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Cover letters that stand out

Cover Letters That Stand Out (VIDEO)


I’m adding an extra twist to what you may be doing with your cover letter that will help you standout from the pack

Summary

Over the years, I've created plenty of videos about writing cover letters. I'm going to give you a quick rehash before I give you something new about them.

The typical cover letter might be in response to an ad.  It might be an introduction to a hiring manager.  The 1st paragraph should reflect that.

"I'm forwarding my resume to you because I was referred to you by Jeff Altman You told me you were trying to fill a position for such and such.  My understanding of the role is . . . You're looking for someone with . . . " You would then lay out in the left column what the skills were for the position (maybe you've seen a head or a job description that your friend has forwarded to you) and the functionality that is going to be performed.  In the right column, you would write down how long and how recently you can engage with it.

For example, flush left you would write

SOX compliance                                                                                                 5 years until 2015

User liaison                                                                                                         2 years current.

Manages people on-site and offshore                                                            3.2 years.  Current.

You make the fit seem obvious in this chart that you're creating for them.

Normally, I would say, "I believe you will see my background Matches up nicely for the role.  I look forward to hearing from you."

I want to encourage you to add an extra step in here.  That's the human touch.  This is a "miss" I want to acknowledge having had.  It is something I haven't encourage people to do often enough.

Like my advanced answer to the question, "Tell me about yourself," You might say something along the lines of, "I'm sure you see a lot of people and their resumes.  You say they have this background , but what makes me different is…" Then you going to some human characteristics that make you stand out.

Please don't say that you're hard-working or dedicated. Go to the humanity of the situation instead of the BS.  If you stay with hard-working or dedicated, people think to themselves, "Ugh!  Not again!"

The goal is to always differentiate yourself from others because if you are just another commodity, you're going to be paid a commodity's wage. If you are the best of the commodities you will be paid at the rate of the best of the range of the commodities. So, there's a range of salary; there is a law and there is a high.Yes, you will be at the higher point of the range, but so what?  You want to go past the range.  You always want to demonstrate that you are far superior to anyone that they say.

This does that by putting a human face on you, so that people can easily see how you stand out, instead of looking like another drone to them.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching?  Email me at JeffAltman@TheBigGameHunter.us and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line and tell me about your circumstances in the body of the email.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

 

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

To Whom Do You Address Your Cover Letter? (VIDEO)


This is a trick question. Let me explain why.

Summary

On this video, I want to answer someone's question about cover letters. The question is, "To whom do I address my cover letter?"

I think of this is a trick question. That's because I have to ask, what is a cover letter in the age of email? If you are sending an attachment, if you think Anyone is going to open that file to read your attachment, you are kidding yourself. What we will read is the body of them by email And, as such, that is the home of cover letters these days.

The 2nd thing I want to point out is to whom you do you dress it? You don't know who you're going to send it to? You're going to send it to "the HR department?" Do you think you're supposed to address that, "Dear HR Department?" Do you know how many people work there?You send your resume to a major American corporation and address it that way? How many people do you think working HR at J.P. Morgan Chase for example? Or Boeing? Or pick the name of another large firm? Ask them who you are supposed to address it to! Don't just ask randomly like this question is. As for the name of the person is responsible for recruiting for the particular type of position.

Here is the next part of the trick.You shouldn't be sending your cover letter and resume to HR. You should be sending it to the hiring manager.You want to find out the name of the hiring manager who is coordinating the search for the position you want to apply for. You don't want to be sending it to HR. You don't want to be sending it to the applicant tracking system for it to review. You want don't want to do that because you put the data Too far back in the resume and gave it the idea that the experience that you have isn't current enough. You always want to be finding the hiring manager.

Don't know who it is? Easy. Find the kind of job it is, Get on LinkedIn, if you're not connected with the person who it is, go to www.li-usa.info. Search until you can find someone who is responsible for that function. Then, use a chrome extension called Prophet. Generally, it will return email addresses for people even if you are not connected with them on LinkedIn.

Again, that is www.li-usa.info and a chrome extension called Prophet. You'll get the email address to send your resume to them. To find that person, that is on you to find in figure out.. NEVER EVER apply for jobs doing applicant tracking system And, really, if you can avoid it, skip HR. They can decide who to reject, but they cannot decide who to hire.

No disrespect. I have known a lot of fabulous HR people but it is not their job to hire. Their job is to manage the firm's human resources. To translate, in this particular case, the recruiter Acts as an "screener" Not someone who hires.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

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Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

Are you interested in executive job search coaching, leadership coaching or life coaching from me?  Email me at JeffAltman@TheBigGameHunter.us and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line.

Three Cover Letter Rules | Job Search Radio

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses three rules for writing cover letters you must employ.

Summary

I see cover letters all the time and people foolishly send them as a separate attachment. No one is ever going to open a separate attachment. They go right to the attachment that looks like it's going to be the resume.

They make the mistake of addressing it as, "Dear Human Resources Manager" or "Dear Recruiter," or some generic introduction like that. Don't do that.

Number 1, put your cover letter into the body of the email so that no attachment is necessary for it. Number 2. Don't address anyone. Once you are addressing it to do so and so and got out with a real person is and using a generic introduction, it gives the impression of it being a form letter. Don't do it.

Third, 3 paragraphs.

The 1st one is an introduction and explains why you are sending the email. The 2nd paragraph is to lay out what it is about your background that you fits what they are looking for. 3rd is you do a closing. The closing should be something along the lines of what you are going to follow up.

"If I don't hear from you I will give you a call the day after tomorrow to see if you might be interested in scheduling an appointment. Really very simple.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions. NOW WITH A 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Please give “Job Search Radio” a great review in iTunes. It helps other people discover the show and makes me happy!

If you are an executive who is interested in 1 on 1 coaching, email me at JeffAltman(at)TheBigGameHunter.us

Do Recruiters Read Cover Letters?

Do Recruiters Read Cover Letters? (VIDEO)


Things have changed since the days of old and now hope someone questions whether recruiters actually read cover letters. Here is my answer.


Summary

The question for today is, "Do recruiters read cover letters?"

The answer is: Not if you send them as a separate attachment.

I'm looking to pop open the cover letter sent to me as an attachment. However, if you send it as a "cover email" (you know, using the body of your email to communicate what would have been a cover letter to lay out a case for yourself), then you have a chance of my reading it. However, it has to be clear as to what it is you're attempting to communicate about your background and how it fits the role, including for.

I'm not going to read, "I'm forwarding my resume to you because I understand you're trying to fill a position for a such and such. I believe my background with such and such, coupled with my driving determination would make me a strong person for your client." I'm not going to read that nonsense.

Here's what I want to read:
I want to read something that takes the requirements of the position and sticks them in the left-hand column in the right-hand column. I want to see how long and how recently you perform that function. If you want to include what the tasks of the job are, I would like that, too. That's because what you're doing is using the cover email to make a case for your candidacy instead of sending a bunch of fluff.

No one wants to read fluff! After all, you're not selling anything. You just saying a bunch of garbage.

Use the body of your email to lay out a case for yourself in the way that I suggested and then you have a chance of people reading it.

Not just name, but corporate recruiters at agency recruiters, as well.

 

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

NOW WITH A 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Great Cover Letters (VIDEO)

FROM THE ARCHIVES

In this video, Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter Offers two different approaches to writing effective cover letters.

 

Summary

I want to talk with you about cover letters today because cover letters are 1 of those things are an afterthought in most people's repertoire and, frankly, they are the "grabber" of your speech.

Do you know what I mean by a grabber? If you are at a function where someone is going to give a formal speech, often, they are going to try to grab your attention, tell you a story, tell you a joke, tell you something that's designed to get your attention. A cover letter is really like that.

When I start off in recruiting in days of old, a cover letter was actually a cover letter. It was attached on top of your resume and mail to the recipient. I know it's hard to imagine people actually did that but they did. Today, were actually talking about a "cover email" but still: a cover letter. It is really the thing that should grab someone's attention.

How do you do that? How do you get someone to actually open that attachment and pay attention to your resume? The easiest way to do it is if you have someone who referred you to this individual. So, in that case, you would lead off with that right away. However, if you don't have someone you can point to (I am referred to you by Ramesh Patel. He told me were trying to hire someone for this role), what can you do?

There are 2 schools of thought to this. One is to be relatively brief and to the point. "I saw your position on such and such site. I noted that required experience with such and such things. I have more than 6 years of experience with each of those skills." Then he would talk about your role, responsibilities and accomplishments in a relatively brief manner. From there you would conclude by saying, "I hope to hear from you in the next few days about scheduling an interview or, barring that, I will call you with the early part of next week to chat."

The 2nd one which I think is very interesting is doing what I call it point by point. You have seen a job listing so you would copy and paste it into your cover email. "I saw your position on such and such site requiring this background. Here's what you do next. Next to each of the skills required for the position, you would write down how long and how recently you had worked with each. Using technology as an example, if they are listing J2EE background, "we are looking for someone with 5 years of J2EE experience plus 5 years of such and such and 6 years of such and such," next to each item you would indicate how long and how recently you work with each. See might write, "7 years of J2EE as recently as last week."

Next to the next requirement, you might write, "3 years of experience as recently as 6 months ago." Continue by going item by item with the job requirements and list how long and how recently you worked with each. From there, you might list the functionality of the position (each of the things that they would want you to do) and do the same thing next to each. This makes it very easy for them to see what the fit is like.

From there, you would wrap it up by saying, "I hope to hear from you soon about scheduling the interview. Barring that, I will call you later this week or early part of the next."

That makes it a very effective cover letter because you make it very obvious to them in the cover letter. Then you back it up with a resume that you have attached your cover email that, again, demonstrates the fit however, if your resume doesn't support what you said in your cover letter, they will start to scratch their head and asked themselves, "What gives here?"

Thus you have to tailor your resume to confirm what you told them in the cover letter is accurate. Together, they become a very powerful presentation.

 

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions. NOW WITH A 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

 

What is The Best Way to Start a Cover Letter? (VIDEO)


Questions like this make me crazy, but since someone needed an answer, here it is.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is an executive job search and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com changes that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions. 

NOW WITH A 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

Connect with me on LinkedIn

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle for $.99 and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Cover Letter or No Cover Letter?


Should you use a cover letter?

Summary

Cover letter or no letter? Should you use a cover letter?

The fact is they cover letters are anachronistic if you think of it, what a cover letter was was something that was placed on top of the resume to explain to the reader what they were going to be reading. It explained what you did and how you did it and it preceded the resume.

We’re not dealing with that these days. We’re not receiving resumes delivered to us through the mail these days. We’re sending emails so the notion of putting something on top doesn’t work anymore. Some people even make the mistake of sending them as a second attachment. No one opens it up. They look for the document file name and lets them know that that one is your resume.

What do you do instead? I do believe that there is a place for you to explain to a reader what it is they will be reading.

What I want you to do is use the message area of your email like the old cover letter. In effect, that covers your resume.

Instead of saying the Monday of, “I’m forwarding my resume to you for the position of such and such (That’s paragraph one). Paragraph two says, “I believe my experience with such and such demonstrates my… You know are going with this.” These things don’t say anything and no one cares about them.

Here is what you do instead.

Start off with the same introduction and then continue on by saying, “let me show you how my background fits with the role.”

If saw an ad or been told by someone about the position, you put those qualifications in the left-hand column. In the right column, you tell them how long and how recently you’ve done that which they are looking for. In other words, you’re making it obvious to them in your “cover email” how your background fits the role. Follow that?

You can go into a little bit of detail. This is the one time I believe you should use tables in presenting credentials; not in the resume but in the cover email because you can make the fit obvious to the reader.

The final paragraph says, “if I haven’t heard from you in a few days, I will give you a quick call to see if you have any questions or whether you would like to arrange for an interview.”

It’s very simple! It also gives you permission to follow up because you giving yourself permission to follow up.

It forces you to do a little bit of work by forcing you to demonstrate how the background actually fits the requirements of the position but it will go a long way toward helping you actually get in the door.

Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Should I Use a Video Cover Letter to Stand Out?


Video cover letters are a growing trend. Should you use one as part of your job hunting?

 

Summary

The question is – – should I use a video cover letter to stand out?

Like many things, the answer may be yes or no… I don’t have enough information in your case to go hard and fast rule but let me summarize my thinking.

Most of you are not great actors or actresses. You think you are but most of you actually stink. Many years ago, when video, was a new phenomena, I received a video from a job hunter who read his resume in front of a blue backdrop.

It was the most boring treatise imaginable.

Most of you don’t talk to the camera well; you can read the speech but do you think that’s going to be exciting for someone? If you sat in the audience of the theater and someone read to you (I’m going to pick something up and read to you exactly is on the piece of paper and every once in a while looked up), is that interesting for you to listen to?No. Does any personality come through? No.

It really depends on who you are and how well you communicate.

There are many people that are sensational communicators; they have a lot of energy and passion; they can deliver a cover letter that speaks to the listener and grabs their attention. They have the ability to say, “This is how you describe the job and the experience that you’re looking for. This is what I have done.” They can do it so well that the phone will ring before the video is over.

Then there is most of you who will write a speech, you’ll tape it to your monitor, or you’ll be holding your phone there in front of you, and will be looking at the camera and then looking down at what you wrote, and look at the camera and what you wrote, and you’re going to be awful.

The right answer is going to be the one that is right for you; I don’t want to give a general rule but the reality is most people are atrocious in front of the camera because you’re not well practiced enough.

I’ve done more than 2000 YouTube videos; I host podcasts; I’m relatively glib. I spent most of my career as a headhunter where nothing is prepared in advance and every conversation is different.

Most of you don’t have that kind of experience and, if you do, have not learned how to translate that experience to be in front of the camera. The result is you are far better writing than you are in person.

That’s the general statement. Now, let me add an extra layer.

Unfortunately, in this world, there was a lot of discrimination. By letting someone see you, you open yourself up to it and to mockery.

You can mark before wearing this coach hat and that’s fine but if you’re out there looking for a job and someone is watching your video and says, “was with that Coach hat he’s wearing,” or, “was with that shirt he’s got on,” or, “she comes across like an idiot,” they are not evaluating for who you are and what you know, they are distracted by something. That’s my other reluctance.

Unless you have a great delivery that is completely captivated, you expose yourself on the basis of bias to unnecessary rejection.

As a result, using a video cover letter can work or not work; you have to know yourself well enough to answer whether it can work for you.

 

Do you really think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.

The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.

Connect with me on LinkedIn http://bit.ly/thebiggamehunter

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