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Career-Life Times, Issue #70-- Video: How to Create Attention-Grabbing Cover Letters
November 15, 2010
Do you need a cover letter when submitting your resume? In my opinion: YES!
Just as people read the cover of a book to determine whether or not itís one they want to buy, hiring managers, HR professionals and recruiters like to read a cover letter to determine whether or not to spend time looking at your resume.
But hereís the thing: it must be an effective cover letter. It must grab their attention and make them want to learn more about you. Most cover letters fail to do this.
I created a video that provides helpful tips on how you can create effective, attention-grabbing cover letters to stand out among all the other candidates. Please go to my blog to view the video: Click here to watch "How to Create Attention-Grabbing Videos".
I'd appreciate your feedback on that video. It's a new media for me, so I'd love to know what you think...if you like the content, and if you like the fact that it's provided in video form instead of as an article. Should I do more videos? Let me know, okay? Thanks!
Here's a big mistake many people make at the end of their job interview: instead of saying they want the job, they allow the hiring manager to assume they want it. Their logic goes like this: "The hiring manager already knows I want the job. If I didn't want the job, I wouldn't have applied and interviewed for it. There's no need to state the obvious."
But here's what you need to keep in mind: a job interview is a two-way process. The hiring manager evaluates the candidates, and the candidates evaluate the position, the company, and the hiring manager. Even in today's ugly economy, candidates often decide during the interview that they would NOT want the job. Perhaps after hearing more about the duties they decided they would not enjoy the work. Perhaps the hiring manager seemed like a mean person. Perhaps the zombie-like stares of current employees shuffling down the hallway scared the crap out of them.
There are many reasons why a job you applied and interviewed for may NOT be one that's right for you. Hiring managers know this; they will rarely assume you really want the job just because you interviewed for it. They need to hear you say it.
If you DO want the job, make that very clear before you leave the interview.
Shake the interviewer's hand, look him/her in the eye, smile and say, "Thank you very much for your consideration. I'm definitely interested in working here and would love to be a member of your team. What are the next steps?" Or even simpler: "Just so we're clear, I want this job. What are the next steps?"
Oh, and say it again when you send your thank-you note immediately after the interview. (You WILL send a thank-you note, right?)
Before going into your next job interview, check your shoulders. No, not for dandruff (although that might not be a bad idea)... for a chip.
For the benefit of the many non-native-English speakers who read this newsletter: saying someone "has a chip on his shoulder" means he is resentful, frustrated, or angry about something, feels that he has been treated badly, and may be looking for a fight (figuratively or literally). (I say "he," but this applies to women, as well.)
Due to the poor economy, many people are extremely frustrated because they have lost their jobs and can't find work.
People who are frustrated and upset often find it difficult to control their emotions. Even worse, they sometimes lash out at innocent bystanders. We've all done it to one extent or another. You can probably relate to this scenario: you wake up with a terrible headache, drop a cup of hot coffee in your lap on the way to work, get pulled over and ticketed by a cop, walk through a puddle on your way into the office (in your new shoes), hear a cheerful "Good morning!" from your coworker -- and respond by screaming, "What's so damn good about it?!?"
Okay, maybe you wouldn't do something like that. But some people would. They don't mean to be mean, but because they are upset, they take their frustrations out on others, particularly when they feel they have no control over the situation that is causing their frustration. They have a chip on their shoulder. If they go into a job interview without getting rid of it, there is little chance they'll get the job. They may smile and try to hide the chip, but a positive, enthusiastic attitude is hard to fake.
Before going to a job interview, do a self-assessment. Are you frustrated? Angry? Upset? If the answer is yes, change your attitude before the interview. I realize that's easy to say, but not easy to do. But if you are AWARE of your emotional state, that's a step in the right direction, and additional steps will be easier. Before your interview, consciously try to put yourself into a good mood. Do something you enjoy. Play with your children (or a pet). Listen to upbeat music or a funny audio recording. Think about things that make you happy. Yes, "Think happy thoughts" is trite, but doing it really can work wonders.
Attitude is so important during a job interview. Get rid of the chip on your shoulder. Do your best to make sure your attitude is "adjusted" and you're in the right frame of mind before you walk into the job interview.
1. The Bonnie Lowe Daily. There's a cool service provided by paper.li that allows people to create a daily summary ("paper") of information posted by those they're following on Twitter. I follow many career experts (and other interesting people) on Twitter, and you can subscribe to my paper to receive a summary with links to helpful articles each day. You can also create your own paper. This service is f*r*e*e. To see what I'm talking about, click here to read The Bonnie Lowe Daily. If you like it, click on the Subscribe button you'll see in its black navigation bar.
2. Top 10 Job Search Blunders This article (and many other good ones) is at bnet.com, the CBS Interactive Business Network. To read about each of the 10 blunders, you need to click on the photo thumbnails at the bottom of the article, but the content is worth that little hassle. Click here to read "Top 10 Job Search Blunders".
3. More Articles. You can find more articles by going to my online Article Index. Here are two new ones you might enjoy:
And from my blog:
4. The Best Career Strategies of 2010. If you haven't already grabbed this f*ree report I compiled that's loaded with helpful career tips from dozens of experts, you can get it here: F*ree Report.
5. The Job Interview Success System. The job market is getting better, but it still sucks. You don't have to go it alone. Get step-by-step help and a big advantage over your competition with my job-winning System. Read all the details here: Job Interview Success System.
"The man who does more than he is paid for
Thirteen Thoughts to Make You Smile
1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.
Thanks for reading this issue. If you have any comments or questions, please let me know: Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com
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