You are sitting at your computer, ready to apply for your dream job. You have been waiting for the perfect job to be posted or the certain person to reach out to you and so you start to ponder your cover letter. The butterflies are in your stomach and anticipation of getting the job is in your head. You are sitting there thinking “What should I write in my cover letter??” Well, be relieved that as much as you hate writing covering letters, hiring manager hate reading them.
It takes 7 seconds to review a resume and 1 second to scan your cover letter. So the truth is if we see another cover letter that expresses the “desire to learn” or how your education and experience matches that of the job, or how you managed 15 people which can clearly be seen in your resume please, don’t shoot us, just pull our eyes out! As there is no such thing as an “eye catching” cover letter. Don’t be fooled by posts with information that must be in the cover letter. For the love of anything do not have one…it’s old school!
In the new school of thought, there is no secret to writing a great cover letter, except for not having one and here’s why:
Cover Letters Have Proven To Be Your Window For Error: Countless people make so many errors in their cover letter. Aside for the fact people still make spelling and grammatical errors, people also forget to ensure their cover letter matches their resume and social media platforms.
The ATS- Applicant Tracking System Is Against You- All recruiting firms and most companies use an ATS to make their recruiting efforts more efficient so your cover letter isn’t even kept! It gets deleted as your resume put into the system.
Your Resume Tells Your Story: We know your cover letter is full of jargon about how you want the job but would you apply if you didn’t want the job or work at the company your writing about in detail??
It’s So Damn Long!! What the heck are you writing?? You make it as though we have all the time in the world to sit an read a novel during our work day. If you can’t write quickly, what will it be like meeting you??
The Cover Letter Profiles Your Monotony: Everything you have written in the cover letter is profiled in the resume..we get it. You worked at a, b c company for x years, managed so many people etc etc…again there’s no need to reiterate it in your cover letter.
Your resume, if strong enough, will highlight the elements of your resume that will ensure you are the right match for the job and company you are applying for. If it doesn’t then revamp your resume. Gone are the days when it had to be one page. If you have experience profile it, highlight it, embrace it but let the cover letter die in peace.
If you want to get noticed, don’t write a cover letter write an introductory email about the person you are writing to, as it’s not all about you.
Jessica Glazer is the Recruitment Director/Founder of www.MindHR.com-a head-hunting and resume writing agency. She can also be heard on Montreal’s NewsTalk Radio CJAD and seen on BTMontreal and Global television speaking about employment related issues.
Gone are the days when interns were a burden to your company.
Gone are the days when having an intern meant you had someone to get you coffee and clean your office and gone should be the days, when they become a burden to your time and your company.
Interns can be an integral part of your organization. In this day and age they are probably more technically savvy than the directors in your organization. They know how to research, type, network, code and decode better than any generation before them. They love technology and more so, they love the idea of success, fame and fortune, as it’s all over their social media world.
Do they have a short attention span? Most of them.
Can they be driven to succeed? Absolutely.
They need to be given the right tools so you don’t just have them for a few months but rather a few years. If you play your cards right, you won’t be wasting your time just to see them run out the door when their internship is over. So make the most out of your interns so you see a return in your investment.
Pick Wisely: Before even having an intern, know what the role of the person will be. Just like your stock portfolio you wouldn’t just go with the seat of your pants, you would look at industry, the company, the potential. Don’t just have an intern because of the free or almost free labour. What is their potential in your company? How do you want them to grow with the company? How do you want to see them succeed? What type of person best fits your organization from the get go? Don’t pick anyone, pick with purpose.
Proper Onboarding: They are human and they are just like any other new employee in your organization. They need a proper onboarding process which means, an email prior to arrival, indicating the information they need to succeed the first day, an introduction to the team, the company, a computer and even a cell phone, if that’s normal protocol for your organization. Ensure they have an email address as well. Treat them with the same respect you would any other new employee. Just like a stock if it’s doing poorly, you have two choices, stick with it and hope it/they pick up or get rid of them!
Remain Calm: They are interns, which means they are learning, which also means you have to allow them to try things and make mistakes. The biggest mistake you can make with an intern is being extremely overbearing and watching their every move. Watch your stocks from a distance. Watching them every second won’t make your life easier, just more stressful so when it comes to an intern, let them learn, they will stay.
Let Them Speak: They are new, they have questions, they have ideas. Some ideas might be outlandish but some might actually work for your organization. Don’t discount them just because they are young. They see things differently then you and that’s not a bad thing. Their creative juices can allow you to think differently as well and create something incredible.
Give A Pat On The Back: It won’t kill you to say “Good job” “Thank You” “Love That!”. Don’t flood their head with compliments that they think they can feel they can run the company today but give them a sense of value by providing positive feedback every now and again so they can see themselves a huge part of the company in the future.
Remember It’s Not About The Money: Your intern is there because he/she wants to learn the ropes of your company and/or your job. They aren’t there for the money as much as you might be. Some interns aren’t even paid and that you need to be well aware of and remember! They are there because they genuinely want to be. Perhaps taking that into consideration and paying for their lunch or a movie or a show can be a nice way to reward them. The $10 lunch can save you hundreds and thousands of dollars in the long run as they grow your company, with you. Appreciation goes a long way.
When you are hiring an intern, you are hiring someone to help you build your team, your company and your dreams. They come in with zero experience so you must groom them properly, and invest in them wisely so all your efforts aren’t wasted and they essentially leave to help build someone portfolio. If that happens, you have no one to blame but your own market value.
Jessica Glazer is the Recruitment Director/Founder of www.MindHR.com-a head-hunting and resume writing agency. She writes for Huffington Post, can be heard on Montreal’s NewsTalk Radio CJAD and seen on BTMontreal and Global television speaking about employment related issues.
Sometimes you just have to stop and laugh at what the universe sends you but we can actually learn from these humerous errors as well.
Below are just a few laugh out loud errors that have been sent my way. Happy Laughing. Happy Learning.
In Cover Letter: Benefits currently include…”Ham at Christmas” That was conversation I will never forget. I had to call him confirm it was real…it was!! “Ham can be expensive at Christmas, you know?” Was his response…for the record this was a 90k figure guy!
Email address: missyshakes@*******.com Your email address should be professional…Missshakes might agree…and it does exist!!
A gap in employment because…..”Dog Was Sick” I understand people love their pets but not everyone is a pet person this smells like a person with serious issues
“Perfectly Bilingual Written/ Spoken English, French Spoken, Some Italian” Umm..Perfectly bilingual in itself doesn’t make sense but then to break it down to not being bilingual at all???
Sent out a resume on the back side of a draft cover letter to another firm with the words “Pays attention to detail in the cover letter” Just Pay Attention!!
Wrong Name And Company In The Message. Hi, I’m Jessica, Not Jennifer, Not Jasmine, Not Stacey, Nor Susan or Marissa or Nancy…although nice names, they are not mine. My name is Jessica and my company name is MindHR, pretty simple 🙂
Send Cover Letter On Current Company Letterhead! I get you are working but can you at least have the decency to NOT use your current company’s property…it makes me very uneasy
Including Naked Pictures/Half Naked Pictures- If you think you are hot save the gogglers for the beach…I am not Candy-Dating. I am trying to get the best of the best for my clients not the egocentric, narcissistic ones.
Bachelors In Arts 1990 to present…Ummm so when are you going to be finishing that???
Reason for leaving for 4 careers in a row Layoffs but all companies are still in working order and there are no references RED FLAG!!
“Turnaround Consultant- Turned X Y Z companies around” And let me guess you are also a well educated, articulate person with many words!!
15 Page Resume!! I didn’t think it was ever going to end!! DO NOT DO IT!! Send a 2-3 page MAX!
Gardenview Elementary School I really never need to know when you went to elementary school…I’m trying to think of a time I need it, but nope…never…I don’t even need to know when you went to high school…keep to college and above and should we know people in common let’s figure it out when we speak.
The time will come when you want to leave your snug job and when that time comes you have to ask yourself: “Is my resume parallel to the career I am looking for?” That resume you put together in college landed you your first office job but as you try to scurry up the food chain that resume sink right into the interweb trash can. So as you grow up, so should your resume.
1) Write about your achievements. You had x job and did a, b, c. But NO you didn’t just do a,b,c you accomplished x, y, z!! You save the company money, you opened multinationals, you led a team of all sorts of trades, you negotiated off the ying and the yang to reach the end of the earth for the company you worked for and THIS IS HOW!! Explain what you did and how you did it! Your new hiring manager wants to see numbers and names. Throw them!
2) You didn’t just reach targets you went above and beyond because you did THIS!
3) Add color and spice and everything nice. You need to stand out on paper. Your resume is you selling yourself on paper. Cap where caps go, italic where italics go, use small and large fonts, use graphs and diagrams BUT ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT!!
4) You are one person with many talents who may have a few jobs that are of interest to you. You may want to be a GM, a Director of Operations or a VP. Whatever the case may be do know it’s okay to have more than one resume for more than one job.
5) Say goodbye to your objectives on the top of the page. Your applying for a job, we get it you are motivated, highly educated, and a thought provoking team leader. Instead brand yourself, add information we can’t find anywhere else on your resume, add things you did but be sure you actually did them.
6) NEVER LIE!! I don’t care how great this all reads to you, don’t you dare lie. Liers get caught in one way or another….Karma baby karma!
7) Date your work. If you are senior go about 15-20 years but not more! DO NOT add high school but add dates to all other places and if you worked at one place for many years, break it down to what you did when. And don’t tell me you have to think…we all have to think!
8) Just because you are out of school doesn’t mean education isn’t important. Add all relevant degrees, affiliates and certifications. And do know if you are applying to certain careers a scuba certificate can be interesting BUT for others and most…keep it out! (Point 8.5, Know your audience. Do your research about what works and doesn’t work with the company, figure out if and where they volunteer, perhaps not only are your interests are the same but you have both been to the same event at the same time.)
9) References upon request is old school. Of course you will give references if requested. If not what’s the matter with you?? And with that though don’t add your actual references here, wait until asked or bring your glowing letters to an interview. It’s manners 🙂
10) Your information on the top of the page can be limited to your name, your phone number, your email address, your twitter, linkedin link but after that no need to add more. You can leave your actual mailing address out, it won’t be used until you are hired.
11) If you are too lazy to do this all yourself. There are resume writing agencies that can help….including ours but do know no resume will guarantee you a job. It will hopefully get you an interview but after that it’s all you.
Do know, the bigger the job, the more humanistic the process will be. You will have multiple interviews with multiple people. It may all be for nothing but you don’t know what you can or will have until you try. So fix your resume and get on out there!
1) You are are applying to jobs you want to work for but have zero experience in the field or industry
2) You are pushy. If you are pushy in the interview process how will you be in the office?
3) You are late. You don’t call. If you want a job and you are late you call, if you are lost you call, it’s that simple.
4) You know everything so act like you do. This is sure to be a winning personality trait.
5) Ask about money and benefits. You don’t want a job you want a vacation your first day!
6) Talk terribly about your previous employer and coworkers. People love gossip chatter box away!
7) Ignore recruiters. Ignore their emails and their calls. What do recruiters know anyway? There’s no way they know what they are doing, just because they have a job, doesn’t mean they are good at it!
8) Don’t analyse the company, the team or the people you will be working with. The less you know the better. Who doesn’t love surprises anyway??
9) You job hop like a pub crawl.
10) You don’t sell yourself. You don’t care about the job and you don’t care about you. You wonder why they are even interviewing you in the first place. You were only picked out of probably 50 profiles!
11) Your biggest weakness when asked you answer “organizational skills and prioritizing” (yes, we have heard this)
12) Your resume hasn’t been modified so it’s not only outdated but you actually didn’t change the template, not even the words “place information here”