter to highlight your distinctive qualities. This is your chance to really make an impression on a hiring team. You have the opportunity here to introduce yourself, extend the information on your resume, make a personal connection to the company, and explain how you came to be at your present work or educational situation. A cover letter is a very important piece of the job application process that may be the difference in getting hired or getting no attention at all.
Most of us are not lucky enough to apply for one dream job, interview, and lock up a deal right away. The average job candidate applies for several positions in sometimes very different industries throughout their job-seeking journey. This means that it is imperative for you to modify and customize your cover letter to cater to each company in which you are interested. Your basic contact information and introduction can stay the same, but you will want to be sure to change information connected to the unique positions and companies you are courting.
There are a few things you will want to consider including in your cover letter while changing each time it goes out to a new, potential employer. The first relates to whom you should address the cover letter. Do some research on the company to find the name of the department head or person in charge of hiring. It shows that you took some care and thought into looking them up. This name, of course, will differ for each application. Next, make sure your letter is exclusive to the job for which you are applying. If it is for a management position, highlight your managerial skills, experience, and education. Be specific and personal. This will help your cover letter and resume stand out. Generic letters show a lack of earnest interest in the company. At the end of your cover letter, subtly persuade the reader to take some kind of action. For instance, you may invite them to call you for an interview or to check your references. Also, let them know that you will be following up with them. This shows initiative on your part. This ending on your cover letter can remain about the same for each application.