A very long time ago (AKA last year), I wrote an honest cover letter that I probably won’t send to an employer.
And I’ve thought a lot about that cover letter. I’ve thought a lot about cover letters and resumes and jobs and how difficult the job market is.
I know quite a bit about cover letters, and resumes. IRL, I have two business degrees, have participated in several job search workshops, reviewed resumes and job applications for more positions than I can count, and generally LOVE helping people find and get jobs.
And I haven’t written about it because I felt like it was boring. But, let’s face it. I’m an uber nerd and job searches are FUN. I have a good job that I really like, and I still scan through job postings every single day. I’m not joking. Every day. For fun.
So, I want to help. If you need help, let me know. I’m going to be writing about job searches and applications in the next few months, and I’m also going to start a business venture very soon. I’ll keep you guys posted.
So, a legit cover letter.
First: actually write one. Is it just suggested in the application instructions? Sure, you could skip writing it. Or you could show that you’re an awesome overacheiver who totally is all about going above and beyond the call of duty. Application doesn’t mention one? Write one anyway. It shows that you’re a go-getter who knows their stuff. The only time that it’s not appropriate to send one is if they tell you that you shouldn’t.
Second: write it in a formal business letter format. Boring? Yes. Needed? Even more yes. SO MUCH YES.
Why? When you’re applying for a job: you don’t know who’s reading your stuff. So, they could be a totally non-traditional human-bean who LOVES an artistic interpretation of a cover letter. Or it could be someone who’s crazy traditional and won’t read your letter unless it’s in the proper format.
So, formal business letter. The Purdue Owl helps me with mine. Check it out here. (No need to reinvent the wheel. They do a good job of laying out how you do it.)
Third: clean up your image. An email address like firstname.lastname@example.org doesn’t make you look very employable. Get a professional email address. It makes you look like a grownup.
Fix your voice mail message. I know that most people just text today, and I’m an introvert. I look at my phone like it’s grown a head when it rings sometimes. When a potential employer calls and your voice mail message is you pretending to be Gollum from LOTR, it doesn’t make you look professional.
A good example of what you should say? I’m glad you asked.
“You’ve reached (your name). I’m sorry that I’m unable to take your call. Please leave a message at the tone and I’ll respond as soon as I can.” *click*
Soon, we’ll get into the nuts of bolts of letter contents. (THIS IS SO EXCITING!)
Let me know where you are in your job search. Are you looking for a job now? Do you have an interview?
Send me an email or leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.