This week, we provide answers to a few of the questions we’ve received recently from visitors and viewers.
Most of the job posts you’ll encounter during your search will involve simple application requirements. Employers typically ask for a resume, a cover letter, and sometimes an attached link to your website. At the very most, you may be asked to submit a list of references.
You’ve been the owner of your own business for years, and now you’d like to step away from the ups and downs of independence and back into the workplace as an employee of somebody else’s company. You may also be a full time contractor or freelancer, but circumstances are pushing you toward stability, a 401K, and the health insurance options available through full time work.
You’ve been on the job market for a little while now, and you’ve received several calls and email responses from potential employers…but these responses, phone screenings, and calls are revealing an odd pattern. These employers are asking questions that are addressed directly in your resume and cover letter, sometimes on the very first line, or in the bold heading at the top of the page. Or five times through the text of both documents. You’re not sure how to answer questions like “Have you ever done this kind of work before?” or “What state do you live in?” Or “Have you studied this subject at all?” Why is this happening? And what does it mean? Here are a few possibilities.
Most job posts ask potential applicants to submit a resume and cover letter to a manager’s email address or company inbox. Some ask applicants to upload these documents through the company website, or submit them using a company-specific app.
Here’s a quick pop quiz with only one question: What’s the most important sentence in your cover letter? Of course, every detail of your letter will play a critical role in the job search process, but if you knew that one sentence had more influence than any other and you had to choose which one, how would you answer? Hint: It’s not the first.
If your cover letter isn’t bringing in the responses you’d like, these four possibilities may be contributing to the problem. Unfortunately, busy hiring managers are usually focused on finding the right candidate for the position at hand, and they don’t often have time to provide detailed feedback to the runners-up in the applicant pool. So if your letter is passed over or the line goes silent, you may be left guessing regarding what went wrong. Consider these four possibilities, and make some adjustments as necessary.
Shifting from one career to another may not be nearly as daunting—or as uncommon—as it seems at first. Just because you’ve committed a few years of higher education, or a few years in the workforce, or both, to a specific discipline or industry doesn’t mean you’re bound that that industry for the duration of your working life. But to make the switch successfully, you’ll need to present yourself to employers in your new field with confidence and determination. Here are a few cover letter moves that can help.
Your resume and cover letter should tell employers everything about you…Or more accurately, it should tell them everything they need to know in order to make an informed hiring decision. As they read through your application materials, reviewers should get a sense of your educational background, your experience with this type of work, your professional ambitions for the future, and what it might be like to sit beside you and work with you all day, every day.
While you toil away at the job search process, keep in mind that your cover letter already has a job: helping you get hired. Consider your cover letter an employee of You, Inc. And as you monitor its performance and make the changes and edits that can help it contribute to company success, keep your letter’s job description in mind.