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Attention-grabbing ways to start a cover letter

cover letterBeing like everyone else will not get you far in your job search. Hiring managers receive numerous resumes and cover letters weekly. If you want to stand out among the rest, you must catch their attention.

Make sure you don’t use a common intro in your cover letter, such as:  “Please accept my resume for consideration of the (ABC) position within your organization. “

Snoozer! Don’t waste space in your opening line by citing the obvious. You need to be different, unique, and appear more valuable than the competition.

Following are a few focus points that lend to attention-grabbing openers: 

  1. Mention the name of a mutual acquaintance. Name dropping virtually guarantees your letter will be read – nothing beats the coattails of someone the hiring manager likes and respects.
  2. State the manager’s name and how you met in the past. Seeing their own name always catches their attention. Furthermore, knowing you have taken the time to get to know them and respect them enough to want to work for them will cause the hiring manager to read more about you.
  3. Lure them with the notable benefits you have to offer. The qualifications you possess that directly relate to the qualities the hiring company seeks will get you noticed.

Samples of sizzling cover letter opening lines:

  • “Julie Nelson mentioned your company has opened a division of sporting goods and suggested I contact you.”
  • “Your speech on Tuesday was inspiring, Mr. Roberts. Soon I will have completed my master’s in physical therapy, just in time for your entry-level opening in the PT ward.”
  • “Since you will soon be working on photo sessions for the Spring catalog, I have enclosed my resume and portfolio to show just how ideal my background in photography and design is for your marketing strategies. “

What makes these opening lines great is they mention names, connect to an experience, reveal in-depth knowledge of the company, or express relevant qualifications. All show the candidate as a person who cares enough to take extra measures to prepare a great self-marketing tool.

If you need assistance designing an attention-grabbing cover letter and/or resume, contact Michelle: MCKResumeService@gmail.com or (727) 278-4367

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5 resume writing tips for new grads

college grads3It’s that time of year when college grads start contemplating writing their first resume. They know the competition for jobs is fierce, so how do they go about presenting themselves in the best possible light?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Create a professional email address. One of the biggest complaints from employers is when a new college graduate uses a cutesy or unprofessional email address. For example, something like icarryagun@gmail.com  is not going to help your job search. Be sure to create a professional email address that you will continue to use for business purposes.
  2. Be relevant. For a new college graduate, a one page resume is usually a good length. Be sure to include experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Although it’s great that you maintained a paper route from age 14 to 17, it isn’t really relevant to an employer considering you for a civil engineering position. Employers are interested in the academic credentials and experience you obtained while in school.
  3. Be honest. Avoid the temptation to pepper your resume with buzzwords and skills you don’t actually possess. It annoys employers when they interview an applicant and find they can’t explain what’s on their resume. It can cost you dearly when a hiring manager finds out you lied – and they always do.
  4. Proofread. Submitting a poorly written resume plagued with spelling and grammatical errors, passive language and other easily correctable mistakes is a surefire way to catapult your resume right into the trash bin. Be sure to proofread your resume and have one or two trustworthy individuals reproof it for you to make sure it’s perfect!
  5. Work full-time at finding a job. Don’t make the mistake of thinking employers will find you just because you posted your resume to a few job sites. This is only a starting point. Whether you are a recent grad or an experienced professional searching for a job, never sit back and wait for the next job to find you. There are jobs out there – work hard and you’ll find the one for you!

Wishing you much success in the adventures life has to offer!

Need help designing a resume, cover letter, follow-up thank you letter, or LinkedIn profile? Contact Michelle at MCK Resume Service

I am offering a 15% discount to new grads on entry level resumes during the month of April!