Tag Archives: job application

Common cover letter mistakes to avoid

Job application and Cover letter

The main purpose of cover is to inform and gain the interest of a prospective employer to read your resume. However, in many cases, a cover letter not only bores people but in some instances offends them. The majority of hiring managers don’t even read cover letters, but do prefer candidates that include one with their resume.

Cover letters are not easy to write and in many instances are left to the last minute and thrown together before attaching them to the resume. A cover letter can make or break your chances of being called for an interview. It is your opportunity to convey your skills, accomplishments and qualifications in a fresh and unique way. It is your cover letter that helps you to express yourself and demonstrate how savvy you are in marketing yourself.

All too often, job seekers destroy their resume and chances of being called for an interview with a half-hearted or downright terrible cover letter. A well written letter will entice the reader to review your resume or immediately place it in the trash bin.

Here are tips on how to write a good cover letter and common mistakes to avoid in your cover letter:

  • Never focus too much on yourself. Companies want to know what you can do for the company.
  • Even though many employers don’t even read your cover letter, it is still important to include one with every job application and resume.
  • Unless you are world-famous, never start your letter stating your name given the fact that your name is on your resume.
  • Avoid including details of every single job you have had. Instead focus on the jobs that are relevant to the position and the skills that will contribute to your success.
  • Don’t be afraid to show your desire to be interviewed. Come right out and ask for an interview. Then, take your specific action a step farther and tell the recipient that you will contact him or her in a specified period of time to arrange an interview appointment.
  • Keep your letter short, concise, informative, to the point. and not longer than one page unless you are applying for a managerial or executive position. The rule goes for your resume. Think of your cover letter as the highlights reel of your career.
  • Cover letters are not the place for you to express to your potential boss your personal hardships, struggles, or reasons you were laid off. Focus on your achievements.
  • Make sure you express what you can do for the company and not what the company can do for you.
  • Make sure you address your letter to the correct person and a general “ Dear Personal Director” or “ To whom it may concern”. It is just plain lazy and disrespectful not finding out the name of the hiring manager. A simple call to the company will provide this information.
  • Make sure to tailor your cover letter for the specific job your are applying for. Your letter should mirror the job ad. Employers see so many cover letters that it’s easy for them to tell when you’re using a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Don’t rehash your entire resume in your letter. Rather focus on a few examples of your work that show what you can bring to the position at hand.
  • Use your cover letter to express how you can contribute to the company and not how much you love the company.
  • Be sure your cover letter uses a standard business-letter format. It should include the date, the recipient’s mailing address and your address.
  • Avoid focusing too much on training and educational qualifications. It is better to give more attention to your experiences and job related skills you have gained.
  • Make sure you re-read your letter a few times and do a spell check. It must be letter perfect before you send it. Basic grammar errors and typos can end up costing you an interview. Your letter reflects your ability to write and communicate.

Ways to Avoid Looking Like a Job Hopper on Your CV

job hopping

A prospective employer will only take a few seconds to read your CV and if it looks like you have had a new job every 1-2 years it sends out major warning signals.

As it always takes time to find the right employee for a position an employer who looks at your CV and thinks you are a job hopper will look at other candidates with a steadier track record. Short time spans of work often show poor performance and a lack of commitment.

These are some helpful Guidelines to prevent you from looking like a job hopper.

Company influences

Always state on your resume why you moved whether it is because of retrenchments, a higher or better career opportunity, or because of re-structuring within a business. All you need to do is add a one liner below each position giving a short explanation and reasons why you moved.

Companies are often bought or merge with someone else and the company name will then change. To avoid looking like you have moved to a new company list the new name of the company and have the old name in brackets next to it.

Short-term positions or Consulting

As the job market is slowly decreasing a lot of candidates have gone into consulting or contract positions.

A good way to make all these position look better is to sum up all the years that you have done consulting for and then put each company you have consulted for underneath with your overall general responsibilities that took place with each company.

If one of your positions was only a short-term contract, then make sure that you state next to the position that it was contractual short-term to to make it clear.

Formatting of dates

Another way is instead of putting the exact dates of each position in your CV with the months and days put the years alone. This makes the time at each position look longer then it is.

Always give examples of achievements

You cannot change the amount of time you have worked at a company or in a position but you can change where your potential employers focus goes by stating or evidencing achievements that you have accomplished in each company.

Employers love to see how effective you can be and what your potential could be in their company and new positions.


4 Better Goals For Your Job Search

Bookkeeping Course

Job searching and looking for a new job position is not fun. So set small and realistic goals in this regard. It will keep you positive and upbeat. Lets us share with you steps that will help you land that dream job!

Write a wish list of 40 companies
You must make yourself stand out, be strategic. Pick out a set of companies and craft your cover letter and profile around each company that you apply at. Show them what value you actually bring to them.

Keep Networking
This is critical. So when you have that list of companies research who is who there. Learn about the business. Focus on these individuals. This will maximize your chances of finding that great role that you are looking for.

Enlist Your Army
You must reach out to your existing network. People that you like and that like you. Check in regularly with this circle of people.

Stay Busy
You must stay proactive in this search. Do not be idle and negative. Meet you people, volunteer, get involved in community events, this all opens the right opportunities and helps you look like an ambitious new professional or an industry thought leader.

Your Goal
In every book shop or on line, there are books on listed companies and lists of industry businesses. Make sure you acquire these, LinkedIn is a wonderful tool to use in this regard too. Look at the Jobs, follow the companies you want to apply at. Connect with the stakeholders on LinkedIn.

You have to define what your weekly goal is. How many companies on your list will you meet with, how many will you talk too, how many will you research. You have to treat this like any other project you have taken on.

Create a great cover letter and resume. Be specific about the value you bring.

Offer you expertise to a non-profit organization. This is a great network.

The job search is essentially about staying active, being focused and keep moving forward. Your efforts will be worth it!


Western Cape Education Department launches online recruitment system for teachers


The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has launched a brand new online system offering teachers a much simpler and easier solution to do a search for teaching positions in the province and make application for jobs.

The e-Recruitment System is a spin-off from an online application system which had been piloted in 2011 for the filling of promotion posts. The brand new system was created and fine-tuned as a result of analysis and findings of the pilot.

Department spokesperson Bronagh Casey explained that the purpose of the e-Recruitment system is to recruit the best teachers as well as to minimize the stress and paperwork associated with making an application for a teaching post.

Showcasing some great benefits of the new system, Casey explained that the e-Recruitment System makes it possible for teachers to capture and store their CVs online. Additionally, they are capable of editing and updating their CVs via the online network.

Teachers are going to have the ability to submit an application for a specific job post online as well as link their latest CVs with their application. The system will instantaneously generate a letter acknowledging receipt of an application for a post. On top of that, applicants will not have to make copies of records and documents for each application they submit. Furthermore, they will not be forced to pay postage costs or stand in queues to submit applications prior to closing dates. The system will allocate a unique identification number to every teacher profile on the network.

The department is encouraging all teachers to begin the process of compiling their CVs on the e-Recruitment System from 1 December 2012. Applications will be able to be submitted online from 1 January 2013.

Casey pointed out the fact that the new system demonstrated the on-going innovation by the department as it sought to enhance the manner in which it recruited and employed staff.

Earlier successes included boosting the number of vacancy lists provided by the department to no less than five a year, as opposed to twice a year prior to 2010.

Technology and innovation has assisted the education department to accomplish a substantially speedier turnaround time for permanent appointments, and at the same time avoid unnecessary utilization of contract staff. In the past, the department was forced to wait, on average, six months or more to fill a post permanently. In addition, the department furthermore reduced the turnaround times for the filling of principal posts from at least six months to three months on average. Every one of these actions has assisted to considerably stabilize the entire system.

The brand new e-Recruitment System has made it simpler for the department to optimize their paper based systems and made it simpler for the department to manage the entire recruitment process and numbers involved. This is a huge leap forward for the education department and teacher alike.

To look for a job or post your CV today on the brand new e-Recruitment System – CLICK HERE

Source: SAnews.gov.za


Learn How To Get That Job – Resume Strategy 101

You might think that you might have found the ideal job. Then, while paging through the job listings, you identify a job posting, fine-tune your resume and e-mail it to the recruiter. After that the waiting game commences. When you are done sending your resume, it can be easier to sit back and hope the recruiter will get in touch with you. However — make no mistake — It is YOU that ought to follow up. You simply need to determine when and the way to do it.


Hold on for a Week, Recruiters Say

The optimal length of time to wait prior to following up on a resume you have sent is idealy one week. The vast majority of recruiters believe that applicants ought to hold out for one week before following up. A number of recruiters suggest you take action sooner, less than a week after sending in your resume. While several other recruiters point out that you need to hold out for them to call you.

The best choice? Go along with the majority opinion and simply wait a week.

Send out a brief E-Mail Message

E-mail is an excellent and effective follow-up method simply because it not only enables you to help remind the recruiter that you have sent applications for a position, but in addition it enables you to submit a resume for a second time while not coming across as being too pushy. A week after you have sent in a resume, send the recruiter an e-mail to follow up.

Follow these suggestions to compose your follow-up e-mail:

  • Place your full name and the title of the position you have applied for in the subject line.
  • Write a professional note that reiterates your qualifications and skill sets along with interest in the job.
  • Attached your resume again. (Do not make the recruiter look through old e-mails to find it.)
  • When you save your resume make sure to save it with your full name – “your name” resume.
  • Proofread and meticulously check your resume before you decide to hit “Send”!
  • Remember a typo can wipe out the likelihood of getting your foot in the door. Ask a friend to read your resume.
  • Phone With a Friendly Reminder

If you choose to follow up on a resume over the telephone, you should definitely rehearse what you would like to convey to the recruiter.

Make sure you keep it short and sweet. Introduce yourself and point out to the recruiter that you submitted a resume a short time ago. Be sure to state precisely what job you have in mind. You can at the same time enquire if they received your resume and if they are still considering candidates for the position.

If you get a recorded message, you really should call again later. Call a couple of times in the hope of speaking to a real live recruiter prior to resorting to leaving a message. Calling recruiters over and over again is not going to make them more likely to call you back. You’ll find it more than likely just going to irritate them. Nearly half of all the recruiters point out that their most significant pet peeve is candidates who continue to keep calling them.


Should You Just Resend Your Resume?

Have a couple of weeks elapsed since you sent a resume and you still have not received a reply from the recruiter? Do you find yourself thinking about simply reapplying for the position? Don’t. Recruiters in most cases keep resumes on file, and they will most likely find that you have previously sent one. Even worse, some might assume that you did not even realize that you’d previously sent applications for a position.

Only resend your resume to a recruiter when you’d like to apply for a different position at a company. Otherwise, you ought to e-mail or call to follow up.

Source: John Chase