For Immediate Release: Easy Job Search Strategies for Resumes and Cover Letters e-Book

For Immediate Release

Easy Job Search Strategies for Resumes and Cover Letters e-Book

Now Available on Kindle

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (February 25, 2013). Five Strengths Career Transition Experts, Salt Lake City, UT, is proud to announce that Amy L. Adler, CEO, published Easy Job Search Strategies for Resumes and Cover Letters on Amazon.com in Kindle format.

Amy L. Adler, first-place winner of the Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) Award for Best Executive Resume, announced today that she has published Easy Job Search Strategies for Resumes and Cover Letters. This concise, inexpensive, and accessible e-book contains Adler’s top-secret techniques for determining your next job and writing the resume that gets you there. This new e-book promotes the best career transition strategies and the most powerful resume writing techniques available.

Six interactive worksheets give every reader the chance to implement Adler’s strategy right away. Job seekers who need to identify the right job titles, the right resume formats, and the right cover letters to win interviews need to read this book. Says Adler, “The economy is tough. If job seekers are unemployed, or underemployed, they need access to the right techniques that will give them the same chance to achieve the interviews they need. This e-book levels the playing field.”

Easy Job Search Strategies for Resumes and Cover Letters
Only $0.99 at
http://bit.ly/easyjobsearchstrategiesforresumesandcoverletters

Bloggers: Ask for a free review copy.

About Amy L. Adler

Amy L. Adler, MBA, MA, CARW is the founder and CEO of Five Strengths Career Transition Experts, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. She won first place in the TORI Awards 2012 for Best Executive Resume. Amy is one of the most experienced career transitions experts in the nation and frequently writes and speaks on career advancement, executive résumé writing and interview strategies. Having written hundreds of job search documents, several examples of her work have been published in Gallery of Best Cover Letters, 4th Ed. (David F. Noble, JIST Publishing, 2012).

 

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For interviews and media appearances, contact Amy L. Adler
2180 East 4500 South, Suite 150 | Holladay, UT 84117 | +1 (801) 810-JOBS | www.fivestrengths.com

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.

Cover Letter Strategy—Format of a Great Resume Cover Letter

Cover Letters: The Great Divide Among Hiring Managers

The world is binary, as the humorous quote states: “There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.” It’s also divided into hiring managers who love cover letters and those who hate them.

Which type of hiring manager are you speaking to when you submit your resume? The answer is you don’t know. This means you have to submit your resume with a cover letter that sings. Every time. No exceptions. Starting now.

Your Strategy for Catching a Hiring Manager’s Attention

You can search the web for samples—but they won’t always be right for your job search.  Some are of the “please read my attached resume” variety, and those will simply bore your reader

As you read these resume and samples them, look for the following format:

  1. Standard letter-writing format. Include a header with your address and contact information.
  2. Proper salutation. Address your reader formally with “Dear Ms. Smith:”, or, if you don’t know the hiring manager’s name, “Dear Hiring Manager:.” “To whom it may concern” is strikingly impersonal, and “Dear Scott” is too informal, even if you know the hiring manager personally.
  3. Clever opening paragraph. This is the hardest part of the cover letter. Tactics you can try include the following: Invite the reader to join you in thinking about something related to the industry. Make a bold statement, and then defend it using your experience as an example. Make a bold statement and then refute it, using your history to disprove it. Whatever you decide to do, find a way to catch your reader’s attention and hold it. Make him want to read your resume, pick up the phone, and call you for an interview.
  4. List relevant accomplishments. Use a bulleted list if you want to highlight 3 or more accomplishments. Use a paragraph if you’re a recent graduate or want to tell a story rather than simply highlight facts.
  5. Ask for the interview. Close your letter with a request for the interview. You won’t get what you don’t ask for.
  6. Close your letter respectfully but not too personally. “Sincerely” always works. “Yours truly” seems a bit intimate for the purposes of your job search.

If you’ve read these strategies and are still stuck for ideas, check out some cover letter samples that met and beat every one of the above criteria. In fact, all of these cover letters got interviews for job candidates.

In conclusion, your cover letter should feel like your voice, reflect your resume, and, most importantly, reflect the position for which you are hiring. By following the format above, you’re sure to create an introduction to your resume that shouts “hire me.”

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.

Ask for the Interview: Effective Strategies for Your Cover Letter

You Won’t Get What You Don’t Ask For

You’ve heard this phrase: “You get what you ask for.” Usually, it’s a tongue-in-cheek way of telling listeners they did something thoughtless.

The flip side is also true. You won’t get what you don’t ask for, particularly in the context of the interview. In that sense, your cover letter, your initial communication with a hiring manager, should clearly ask for a meeting during which you can elaborate on your unique skills sets.

Cover Letter Templates Fail

I am constantly amazed by the cover letter templates on sites purporting to deliver expert advice. I did a quick Google search for “free cover letter sample.” The sample letters I dug up miss major opportunities to rise to the top of the stack. Primarily, they’re extremely generic. They don’t set the focus outward onto ways the applicant can solve the hiring manager’s pain. And they don’t ask for the interview.

Ask for the interview.

Ask for the interview in your cover letter.

When you present unassuming, generic language in your letter to a hiring manager, you’re presenting yourself as unfocused and unsure of your goal. In the current economy, where unemployment rates drive up applications for coveted spots, the hiring manager isn’t going to take the time to figure out what you have to offer. It’s up to you to clearly state your expertise—and your desire to meet this hiring manager for this position. You’ll sound educated about the potential role and focused about your ambitions.

Don’t Miss an Opportunity to Use Your Cover Letter Effectively

Every word on your resume counts—it’s the same for your cover letter. Don’t miss the opportunity to ask for what you want. Don’t expect the reader to assume that you’re the most eager, the best qualified, and the most likely to succeed in the position. Give them what they need to draw your resume out the stack: a sharply presented, clearly stated request for the interview. After all, this is the point of your resume/cover letter package—to get you in for a face-to-face, so you can show the hiring manager that you will succeed in your target role.

I welcome comments and questions on this article, either here or to .

Related Links:

Say “Thank You” for Your Interview

Market Your Professional Branding Message

Amy L. Adler, Career Search Strategist, is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a career search strategy and resume writing company. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents on behalf of clients at all levels of employment. Credentialed as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Amy has earned a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology and Strategic Management as well as a Master of Arts in Publishing. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS or aadler@inscribeexpress.com.

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.

IT Waves Goodbye to the Cover Letter

There are plenty of resources out there for job seekers that spout the continued importance of cover letters. However, this continues to be a widely debated subject. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer from the people who matter to you the job seeker; that is, hiring managers, recruiters, and human resource departments. That being said, we at Ashley Ellis are going to come right out and say that, in the IT world, the answer is no, you don’t need a cover letter.

To be frank, the number one reason cover letters aren’t read by hiring managers is the sheer volume of people applying and the hours it would take to direct personal attention to each and every person’s cover letter. Today’s world is one of speed and efficiency, and the practice of the cover letter just doesn’t seem to fit in with that vision. This is especially true in the IT realm: since IT Directors and Managers typically embrace that vision, a cover letter isn’t going to do much for them.

However, even if there was an extra hour in each day to read cover letters, hiring managers are unanimous in the view that if a resume doesn’t hold its own, then a cover letter will not help you get an interview. If a resume is bad, a cover letter won’t be read at all. On the other hand, if your resume does stand out from the masses, the chance your letter might be read increases. However, if your resume is good enough to get you an interview by itself, why create a second chance for you to be weeded out with a cover letter that potentially just doesn’t cut it? In other words, a great resume by itself can get you an interview. If you add a cover letter into the mix, your chance at an interview might be hurt.

If you’re still tempted to write a cover letter despite all this, keep a few things in mind before you put pen to paper. If cover letters are read at all, they are not read in depth, so stay brief and to the point. A cover letter that consists of an autobiography, a detailed explanation of personal issues or requirements, or an extended version of the resume just won’t cut it. Essentially, a cover letter should be a snap shot of your resume that can reach out to both technical and non-technical people. Briefly highlight both your technical and non-technical skills, especially ones that were specifically mentioned in the job description.

Watch for any inconsistencies between the letter and your resume that may inadvertently pop up. Also, personalization is good: Put some effort into researching the company and briefly explain why you want to work for them and what you can bring to their table. Finally, please resist any temptation to enclose an autobiography within your cover letter, even an abridged version. Ultimately, if you really need a measure, a cover letter shouldn’t be more than two or three short and concise paragraphs.

The bottom line is all signs indicate that we’re speeding towards a world where a cover letter is simply not worth your time or brain cells, especially in the IT world. If you choose to get ahead of this train, then great. If, however, you’re still intent on writing a cover letter, then our tips will definitely help you on your way.

Clare Webster – Interactive Copywriter at Ashley Ellis

Ashley Ellis is an Information Technology Recruiting/Staffing firm, focused on staying ahead of the industry through our excellent customer service and constant drive toward improvement.

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.

Cover Letters, Part IV: Cover Letters That Get You the Interview, or A Good Cover Letter Is Hard to Find

We’ve spent several posts talking about what makes a terrible cover letter. Here are 3 specific techniques that go into constructing great cover letter:

  1. A great cover letter doesn’t bore or antagonize.

Your cover letter is not about you, at least not to start. Your cover letter is about what you can do for the company to which you are applying. Tell the hiring manager why you understand the company’s situation or position. Explain what you bring that is unique and essential to the position. Capitalize on the hiring manager’s need to hire someone they don’t have to train and who can hit the ground running.

Additionally, don’t whine, demand, or convey in any way that you need something from the company. Don’t be rude or childish in your prose. Don’t be too personal, and don’t use instant-messaging speak (e.g., “CU l8r” is great for your pals, but it makes a terrible impression on a professional). In other words, don’t give the reader a reason to reject your letter out of hand.

Your professional resume and cover letter writer understands the correct language, tone, and presentation for your cover letter. She will demonstrate your keen industry understanding in an inviting, carefully worded manner. She knows your industry well, so she’ll select timely business topics that are relevant and interesting to the hiring manager.

2. A great cover letter is thought-provoking.

A great cover letter presents your qualifications in light of the company’s needs, not the other way around (news flash: the company doesn’t care about your needs, wants, or aspirations). Make the recruiter think that you are the right person for the job. You can do this by presenting a thought-provoking statement about the industry, or even a contradiction that only you, with your brilliant career, can untangle for the reader.

The writing professional you select should be able to craft a document that hooks the hiring manager instantly. She’ll demonstrate a bit of creativity on your behalf, utilizing your branding and industry expertise as the basis for a structured introduction that will have the hiring manager nodding in agreement with your perspective.

3. A great cover letter functions as an advertisement for your resume.

The subsequent paragraphs or bullets should reflect your amazing expertise. You have about 10 to 20 seconds to convince the hiring manager to put your resume into the “call for interview” pile. A good resume/cover letter writer will select the best of your accomplishments and craft vibrant achievement statements that reflect the specific position—without rewriting or copying the applicant’s resume.

A cover letter either resonates with a recruiter or hiring manager, or it falls flat. What do you want yours to do? Contact us about our approach to cover letters that put yours at the top of the “call for an interview” pile.

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.

Cover Letters, Part III: Cover Letters Should Not Make Applicants Sound Like Supplicants

Actually, they shouldn’t make applicants sound whiny: “I want, and I want, and I want, and you should” is not how a cover letter should read. The letter should be all about the company’s needs, and very little about the applicant wants or desires—except about how the applicant’s goal is to exceed all of the company’s needs and requirements. The applicant would be better served to say that she has done X, Y, and Z before, and she can do it again.

In short, it’s not about what the company can do for you and how it can support your goals. It is about how you, the applicant, can improve the company in so many ways.

Contact Inscribe / Express at or www.inscribeexpress.com to have a professional, certified resume writer help you discover the ways to write an impressive cover letter that will get you the interview for the job you deserve.

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.

Cover Letters, Part II: Cover Letters Shouldn’t be Boring

Want Your Resume to Be Noticed?

Make Your Cover Letter Shine

I wrote earlier about a job application process I was managing (it was weird to be on the other side of the desk for a change!). Of the approximately one third of applications that I received with cover letters, about half or so included generic and unimpressive varieties. The applicants had an idea that they needed to send something with their resumes, but their techniques did not hit the right tone or level of appropriateness. These letters looked a lot like this one, which is word for word (although anonymized for the purpose of reprinting):

Dear Hiring Department;

I am excited to apply for the Employment supervisor for youth w/mental health issues (in your city) that has been advertised. While my resume will provide you with an outline of my education and experience; the following information highlights additional personal and professional strengths:

  • Creative, resourceful, and flexible; able to adapt to changing priorities, maintain a positive work attitude and strong work ethic.
  • Expert juggler of multiple projects and achieving on-time completion of various projects, while exceeding expectations.
  • Excellent anticipatory skills; adept at foreseeing unanticipated problems.
  • A clear, concise, and logical communicator; competent at building rapport with clients and colleagues.

Please find attached my resume for your further review.  A cover letter and resume cannot possibly tell you if I am the right candidate for your position, so I look forward to hearing from you in the future, for a more personable meeting.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Applicant name]

Can you imagine my reaction to this type of letter? It certainly beat the type sent by the other half, which hardly referenced the position at all, making the candidate sound like he or she was simply blanketing the universe with resumes (one simply included the words “Thank you.”). The only thing keeping me from sleeping through this letter was its impossibly bad format, which made me want to see how awful it was going to get. I also noticed the terrible grammar and formatting, which certainly did not endear the candidate to me.

Of course, my point is that your resume and cover letter should look nothing like the foregoing. It should be engaging, succinct, and address the hiring manager’s needs, not yours. Your professional resume and cover letter writer knows how to select the right language that will make the hiring manager or recruiter want to read your career documentation, so if you don’t feel confident that your skills are in promoting your area of expertise, you might want to consider hiring someone who does this every day.

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.

A Good Cover Letter is Hard to Find: Part I

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on cover letters. I am trying to figure out what makes bad ones terrible and great ones stick out from the pack.

This is the first in a series of posts about what we know about cover letters.

Cover Letters Are Necessary

During the summer of 2009, I helped a business client of mine recruit for a supervisory position in her nonprofit for troubled children. I wrote the job description and posted it on craigslist locally. I think I received about 25 responses. Probably a third of those included cover letters of one sort or another. I wanted to reject the other two thirds out of hand, simply because the applicants couldn’t figure out how to follow the protocol for applying for a job. I didn’t, and that resulted in some other problems resulting from the candidate’s level of professionalism. Perhaps we should have paid attention to a well-known fact: Including a cover letter is a professional courtesy, as it gives the resume some context. It explains to the hiring manager why the candidate is sending this other document (resume). Without it, the resume is free-floating without a clear target. Your resume also needs an introduction, and that introduction is a well-crafted cover letter.

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.