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  • marcsth 1:47 pm on March 18, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Cover Letters, , ,   

    Cover Letters…Writing about yourself without making it about yourself 

    Cover letters are your official introduction to an employer, whereby you intrigue them enough about your background and experience so that they’re compelled to read your resume and eventually say “we have to interview this person!” Yet, for most folks, writing a cover letter ranges from being an exercise in monotony to downright uncomfortable.  Cover letters for many go against everything they’ve been taught about being humble, while for other folks one page seems like not nearly enough to talk about themselves.

    However, the secret to writing great cover letter letters is keeping the following in mind: It’s About Them, Not You. The best cover letters are those which focus on the organizations needs and illustrate how your skills and experiences match those needs. An important part in ensuring whether your cover letter is focusing less on yourself and more on the employer is a basic one: grammar usage, specifically of the personal pronoun “I”. When a cover letter is filled with “I”, it can (albeit unfairly) leave readers with an impression that a candidate is self-absorbed, arrogant, and only concerned with what the company can do for them. To avoid this common mistake, Greg Simpson of Lee Hecht Harrison advises three simple steps to ensure that you don’t fall into the “I-Trap”:

    1. Gather some representative samples of your job search letters (cover, networking, follow up, etc.) written at various stages of your search.
    2. Look at each document and circle every use of the personal pronoun “I.” Then underline how many times you used “I” to start a sentence. Were the sentences consecutive?
    3. Practice re-writing the letters deleting all but one or two “I’s” and instead using “my,” “mine” or the pronouns we, our, you, and your. Shying away from the use of “I” not only engages readers but also projects confidence in your abilities without the arrogance.

    So the next time you’ve finished cranking out that cover letter, before hitting submit, review it and ask yourself “is this cover letter about me or them?”

  • Francine Blume 3:05 am on October 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Cover Letters,   

    How to get your resume thrown away: A LOUSY COVER LETTER 

    What NOT to Say in a Cover Letter

    I’ve been on a lot of search committees over the years and despite all the guidance and common sense, you’d still be amazed how terrible some of the cover letters can be.  They inspired this video.  Click on the link above. Enjoy.

  • Sue Gordon 8:05 pm on October 8, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: Cover Letters, Events, , Graduation, , , , Next Steps, , ,   

    Seniors: Wake Up 

    Prepare for What Comes Next

    Prepare for What Comes Next

    There is no time like the present.

    When your post-graduate plans are at stake, this couldn’t be more true.  Did you know that successful job applicants allow several months  to prepare and hunt down their position? If you plan to find gainful employment upon graduation,  now is time to start your search.  Even if you are hoping to go to graduate school, now is the time to be “getting your ducks in a row” and applying.

    Fear not, whether you are applying to grad school or looking for a job, the process doesn’t have to be a painful endeavor.

    (More …)

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