Posts tagged Cover Letter
How do you handle employment gaps on your resume? Most people have a gap in their employment history at some point in time. The length of this time may vary and this is where the difficulty in addressing it lies. On top of this, there are numerous reasons for gaps, perhaps because of a company-wide layoff, maternity leave, health issues, family emergencies, going back to college? These are all valid reasons for employment gaps. But how do you explain this on your resume?
A short employment gap of a month or two is not of high concern to those with several years of experience. However, at first glance, a recruiter or hiring manager is likely to see a long employment gap and immediately raise a brow. A great analogy was stated on Careerealism, an employee is like a house that’s for sale. If it sits on the market for too long, buyers assume that something is wrong. When you decide to take six to nine months off, employers start to wonder the same thing about you.
If you left to pursue a degree, the “education” section of your resume will show this gap. You can also create a “volunteer” section if you took time off to pursue this route. For parenting or other family related reasons be sure to highlight the reasons in your cover letter. You don’t have to get too personal, but a brief explanation If you’re returning to the workforce after an extended absence unrelated to these topics, show how you’ve kept up-to-date with changes in your industry. Don’t just let the cover letter explain it all. That’s like leaving your job search to chance. On your resume showcase how you have remained up to date with your skills.
If asked about the gap during a job interview, use the same brief explanation indicated in your cover letter. You want to convey that the situation is over and you are focused on rejoining the workforce.
For more advice on how to explain employment gaps, click here.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on January 28, 2013 at 10:06 am, and is filed under How To Answer, Right Your Resume. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the start of the New Year is a popular time of year for job seekers. This is a great time to reinvent your job search and approach it with a fresh strategy. This new strategy needs to come with an approach on how to stand out from the crowd. Throw out your generic resume, focus on growing your network and tap into your creative side.
- Tailor your resume and cover letter
Focus on your two to three of your strongest strengths and link them to the primary responsibilities of the position you are seeking. Show how you have learned new tasks and adapted to changes in past positions. An interest in learning is always appealing to hiring managers, but just don’t say it, show examples.
- Grow your network
Position yourself as an emerging leader in your field by creating a content-rich blogs and establishing strong social media presence. Try to make yourself a go-to resource or “expert” on a specific subject matter. One way to build your network of followers is to cite articles and posts from industry leaders in your field. Become active on industry social platforms, such as specialized LinkedIn groups. Don’t limit yourself to only growing your online presence; attend industry networking events to meet industry leaders and members of your industry face to face.
- Tap into your creative side
Get creative with not only the job search process, but with the application process, too. With regards to job searching, look into niche boards with focus on your industry. These boards generally have smaller applicant pools meaning less competition. During the application process, consider a video, multimedia or infographic resume, if appropriate for the position you are applying to.
Remember, you need take action. You will go nowhere fast if you don’t make any moves. You never know what could come of new job search strategies.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on January 11, 2013 at 10:22 am, and is filed under Job Search. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Many job seekers hope to start the New Year with a new job.
As you start or continue your search, here are a few job hunting myths you should be aware of:
Myth 1: If you haven’t heard back that means the job is filled.
This is not necessarily true. Do not let this discourage you during your search. If you haven’t done so already, send a follow up email or phone call to the hiring manager for an update on the hiring process.
Myth 2: I am not the most qualified so I won’t land the job.
You’re skills and experience are very important, but personality and eagerness to learn can go just as far with employers.
Myth 3: It’s not what you know; it’s who you know that counts.
Truth is: it’s both. A good referral can get you an interview, but if you don’t have the skills and experience your referral won’t get you much further, if at all.
Myth 4: Send out as many resumes as possible.
It is not very difficult to spot out a generic resume. Be sure to tailor your resume for each job you apply for, especially for different roles. You want to showcase your talents for each position and only apply to roles you are qualified for.
Myth 5: It’s best to always accept the first offer.
Receiving a job offer is very exciting, but don’t accept an offer for the sake of an offer. Take a step back and think it over first, perhaps you can even make a pros and cons list.
Myth 6: Nobody reads cover letters.
While we all secretly wish this was true, it’s simply not the case. Cover letters are a great way to provide information that may not be effectively expressed through a resume, while also showcasing your writing skills.
Myth 7: A resume should always be one page.
Limiting your resume to one page presents a huge challenge to experienced job seekers if it means that you must also eliminate potentially important information. Make sure you include the most relevant information in the first page if you must spill onto a second page.
Want to learn about more? Click here for additional job search myths.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on January 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm, and is filed under Job Search. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Here is a look back on some of the most memorable posts on The Job Pyramid in 2012!
Highlights: Your major does not define your career path. Your major should play to your strengths. Inform employers about the skills you learned through your major, not the major itself.
Highlights: One-way interviews pre-screen candidates by having them respond to pre-set questions without a recruiter on the other end. Two-way interviews are conducted using a video calling service, such as Skype.
Highlights: Did you know, 72% of resumes are never seen by human eyes? Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing if a company uses one or not. The best way to approach this problem is to tailor your resume just like you would for a hiring manager. You have to read through your resume, delete all of the clutter and focus on the important key words.
Highlights: If you have done the proper research on the company before the interview, you may have knowledge of upcoming developments or recent/on-going projects at the company. You should definitely incorporate this somewhere in the interview, but make sure it’s organic. Other topics you should mention are your skills and how they relate to the job as well as the industry as a whole.
Highlights: You should always treat the phone interview the same way you would an in-person job interview. Make sure you are in an area that has good reception and quiet. Don’t get too comfortable in the room and if possible, schedule the interview for a time of day when you’re most alert.
Highlights: Use your cover letter as a method of influence and persuasion. Captivate with the first sentence. Make a personal connection. Follow the “Don’t Overuse ‘I’ Rule”. Showcase your accomplishments. There is no “I” in “TEAM”
Highlights: Research the event to find out the types of people/clients that will be attending. This way you can think of a general topic ahead of time that most would be interested in discussing. Use your own experiences to add to the conversation. Ask people about their work.
Highlights: Keep it up to date – whenever you have an update, post it. Refresh your keywords and specialties – search online for common words that best describe what you do and use these key words organically. Be aware – create multiple online profiles and a personal blog and make sure they are all connected to enhance your personal search rankings.
Highlights: If possible, gain some internship experience in the field where you’re applying. Understand that there is a fine line between being persistent and being a nuisance. Make sure you emphasize your accomplishments and not your credentials. Always come prepared with questions to ask the interviewer and customize your resume.
Highlights: Draft some basic questions you know you’ll be asked and rehearse in front a mirror or a friend. Do not start to dream up scenarios about how the interview can go wrong. Think positively. Get enough sleep. Take deep breaths to release anxiety. Take a trip to the office building before the day of your interview. This will reassure you that you are able to get there, how long it will take and will give you a visual of what you’re walking into.
And that’s a wrap! Looking forward to continue writing in 2013!
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on December 31, 2012 at 9:25 am, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Cover letters, some believe that they are important by providing information that may not be effectively expressed through a resume while others see them as a waste of time with little or no benefit. This article is not to showcase the arguments of both sides when in all honesty it is up to each hiring manager. A cover letter should entice the hiring manager to look further into your application. It’s a way to persuade and engage. General rule of thumb: if one is required or asked for, provide one.
The question posed here “how do you write an effective cover letter?”
- Captivate with the first sentence.
Make sure your opening is geared toward the employer and position you are applying for.
Example” Your need for a PR Associate with publishing experience is an excellent match to my …..
- Make a personal connection.
You can communicate more personally than you would on your resume. Use this space to tell a personal story portraying why you are the best candidate.
- Follow the “Don’t Overuse ‘I’ Rule”.
You may have heard this of this rule without understanding the reason behind it or this may be new to you. One of the biggest reasons for this is to avoid coming across as a “know it all” and self-centered.
- Showcase your accomplishments.
One reason for a cover letter is for the company to learn how you will benefit their business. You want to let the employer know what attributes you can bring to the company. Overusing “I” on a cover letter can actually lead to the opposite effect.
- There is no “I” in “TEAM”
Hiring managers want to know you are a team player. Don’t allow the cover letter to only showcase your accomplishments. This can easily come off the wrong way. Be sure to touch base on projects you’ve collaborated on or spearheaded.
For more tips on how to write an effective cover letter, click here.
Use your cover letter as a method of influence and persuasion. It must be unique, inviting, compelling in order to lead the hiring manger to review your resume and call you in for that interview.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on November 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm, and is filed under Job Search. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
The debate of whether or not cover letters are relevant has been a topic of discussion for years. Can you go without or are they necessary? A recent study by Zip Recruiter indicates that 50% of hiring managers require a cover letter, and that of those, two thirds of them reject an applicant because of something included in the cover letter.
Best practice is to have a solid cover letter. That being said, what makes for an acceptable cover letter? What is the purpose of a cover letter? What should you include and exclude? These are all valid questions that have been answered differently.
Here are 3 myths recently covered by AOL about cover letters that you should be aware of for future cover letters.
- Keep it short.
- Use formal language.
- Explain what experience you have that proves you can do the job.
Hiring managers don’t believe all they read on a resume anymore. According to a study by Hire Right, 80% are all resume are misleading. A longer resume is a great way to show your personality on paper. Also, you should write your cover letter in the same language that you speak in to avoid coming across too formal. Your cover letter should be customized to the company and position you are applying to and explain how you understand the importance of the role to the company. This shows you have an understanding of what the company does and how you’d be a perfect fit.
You should focus on high points from your resume, but keep them brief. When writing about your understanding of the company, tie it in to your experiences and skills through an example. If you remember to stick to the facts and make it about them you’ll be on the right path to writing an effective cover letter.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on August 31, 2012 at 9:29 am, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Happy Monday job seekers!
What is your mission this week? Are you planning on updating your resume? Or maybe you’re setting new goals and getting creative with your current job.
Whether you’re rewriting a cover letter or pitching new ideas to your boss, get creative this week and feel accomplished!
Good luck and please email us with any questions you’d like answered in a Pyramid post.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on May 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm, and is filed under Inspiration. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
There are many ways to apply for a job these days. You can apply through LinkedIn, job boards, a company’s corporate site, and through an ever unattainable connection.
When applying for a job through a website you can easily attach your cover letter and resume. However, when you apply directly through email you may question whether or not to attach your cover letter or copy and paste it in the body of the email.
Why should you attach?
- Attach a cover letter and only write a few introductory sentences as inline text. This way the Hiring Manager isn’t overwhelmed with paragraphs and may be more inclined to open your attachments.
Why you should not attach?
- The Hiring Manager doesn’t have time to open attachments so you decide copy and paste your cover letter.
Both options could work; it really depends on the Hiring Manager. In our experience, our recruiters would prefer to see the cover letter as inline text. This way they can get a feel for your personality, experience, and interest level.
If you’re email consists of: “Please consider me for this position” then the Hiring Manager will not take the time to open your attachments. Including a personalized cover letter in your email with resume attached, may be your best bet!
Do you have more questions about how to contact a connection with a cover letter and resume? Please email sbellow(at)pyramidcg(dot)com.
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on December 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Human Resource. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
If you are a recent graduate you may know what it feels like to look back and wish you did your job search, networking, and preparing for “the real world” a little differently.
If you’re still in school and are anxiously awaiting the day you graduate, as the fear of finding a good job looms closer, you should throw dread out your dorm room window and face the search with confidence.
To lower the risk of regret we’ve included some points that will help you on your way in the right direction.
- Start now!
- Don’t put it off for another second. See what’s out there and, more importantly, what interests you. Go through all the requirements and skills necessary to apply and hone in on perfecting those while you still have the time!
- Who is in your professional network?
- Get in touch with previous employers, internship supervisors, and friends who are already working. Research your dream companies and connect with the Human Resources department on LinkedIn. Introduce yourself and build a network. Try not to be too rigid or formal in your notes. Just be humble, gracious, and genuinely interested.
- Pay Your Dues
- Interning is a great way to gain experience and knowledge of what you like and don’t like. It’s also a great way to connect with industry professionals. Stay in touch with those people and continue to build.
- Quality over Quantity
- Applying for multiple jobs with a generic resume and cover letter may not be the best approach. Personalize your cover letter and resume with key words and skills mentioned in the job description and you may have a better shot at an interview. Remember these hiring managers look at resumes all day – make yourself stand out!
- Dress The Part
- How do you present yourself at class? Your professors notice your attendance and how you’re dressed. Dressing the part also involves acting professional as well as dressing professional. Network in person. Take a connection out for coffee and write hand-written thank you notes.
- Feed Into Feedback
- Take advantage of career services at your school. These trained professionals are knowledgeable about all things resume, cover letter, and interview tactics. Get all the feedback and advice you can.
Are you a recent graduate who has some advice to share with those in the job search trenches? Please do!
|Print article||This entry was posted by pyramid-admin on October 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm, and is filed under Chronicles For Candidates, Human Resource, Interview With The Interviewer, On The Job, Right Your Resume, SINC - Source, Interact, Network, Connect. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|