In the Washington D.C. area four to six inches of snow fell overnight, prompting the closure of the federal government, schools and businesses. It was the area’s first major snowfall of the season, and crews worked throughout the morning to clear roads and sidewalks.
So if you are like me and stayed inside sipping on some hot chocolate and keeping warm, why not work on some items needed for your job search! Below are a few items to work on and check off of your to do list!
Create a Cover Letter
Cover letters are an excellent opportunity to add qualifications we can’t fully clarify in our resumes. They also assist job seekers to allow them to come across as real people to prospective employers. Don’t just throw together a cover letter and think the hiring manager won’t read it. You may be missing out on the chance to land the job. In order to take advantage of a cover letter’s full potential perform the steps below.
Make sure you include a salutation in your cover letter. The greeting you select will depend on the information you have about the organization. Assuming you know the name of the Human Resource manager, your salutation should be listed as follows: Dear (Mr. Smith) followed by a colon or a comma. Ensure you address the hiring manager with their proper title (Ms. or Mr. etc.).
Let’s assume you don’t know the name of the hiring manager. Simply put “Dear Hiring Manager,” or “Dear (insert organization name) Team.” Last but not least, you could address the cover letter with “To Whom It May Concern”. However, I would not recommend utilizing this salutation.
You can first start off writing the first paragraph of your cover letter. This is where you will state which position you’re applying for and how you heard about the job listing. I would recommend this being about 1 to 2 sentences in length.
The second step will be to write the body paragraphs of your cover letter. Many cover letters will have typically about 1 to 2 body paragraphs. Keep in mind you want to keep the letter short and not take up a great deal of their time. Ensure you answer these questions in your body paragraphs. Why do I want to work for this organization? What work experience you have that fits the job qualifications in the job announcement? Why are you a qualified candidate for this position?
Next you will write the final paragraph of your cover letter. In this paragraph you will wrap up your letter and how you will follow up with your application. You want to recap in one sentence why you feel you’re a perfect fit for the position. You will then address what you’ll do next. If you plan to follow up with the hiring manager in a week, then input the date in your letter. You can also just say that you look forward to discussing your qualifications further and interviewing for the position.
Always present your contact information to include email and phone number so they may reach you. In addition, state if your resume and references are attached. Finally always thank the person for their time. Finally, you will end your cover letter with a closing statement. “Sincerely” or “Best” are always great options. Finish up your cover letter by typing your full name.
Create a Reference List Sheet for Job Interviews
Job seekers shouldn’t include the standard blurb “references available upon request” on your resume. You need to have a reference page set up ahead of time to include a list of job references.
How you organized your reference list can make a huge impact in your chances of landing the position! When you’ve reached the point in the interview process where a hiring manager asks you for your references, you will already be prepared.
Make sure to present your information accurately and in an easy to read format. This will ensure you have a quality reference list! Remember, everything you say or do during your job search helps to create a lasting impression in a prospective employer’s mind.
Now I certainly hope you are enjoying your snowy days this winter. You can’t change the weather; however you can find activities that will help with your job search!
If you still have any questions regarding your resumes or federal application process feel free to drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you!
Dannielle Ramos Rash is an Army Veteran and Founder of First Class Resumes & Career Services. http://www.first-classresumes.com/She is a Certified Federal Job Search Trainer (CFJST), Certified Federal Career Coach (CFCC), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Dannielle provides dynamic resumes & career documents for job seekers around the globe.