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A Top Notch Cover Letter Can Get your Foot in the Door If you have ever looked for a job, then you know that it is tough out there. Competition is always fierce, especially for those “dream job” type of positions – great company, great benefits, and great pay. If you want your resume to rise to the top of the pile in the Human Resources department and you want to get that call for an interview, then you need something to make your resume stand out from the rest. The best way to draw attention to everything you have to offer is to have a cover letter that jumps right off the page and grabs the attention of the reader. The cover letter is your first chance to make an impression, so make sure your cover letter makes you the one potential hire that is definitely going to be getting a call. Before you can get into the content of your cover letter, you have to cover your basics. You should never, ever have a “form” cover letter that you use with every resume you send. Tailor your cover letter specifically to each individual employer, mentioning their company and the position for which you want to be considered. Address the letter to the correct person – if you’re not sure who will be doing the hiring, call the company and ask. Don’t assume you can address your letter to the HR department and have that be close enough. Taking the time to write a personal cover letter to each company lets your potential employer know you pay attention to detail right off the bat. Of course, you should also make sure that your cover letter is grammatically correct and free of typos. A sloppy cover letter is a one way ticket to the trash can for your resume. Once you have your basics in order, you can turn your attention to what you are actually going to write in the cover letter. Your cover letter is your sales pitch to the company; you need to let them know why they should bet on your when they hire for the position. One great way to sell yourself is to show off how much you already know about the company. Let them know why you want to work there by specifically mentioning projects the company has been involved in that you admire or talking about the position of the company within the field. As you show off how much you know about the company, draw attention to the ways you can actively help the company grow and succeed by drawing parallels between your experience and their work. After you have shown that you have done your homework and know about the company, go into some detail about the unique aspects of your work history. Draw attention to any special achievements or awards and any educational background you have that makes you a good candidate for the job. Remember, your resume will be attached to the cover letter, so you don’t have to go into great detail. Just pick out the highlights that will make the reader want to turn the page and delve into your resume. How you close your cover letter makes as much difference has how you open it. State again exactly what job you want to be considered for, and suggest that you come in for an interview. You can also suggest a few dates and time for an interview to show that you are eager to move on to the next step. You should also give a time and date that you will call to follow up on your resume. A pleasant closing and your signature seal the deal on your winning cover letter.

Evaluating your Free Offers of Stuff Getting free stuff can be a lot of fun, and for many people, the hunt for freebies is as fun as actually enjoying the free products themselves. There is a dark side to freebie offers, however. Many scam artists have come to realize that pretending to offer free things is a great way to trick people into handing over sensitive information about them than can be used in identity theft operations or even bilk them out of cold, hard cash. For that reason, it is important to make sure you know how to stay out there when you’re looking for free offers. There are some things you can do to make sure you freebie hunting only brings you good times – these common sense rules are a great place to start. You’ve heard it a million times before – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The reason you have heard it so many times is that it almost holds water. Think about the reason that companies give away free things. They’re usually not doing it for charity. They want you try to their products in the hope that you will come back to them as a paying customer in the future, and they’re doing it to build good will for their company over all. They’re definitely not doing it go broke. So consider whether the freebie offers you come across make sense according to these criteria. Does it make sense that a company will give you a free bag of their new flavor of chips or a trial size jar of their new face cream? Sure it does, because if you like it, you may buy these products in the future. Does it make sense that a company will give you an all expenses paid, two-week first class trip to Bali for you and ten of your friends? Not so much. Don’t waste your time on these too good to be true freebies – they may end up costing your big time in the long run. By the same token, the more outlandish an offer sounds, the more you have to look for the small print. Sure, maybe the hotel chain is willing to give you a free weekend in their beachfront hotel. The small print in the offer might say that you have to agree to spend 10 hours a day at a sales seminar or that the free weekend is yours after you pay for a two week stay. One particular airline ran an offer for a free coach class plane ticket from New York to London. The small print said you had to buy two, full price first class tickets on that same route before you could get the free on – at a cost of around $8,000 per ticket. Before you jump, make sure you get all of the details. Freebie offers that actually require you to shell out some money are very tricky. Sometimes they are legitimate – after all, if you are accustomed to paying full price first class airfare, a free coach class ticket can be a real score. But many times, when you have to pay to get something for free, that is a red flag that a scammer is at work. You should never send money, even for postage, to a company that you don’t know. Also, keep an eye on the costs for things like postage even if you do know the company name. If they’re asking for $50 postage to send you a free magazine, then you know something is up. Lastly, beware giving out too much personal information. There’s no reason a company giving away free shampoo needs your bank account details. Protect your private info and if you’re unsure, move on to the next freebie offer.

Networking Ideas to Land a Job You Want Finding a new job is always a chore, especially if you are looking for your ideal job. While all jobs have pros and cons, finding employment that you enjoy or feel strongly about can greatly improve your job satisfaction. There are many ways to network and find the job you want. One of the biggest ways to make connections is to volunteer or find an internship. If you have not been able to land a permanent position in the career of your choice, apply for internships or offer your services for free. This is an ideal way to get your foot in the door and since the employer will already be familiar with you, it increases your chances of being hired when an opening arises. Meet people in the field you want to be in. If there are conferences or organizations that members who work in your desired field join, see about getting a membership or attending. Networking within your field of choice can build connections that blossom in the future. Take a lesser position at the company you want to work at. If you want to be a manager but are offered a customer service position, take the customer service position. Management roles are less stressful when you know what the company expects from you. Watch and learn the ins and outs of being a manager at that particular company. After you have some experience under your belt, apply for the next opening. Ask around. Most job openings are not posted anywhere. Finding openings is typically more about inquiring than finding posting. If you are eager to be a part of a company, e-mail your resume to the Human Resources department and see what type of hits you get. Stop by local companies and inquire in person and leave a copy of your resume if there are openings. Most employers are using the Internet to find new employees. Even if the position they are hiring for is not posted online, searching through posted portfolios is commonplace. The best way to get noticed is to have a concise portfolio that goes into detail about past work experience and your future career goals. Before you make it to an interview, the employer should already have a good idea about whom you are. Having a web presence is essential to job-hunting these days. Many employers are using e-mail and electronic submissions to screen employees. With that in mind, you need to be Internet savvy. Brush up on Internet skills, learning the tricks and trades of using the web as a way to seek out the best jobs. Purchase a domain and post your portfolio there. Be sure to show versatility, accomplishment and organization in your portfolio. Also if you choose to use social or networking sites represent yourself in a positive light. Be sure to keep your portfolio updated even when you are not actively looking for work. An interested employer could choose to contact you based on your updated portfolio. Be open to relocating. Search through Internet job postings for other states. Leaving your hometown might be difficult but the job of your dreams may be out there somewhere. Pack up and move to a more economically viable area and mingle with the populous. Make your employment intentions known without seeming desperate for a job. No matter what type of job you have been dreaming of, there are numerous ways to get that position. The key to pinning down, and getting the job you desire is to never give up. If you have been on the job hunt for two years without any success, do not give up.