Friday, November 21, 2008

Box Numbers and Fax Numbers

Every once in awhile we see ads in the paper for what sounds like an awesome job, unfortunately all they offer as contact info is a fax number or a box number. Personally, those ads drive me nuts. How can anyone respond to a job advertisement with so little info to go on? Secondly, why would anyone want to send them all their personal information, résumé etc, without knowing who they are sending it to?

Here are a couple of suggestions. Try doing a search on the fax number. Sometimes it’ll lead you right to the company where you can at least do a little research before applying. You might also learn it is a company you would rather not waste your time on. If nothing turns up for the fax number or it is a box number, you might try writing a killer cover letter explaining how you may be a good match for this position. Give them some solid reasons, but not too many, that may entice them to want to find out more. Include in your letter that you would be happy to forward a detailed résumé once you know a more about the company and position. If they don’t respond to that, then they are probably a company you wouldn’t want to work for anyway.

Sometimes I think those ads are placed because it is a policy to advertise the position, but they have no intention of actually interviewing anyone. Remember, it is your job search, so be in control and stay in your power.

Your comments are welcome.

Glen Slingerland – Skills 101 / Job Development

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cover Letter Secrets

For some reason, cover letters frighten people to death. They never know where to start them and there is an uncontrollable urge to cram them with as much information as possible. It is as if they were trying to talk the person into hiring them, or at least interviewing them based on the cover letter. Then you have the people who send out the same résumé for every job and think the cover letter is the thing that should be customized to the position. The downside to that line of thought is you might convince someone in a cover letter you can do the job, however when the reader looks at the résumé they aren’t getting the same message. The cover letter and the résumé must sell you as the right candidate for a desired position.

Keep in mind your cover letter should not be a repeat of everything that is in your résumé. If it is, then what is the point of the résumé in the first place? Your cover letter should give the Hiring Manager a good reason to continue reading what you have sent them.

The cover letter needs to tell them how you heard about the position or the company. You also need to explain briefly why you are a good match for the position and show them you have done your homework and know something about the company, what they do, and that you believe in what they do. If you are responding to an ad you also need to reflect back to them that you actually read the thing and understand the position. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for the interview.

Finally the most important secret to a good cover letter is, keep it short. Those long cover letters can be so difficult to read when you’re yawning.

Your comments are welcome.

Glen Slingerland Skills 101 / Job development

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Personal Marketing

Personal Marketing, what is it? Personal marketing is about becoming an advertising agency - for you. You have skills or talent that a number of employers need, so the trick is to get the word out to these specific employers. Much the same way someone selling a product needs it to be exposed to the right potential buyers.

Sending out unsolicited résumés with a prospecting cover letter in a brown manila envelope is a great way to reach lots of employers who don’t care about you or who aren’t looking. Face to face, or voice to voice contact on the other hand, can be far more effective. Look at how many advertisers use highly visual and audio advertising methods. It allows consumers to see, feel, touch, hear, etc, about a product before they buy it. We can actually get to know the product before we make the big purchase. A cover letter and a résumé do not allow any employer the ability to truly get to know you. That is something that has to take place over time and in person.

Your job search advertising campaign should be well thought out, planned and targeted. When companies go after a specific demographic consumer base, they look for the best way to reach the largest group of potential buys. The job search should be done with the same goal in mind. A little research and knowledge about your chosen field can go a long way.

Your comments are welcome.
Glen Slingerland Skills 101 / Job Development