Elwood Staffing is growing and looking for top talent to join our corporate team in multiple markets! http://ow.ly/kwrYV
I’m sitting in class and I feel really bad for my professor. No one’s paying attention to him.
I look around and everyone’s either got a phone in their hand or a laptop open. And I promise you, no one’s taking notes.
Statuses are being updated, pictures are being posted, and I’m sure that at least five people are on Twitter.
Okay, fine. Maybe we should be paying a little more attention.
I hear it all the time, when I talk about Gen Y, that we’re addicted to social media.
Gen Y… addicted to social media…can’t put their phones down.
But is it really?
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m addicted to social media. I know that one of these days I’m going to leave my phone on my bed and I’m going to head into work and that day is going to be terrible…
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Elwood Staffing is growing and we are adding to our corporate team in multiple markets. http://ow.ly/kn9PV
Tips for you job search from The American Staffing Association. #resume #interviewing http://ow.ly/kn9tI
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How many times have you replied to a job ad via e-mail by shooting them a copy of your resume and cover letter?
I’m going to venture a guess and say at least 20 (but more likely hundreds of times) if you’ve been searching for any significant length of time.
Cover Letter Mistakes
Here are some of the most notorious cover letter mistakes we’ve seen and what you can do to greatly improve your chances of being noticed.
1. Attaching The Cover Letter To The E-mail
What’s wrong with that, you ask? Most hiring managers aren’t going to open the cover letter and read it. They’ll go straight to the resume instead. Want to ensure your cover letter gets read? Copy and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Whoever received the e-mail will be much more likely to read it if it’s already right there in front of their face.
2. Writing Your Whole Life Story In The Body Of The E-mail
Don’t go overboard with details; keep it short. The hiring manager won’t be willing to invest a lot of time reading your e-mail. Keep it short and to the point.
3. Providing Information Not Relevant To The Position
Here is a great example. When I want to bring an additional resume/cover letter writer on staff, I’m not looking for someone with technical writing expertise, article writing skills, or journalism savvy. Those forms of writing aren’t relevant to what we do here. I want a writer who has extensive expertise and certification in resume writing.
If someone goes on and on in their cover letter (or in the body of the e-mail) about all their other writing experience, they will lose my interest. Instead, I want them to tell me about their most relevant experience as it relates to my needs. I want them to tell me about any resume writing experience they have. Give the hiring manager a brief overview of the most relevant experience you have, appropriate to the position they are trying to fill. This will pique their interest—rather than lose it.
4. Excluding Information They’ve Specifically Asked You To Include
Depending on the position, the employer may ask you to submit a sample of your work, portfolio, hours of availability, or even salary requirements. Whatever it is they’ve asked you to include, make sure you include it in your cover letter.
If not, you will most certainly be removed from consideration for failing to follow instructions. Following instructions and acknowledging everything the employer has asked you to address in the job ad not only saves the employer time but makes you look good. I can tell you this from experience because 9 out of 10 applicants will fail to address every stipulation the employer has listed. It happens to us all the time.
5. Not Using A Cover Letter At All
We’ve received e-mails from applicants, and the body of the e-mail provides either little or no information whatsoever. Some simply state, “Here is my resume for your review.” You are selling yourself short by not including at least a brief introduction. Especially if the employer outlines specific requirements. Take the time to write, “I see you need someone with availability to work nights and weekends; I would enjoy working these hours and am available to do so.” Or, “I have included a sample of my work for your consideration along with my resume. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.”
6. Forgetting To Tell Them Why You’re The Best Fit
Let me tell you about one of THE BEST cover letters I’ve ever seen: I could tell this person put effort into it—and she took the time to specifically and meticulously review our job requirements. She scrutinized our requirements and detailed in her cover letter how she had experience meeting those needs. It was applicable, relevant, and attention getting. It was probably one of the only cover letters that actually made us want to read the corresponding resume.
7. Using A Boring Closing Statement
Instead of using the same old boring line, spice it up a bit. One of the more daring cover letter closings I have read closed with, “Call today, don’t delay.” I applauded her boldness and had to call her. The closing was confident, feisty, and it certainly grabbed my attention. Not to mention the entire cover letter addressed everything she brought to the table as a potential employee and how these elements were relevant to meeting our needs.
What I am trying to get you to see is boring the hiring manager with details not relevant to the opening—or not making the most of the space and time you’re getting is really to your detriment. Instead, take the time to write something catchy, relevant, and targeted to the position for which you are applying.
Sure, it may take a few extra minutes to tweak your cover letter—but in the end, if you get the interview, won’t it be worth it?
Social Media is emerging as a tool that more recruiters rely on in the hiring process. Networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Viadeo, and Google+ can provide recruiters with an array of information about potential candidates, as well as new avenues for reaching passive candidates and advertising the company’s current openings.
Many companies with a large web presence build out their brand not only on their own corporate website, but also on these Social Media sites. This provides an extended reach whereby companies can further share information about who they are and the available job opportunities with interested job seekers. Many of these networks include special job posting pages, making it easier for visitors to locate those jobs that interest them.
In addition to your company presence on Social Media sites, the world of networking opens up the ability for your current employees and recruiting team members to share these job opportunities with people in their network.
Social Media can have an increased impact on how your company finds potential candidates by providing greater visibility of potential opportunities for growth to passive candidates (those who are not actively searching for a job). Instead of relying heavily on external recruitment firms or job boards, many companies are focusing on locating specialized talent through Social Media sites such as LinkedIn.
With both passive and active candidates, recruiters also have access to a wealth of information about candidates on Social Media sites. Depending on the site, quite a bit of information about candidates is public and can include work history, personal interests or network size. It can be useful – particularly with candidates who directly interact with customers, like sales – in determining the size of their network and what potential market growth can this person bring to the organization through their personal connections. It also shows how these individuals portray themselves outside of your company’s standard hiring processes.
As Social Media sites continue to evolve, the role of these sites in recruitment may develop in ways that we cannot yet imagine. Whether or not you want to use this information in your recruiting process may be determined by the industry of your organization or your company’s legal department.
It is often difficult to come up with a Social Media strategy because the market shifts so rapidly and often defies targeted efforts. However, it is a mistake to not jump on the Social Media bandwagon and start utilizing these free tools! Finding a way to include Social Media in your recruiting process is a win-win for both your company and potential candidates.
AUTHORS Andy Najjar and Judy Fort of HRsmart