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mkrahmeh
October 13th, 2008, 06:26 PM
guys
am about to start job hunting, but the cover letter and resume i wrote do not seem to be really attractive..help me out here, how to write a good cover letter. there might be some guidelines/tricks to follow :?:

xyz
October 13th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Hi there,

I'm not real good at this but you may want to try this link:

http://www.how-to-write-a-resume.org/

Good luck

kernelhaxor
October 13th, 2008, 07:17 PM
if you are looking for general tips, google is probably better ..
if you post your resume, ppl might look at it and suggest improvements ..

mkrahmeh
October 13th, 2008, 08:36 PM
if you post your resume, ppl might look at it and suggest improvements ..

sorry but i cant follow you..where to post it exactly? and who is ppl? :popcorn:

xyz
October 13th, 2008, 08:39 PM
sorry but i cant follow you..where to post it exactly? and who is ppl? :popcorn:

I'm guessing ppl is a member here who knows about that sort of things...
but 'm not sure.
You could create a new thread like "Help me with my resume" and post it for him/her to check it out.

aysiu
October 13th, 2008, 08:56 PM
When I was first applying for jobs, I had no idea what a good cover letter and resume looked like. I read all the job guide books I could find, and I still had no idea.

It wasn't until I was actually in the position of looking at other people's resumes and hiring folks myself that I realized what a good resume and cover letter look like.

So my first recommendation would be for you to seek out websites that post examples of bad cover letters. Once you see those and imagine yourself in a hiring position, you'll get a much better idea of what an employer looks for in a cover letter.

That said, this is generally what I look for: Is there a genuine voice here or is it some cookie-cutter awkward formal-sounding language? Is there a good reason the applicant is looking for a job and does this seem as if the applicant is sending her resume to just about any job, or did she actually want this one? Is the applicant honest about gaps in her resume or does she try to gloss it over and pretend they didn't happen? Does the experience outlined in the resume prepare her for the job to which she is applying? Are there grammatical or spelling errors? Of course, part of the problem is you have no idea who's going to be reading your cover letter.

Some people will be impressed if the salutation has a name in it as opposed to To Whom It May Concern or Dear Sir/Madam. Some people don't want the applicants to admit faults or shortcomings. Some won't even notice grammatical or spelling errors, because they themselves don't know enough about grammar and spelling to catch the errors.

Employers are people, not machines. It's true some organizations are so large that they actually feed resumes through computers to scan for key words and filter out applicants, but all the jobs I've ever applied for are at organizations that use people to sift through resumes.

Usually what happens is the office manager or assistant collects all the resumes and prints them out. One of the hiring people takes quick looks at the resumes to find the ones that are the most interesting. She may then pass that pile on to someone else who has input in the hiring process, and that person may look more closely at the resumes to pick out the most desirable three or four people to interview.

That very first filtering process usually happens, in my experience, within a matter of seconds per resume. But the second filtering process takes longer, and they will scrutinize your cover letter and resume a lot more the closer you are to the interview step.

But remember this: you never know whom you're up against. No matter how good you are, if there are ten people more qualified than you are, you may not even make the first cut.

Put yourself in your future employer's shoes.

Let's say you have a position open for a graphic designer. If you get 150 resumes and cover letters and the best person out of the bunch is one who is straight out of college but who has an amazing portfolio, you might just hire her and forget about the 3-5 years experience you'd said in the ad that you wanted. But if you get 150 resumes and cover letters, and there are 10 hot contenders who all have at least 5 years experience and great portfolios, you'll pick the best of the 10 and the one fresh out of college may not even see the light of a phone call for an interview, let alone make the final cut.

Just do the best you can and see who hires you. That's the bottom line. There's no sure-fire way to get a job.

mkrahmeh
October 13th, 2008, 10:47 PM
thx alot aysiu, your advices are very helpful indeed, especially coming from an employer in the field. However, I posted this thread when I was confronted with an entry-level job-post application, with no experience required, and presumably, the contenders are supposed to be fresh graduates, that's where factors like cover letters and neatly written resumes play major role in encouraging/degrading an applicant's chances.

another issue, is that I am seeking a different career path than the one I am in now, and my apprehensions that the employer will consider the higher pay check am gonna ask for (which is not the case for me).

thx again, and wish me luck [-o<

plz post your advices gurus, your ideas are gratefully received

aysiu
October 13th, 2008, 10:52 PM
So you're seeking an entry-level position in a different field than you normally work in, and you have a higher-than-entry-level salary history. That can be tough. It's possible a lot of potential employers might view you as either overqualified or unqualified and just toss you out before even considering you for an interview. I know that's depressing, but I'm just trying to be honest with you.

mkrahmeh
October 13th, 2008, 11:07 PM
here is another question, will honesty ruin my chances ??
maybe its a bit early to ask about such things..but who knows

do you have a word on emotional intelligence ?? how can I demonstrate it in my applications..rather than straight forward statements like "I have the dedication and confidence to...etc"

aysiu
October 13th, 2008, 11:12 PM
Honesty may ruin your chances, depending on the employer, but dishonesty will ruin your chances once they found out you lied or hid the truth.

Ask yourself if you'd rather work for someone who wants the truth up front or someone who wants you to lie to her.

harr
January 1st, 2009, 04:29 PM
A well-written cover letter shows that you are serious about your job. Always start your cover letter with an effective opening that grab employer’s attention immediately. Keep your cover letter clear and concise. Give a short description of your key skills and experience. Focus on what you can do for the company. Try to relate your skills and responsibilities to the job description or what you think the employer is looking for. Finally, thank the employer and proofread your cover letter.

caro
January 2nd, 2009, 02:09 AM
I sometimes read hundreds of resumes and cover letters a year for entry-level through executive positions. A few recommendations:


Leave some white space so everything is clear and easy to find
NO typos or grammatical errors.
List your accomplishments, not your responsibilities, to stand out.
Be organized
Be honest and don't try too hard to impress. If you aren't being yourself, it will show.
If you are just starting your career, highlight your education and volunteer or community experiences. If you have some experience, focus on that first.
Keep the resume to two pages, max. If I have 20 resumes to read and one has 5 pages, it just gets skimmed. A one or two page well laid out resume will stand out
If the position you are applying for has special requirements, like certifications, list them somewhere on the resume.
For me, the resume is more important than the cover letter. Both are tools to get me interested in you so I will call you for an interview.
Use quality white or off-white paper and normal fonts. Save the docs in a standard format (Word or PDF).

phrostbyte
January 2nd, 2009, 02:23 AM
Use LaTeX. Problem solved. :D