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How to Write an Effective Cover Letter

Interviews, resumes and cover letters are just the beginning of getting a job and entering the professional world. Rest easy in the knowledge that it’s really not as challenging as it appears to be. Take a deep breath, brace yourself for that first step and run right into it!

An effective cover letter is an essential part of the job hunt. A cover letter is likely to be the first glance in your direction from a prospective employer. If you want that coveted double-take, then follow these tips:

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Resume Keywords are the Newest Factor in the Job Search Process

I will graduate from college this year. As that deadline looms closer and closer, I have started to realize that I need to find a job. I have been to several interview workshops and had my resume proofread by countless advisers. However, I just learned something that nobody ever bothered to tell me: resumes need keywords.

Most employers prefer resumes that are sent via email. These emailed resumes are then scanned by an Applicant Tracking System (basically, a search engine for resumes). These programs pre-screen your resume to determine if you are a qualified candidate for the position or if the interviewer should look elsewhere for their next employee.

Here a few basic guidelines for properly using resume keywords to get yourself the job interview. Beyond that, it’s up to you to dazzle the interviewer.

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Seven Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Seven resume mistakes to avoid

Avoid these reds flags to improve your chance at an interview and getting hired. Hillary Chura of CBS MoneyWatch.com reports that it takes less than a minute for a recruiter to plow through six resumes.

1. Don’t apply for a job you aren’t qualified for

There are entry-level jobs that expect to train new hires, but if you’re a photography student, don’t apply for a job as a tax specialist. It wastes everybody’s time–not only yours but also your potential employers. Instead, invest more time in writing a super cover letter for a position for which you’re qualified.

2. Don’t make your mission statement about you

Lofty mission statements about how a job will serve your life goals are not particularly interesting to employers. They want to know how you will serve their needs. Write an “objectives statement that shows you understand the position you’re applying for by highlighting the skills your employer is seeking.” Read the rest of this entry »



Tips for Getting Hired After Graduation

job industryJust graduated with no way to pay off that rather pricey degree? The job search can be tough and stressful, but job hunting goes beyond the wanted ads. Here are some helpful tips that will boost your chances of getting that job:

1. Be flexible: Be willing to work for a smaller company rather than a large company and be ready to except a lower salary than expected. Also, finding that perfect job may mean relocating. Keep an open mind to moving.

2. Spend some time on your resume: Though we’d like to think that putting together our resumes is as easy as googling “resume templates,” it’s just not that simple. Be sure to have several people look at your resume and be sure to tailor it to the position you are applying for. Use strong action verbs also to add energy to your profile.

3. Take advantage of your school’s career services: All colleges have some sort of job placement office, and most of them have connections with large local companies. Call your school and make an appointment. Feel free to ask them questions about your resume, cover letter and the much-dreaded interview.

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