September 2012

Cover letter writing DOs and DON'Ts

Plus: How to find cover letter help in a pinch.

Your cover letter is often the most important first piece of communication a prospective employer reads about you. It is your personal sales tool, in the frontline of your marketing communications for employment that is just as important as your resume.

But too many candidates blow this chance by not realizing just what is at stake, and by not putting enough care and thought into their cover letters.

If you’re applying for a job and have the cover letter jitters, don’t sweat it. Being nervous only reflects how important you understand it to be. However, if you are really on edge because you doubt your communication skills, then you’ll definitely benefit from -and need -some help.

Start by adhering to these expert tips, do your level best, and then get  a professional to rewrite your cover letter. Solid writers with personal communications experience can usually be found in a pinch on Craigslist.

Is working with today’s recruiters the way to go?

Plus: Military job fair coming soon

Much has changed in the land of employment recruiting over the last 20 years and today’s recruiters are truly feeling these changes fueled mostly by a down economy, and an industry disrupted by the infusion of technology.

A visit to any recruiter’s forum online reveals just how much pressure they are under to perform, as well as some fairly high levels of frustration in attempting placements without a personal touch and in a growing number of instances, without a pool of qualified candidates.

As previously posted, it used to be that job seekers wishing to work with a recruitment agency would have to walk in and formally register with the agency. The registration appointment was the first step in the agency’s vetting process of the candidate, and a crucial selling component for the recruiter. First-hand descriptions of a candidate’s physical appearance and demeanor are high up on the company client’s list of “want-to-knows.”

But mass-adoption of the Internet has changed all that, and today, most recruiters are forced to scroll through web-based employment sites, sifting and sorting through thousands of database entries, in what’s now become their initial attempt toward screening.