Archive / July, 2015

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter

“How do I go about writing a cover letter that employers will read? What do I include in it? How much do I write?”  These are some of the common questions that every applicant will ask during a cover letter writing process. However, being able to craft a cover letter is definitely not enough to land you an interview, since you will be competing with hundreds and thousands of other fresh graduates and job hungry professionals in the market.

writing a resume

So here are some useful tips on how to distinguish yourself from the crowd of job hunters!

 Use an impactful opener

Good InroductionResearch shows that prospective employers only take about 15 seconds to read through cover letters before making their decisions. It is thus imperative to have a memorable opening paragraph to capture your hiring manager’s attention.

 

Many applicants tend to use a standard structure in writing their cover letters. For example,

“Dear Sir/Madam,I would like to express my interest in [POSITION] at [COMPANY]. Although I’ve explored many options in my job search, I’ve come to respect the quality and integrity of the work that you do….”

While this example, like most cover letters tends to be formulaic and acceptable, it is also generic and ineffective. It fails to explain why the applicant is interested in the company, and does not show how he or she is able to stand out from the crowd. Hiring managers tend to lose interest quickly after reading such cover letters because they will have to devote their time to reading other cover letters. As such, it is wise to tweak your building statement to a more customized opening line:

“With more than 10 years of profit driven project management expertise, I believe I can be an asset to your company as a manager….”

The above example shows that you are addressing the company’s need for a manager, having experience and thus hitting the job title in the spot.

advantage

 Brief, direct and powerful

Cover letters are different from resumes because they are supposed to include short, brief and straight-to-the-point information. As such, it is crucial to limit the cover page to at most 3-5 paragraphs, not exceeding one page.

Most job applicants tend to make the mistake of using huge words in their cover letters to impress their hiring managers, but in truth, this is not useful. Hiring managers are not impressed with the use of superfluous words and flowery language.

Hiring managers mention that cover letters are the very first thing that they look at, so it is imperative that candidates that stand out usually use short, brief but powerful sentences detailing their past achievements, talents and contributions that they would like to bring to the company.

brief but meaningful

Avoid careless mistakes

Careless mistakes are one of the most important factors that irritate hiring managers. They lose interest when they spot “typos and spelling mistakes”. It is important to vet your cover letter multiple times and enlist the help of your friends and family members to proofread your cover letter. While spell checkers can be useful, you should not be too reliant on that tool and ensure that you go the extra mile to re-read the cover letter again and again.

mistakes

Get the perfect cover letter!

Now that you have understood and learnt some of the important pointers in writing the perfect cover letter, ensure that it describes you and how you will be able to contribute to the company. Having some tips in writing a cover letter will definitely help you understand better what hiring managers want to see in one.

Nevertheless, it is not easy perfecting the cover letter just once or a few times. Even professionals and executives face problems in coming up with the ideal cover letter that aptly captures everything about them. At Style Resumes, we are equipped with years of knowledge and experience to help clients craft the ideal cover letter. Many clients who engage in our services have successfully secured jobs in a short period of time because of their impressive cover letters. So worry no more about the mistakes to avoid or how to impress the hiring managers, we will do all those for you!

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College Grads’ Tips for Securing Dream Jobs

fresh grad

What used to be an assurance for employment is no longer the case in today’s competitive job market. A college degree is still extremely important in securing a great job. However, due to the downturn in the economy and intense competition for jobs, recent college graduates have to learn how to effectively promote themselves.

Check out these 7 tips to increase your chance of getting hired.

1. Utilize the school’s resources.

Most schools have resources (career center) for students and alumni to assist in your search efforts. You will have access to resume writing services and job boards to submit your resumes.

2. Develop a top notch resume.

Your resume is the single most important resource in your job search efforts. When you develop your resume, be sure you include keywords that will allow your resume to be picked up by employer scanning software.

3. Strategic search.

It is extremely important that you research the job(s) you are applying for. This will allow you to target your resume to this job and assure the prospective employer that you are the ideal candidate. If your resume is not geared towards the job opening it is very unlikely to be reviewed.

4. Attending job fairs and networking events.

Networking will be the key to identifying top jobs and learning where opportunities are. Attend Networking Events for companies and Industries (Engineers, Sales, and IT etc).

5. Utilize social media.

Recruiters and HR Professionals are routinely utilizing social media to identify top talent. Be sure you have a presence in this medium to create visibility for your qualifications. If you have a social media account from college, be sure to review the content for appropriateness in the event a recruiter or company looks at it. LinkedIn is a great resource for job seekers.

6. Make use of career coaches or consultants.

College grads are learning what some professionals already know and that is career consultants and companies can also assist in your job search efforts. These consultants can often help you jump start your search efforts and can potentially shorten the time you are looking for a job.

7. Polish your interview skills.

You will need to refine your interview skills and learn how to effectively prepare for the phone interview and face to face interview. There are skills you can utilize that will certainly make a difference in how you perform during these sessions. Poor interview skills can sabotage a great resume so be sure you are prepared to be your very best.

Let professionals do the job

When you are unemployed, your resume is your most powerful weapon to get back on your feet. Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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Start Your Interview with Impact

job-interview

When you are looking for a job, one of the most important things you can do is make a positive impact at your first interview. If you make a good first impression, then the rest of the interview might also go well; however, if you don’t make a good first impression, then you will spend the rest of the interview trying to make up for your weak introduction – not a good way to get to the second interview or land an offer. So how do you introduce yourself at the interview to leave a great lasting impression? Try these three interview techniques:

Handshake & Eyes

Use a firm handshake and look your interviewer in the eyes. In most Western culture, a firm handshake and direct eye contact conveys confidence. If you also smile while doing this, then it is a winning combination. People who introduce themselves in this way will create a favorable impression even before the first question is asked.

Posture & Poise

When you enter the office or conference room where the interview is to be conducted, walk in with confidence – a quick stride, head up, and shoulders straight. When offered a chance to sit down, then use the whole chair. Don’t slouch, but do sit with your back straight against the back of the chair without your legs crossed. Good posture will also send a message just as much as any answer you give to a particular question. When asked a question, think about the question and pause before you answer. If you just blurt out whatever is top of mind, you might not answer the question, and worse, you might also say something that doesn’t make sense. Pausing and then offering a good answer is one way to maintain your poise in the interview.

Clarity of Message and short answers

Obviously, if you think before you speak, you will have better responses. Further, if you have anticipated the likely questions, you might already have prepared answers. Regardless whether you are speaking impromptu or relying on prepared responses, try to keep your answers short and to the point. Short, clear messages add to the image of success and confidence. If you ramble on and on with a convoluted response, then you convey convoluted thinking, not confidence. Use short, clear sentences to respond to questions.

Get interviewed for your dream job

Before worrying about the interview, first you have to think how you could get the interview! One of the best ways to get a lot of interview calls from the right company is to submit an excellent resume, tailored to the position you are applying for. Sometimes, crafting a resume might be even harder than mastering the art of interview and negotiations, so why not leave it in the hands of professionals?

A creative resume could also help you during the interview. When you submit a creative resume, you have stolen the interviewer’s attention from the beginning. Then, the interviewer will be much more enthusiastic about your prospects at the company when he/she is interviewing you.

At Style Resumes, we are well-equipped with the skills to craft a perfect resume that will get you the right job. Get one step closer to your dream job by checking out our products now!

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3 Systematic Steps to Find Jobs

job hunt

Due to rising competition these days, many people have no idea how to find a job they like. To make matters worse, many don’t plan properly before job hunting as they go around asking for jobs in a non-systematical manner. This of course, will often bring failure. How to find a job effectively? If you want to increase your chances of getting a job, the secret is to just follow three simple steps. The trick though, is to actually execute it. Here are the aforementioned steps to give some organization to your job hunting and hopefully teach you to approach the difficult in a more systematic way.

Step 1 – Look for ads in local newspapers

Clearly, the first step in getting a job is to search for it, and through as many channels as you can. If you are very resourceful and know how to get your way around job websites, HR companies and the likes, then great, do those! If you are not, then your best bet is to do it the old fashioned way of looking through local newspapers as they are often littered with ads for hiring. How are you ever going to find a job if you are too lazy to do the above? Once you find a job ad that catches your attention, review information on the company and their selection criteria, then move on to step 2.

Why do you need to look for jobs first? Because you need to tailor your resume and cover letter to suit the job!

Step 2 – Write a Professional Resume

You may know how to find a job, but there is something else you are going to need. Once you have chosen the job, you must put together a resume which can highlight your strengths such as qualifications, certifications and work experience. If you can afford to get it written from a professional writer, do it as he will be able to give you a nice and well-organized resume which can save you some hassle and save you time of getting a job.

Step 3 – Post resume on various classifieds

This is one of the most effective ways to get responses from companies, mainly because of the fact that these companies can access databases of candidates from these portals and select suitable ones for the job. It is suggested that you post on more than one classifieds website to increase exposure as doing so may bring up your chances of getting jobs that you like.

Invest in high quality resume

When you are looking for job, your resume is your most powerful weapon to score that dream job of yours. Most people think that writing resume is an easy job. However, more often than not, they are wrong. They end up submitting a messy and unimpressive resume which is quickly thrown into the trash bin.

Don’t let your resume get treated like that! At Style Resumes, we know what we’re doing. We’ve helped thousands of job seekers get their dream job by giving them an impressive resume and cover letter that made employers feel in love with them. Get in touch with us and let’s craft that perfect resume!

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Keep your resume out of the trash

Job applicants aren’t stupid.They know how to use clean layout and list their accomplishments to get noticed. However, many of you overlook the pitfalls that would cause your resumes to be tossed in the trash.

Hiring managers have dozens, even hundreds, of resumes to filter through everyday. In order to cut these to a reasonable amount, they simply toss those that don’t make the initial cut.

resume on trashcan

Here are three pitfalls that are deal breakers for hiring managers:

1. You Don’t Meet the Basic Requirements

requirements

Many job seekers heed the advice of darer counselors and advice websites telling them to apply for as many jobs as they can, even if they do not fit the requirements of the job. “Resumes just won’t be considered if the basic skills aren’t there,” says Thomas Lang, a Human Resource manager. This is the first knockout factor for many. Make sure that you look at the requirements before applying for a job and identify if your skills are a match.

A similar mistake: You have the basic requirements, but they’re obscured by extra or unnecessary information. “Lay it out simply for me—that means less investigation I’ll have to do,” says Lang. For example, if you’re applying for a position in marketing, but your experience is a combination of marketing and sales, tailor your resume to focus on your marketing experience and skills, and minimize—or even remove—the sales information.

2. You’re Not a Culture Fit

i don't think we're good fit

When we refer to a cultural fit, we don’t mean how you’ll integrate into the company you’re applying too. That comes after you actually get hired. What we do mean is if you fit in the corporate culture of professionalism and meticulousness. Hiring managers expect to see the resume of an applicant who knows what the job requires and tailors his or her resume to the job. Summary statements that cover a wide range of skills and industries or cover letters that don’t mention the company by name won’t make it pass the first round.

To avoid the circular file, you’ll want to tweak your resume based on the position and company, making deliberate connections of how your experience, skills, and personality are a perfect fit for the job. Use industry terms, spell out accomplishments that you know will make an impact, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Lang remembers an applicant who listed, “I’ll drink an iced Americano any time, day or night” under the interests section, which not only revealed the applicant’s “personality and sense of humor,” it was a great fit for Lang’s agency, a highly creative design firm with its own specialty coffee shop in the basement.

3. You Don’t Pay Attention to Detail

attention to details

When it comes to your resume, the devil is quite often in the details. Recruiters get annoyed by small things that you may not think of—like whether or not the text on your cover letter and resume is the same font and size (it should be), if your margins are off (makes it tricky for us to print), or to whom you’ve addressed the cover letter (it should be the recruiter’s name, not “sir,” “madam,” or “to whom it may concern”).

They’ll also take note if you don’t include everything the job posting asks you to send. A cover letter and resume? What about work or writing samples? Be sure to include everything that’s asked of you. Also, does the job posting refer to the position as Project Manager II? If so, state that in your cover letter, exactly—don’t write Proj. Mgr. or Project Manager. Companies put a lot of time into determining job titles, and when a recruiter is looking to fill both the Project Manager and the Project Manager II positions, any ambiguousness from you will make it harder for them.

Typos are at the top of the list when it comes to resume writing taboos. Don’t rely on spellcheck as it only highlights text that are not words, but not typos that spell other words. Get a part of fresh eyes (not your own) when vetting your resume, or engage a writing service that can also give your resume a pleasing layout as well.

Applying for a job can often feel like a huge challenge, and knowing that there are so many applicants out there can be daunting. But if you follow these simple rules, you’ll make sure your resume gets past the first hurdle: the trash can. Better yet, if you tailor your resume and make sure it’s a fit to the company and job, you’ll definitely increase your chances of getting to the top of the pile.

 

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