#ResuChat Wrap-Up 04/9/13: Optimizing Your Cover Letter For Entry-Level Jobs

POSTED BY SUDY BHARADWAJ ON APR 10, 2013 IN BLOG, JOB SEARCH | COMMENTS OFF

Yesterday’s #ResuChat focused on optimizing your cover letter for entry-level jobs. Our host was Rachel Kaufman, (@CreativeCLs), author of Cover Letters For Creative People, an eBook about job searching and writing the perfect cover letter to land that job or internship. She’s a journalist who’s been writing about jobs and the job search for five years.

Didn’t make the chat? Check out a recap of our discussion on optimizing your cover letter for entry-level jobs.

Q1. Should entry-level cover letters differ from other professional cover letters?

@CreativeCLs A1: Yes and no. You don’t have much work experience, so focus on yr potential. But should still be professional yet conversational #ResuChat

@hourly A1: Not necessarily, the objective is the same regardless of your level. #ResuChat

@wilsonhr A1: Highlight previous experience i.e. internships, but only the ones that are applicable to the role you are applying for #ResuChat

@TomBolt A1: Cover ltrs should be in the “T-Cover” format 1) Intro: Tell em why you are writing 2) tell em how you are qualified 3) closing #ResuChat

Q2. What are some elements that must be included? What can be left out?

@CreativeCLs A2: MUST-haves: customized content for the SPECIFIC job (why this company? Why this role?), clean, readable, error-free text #ResuChat

@kavita1010 A2: You should say why you’re writing, what makes you qualified, what you bring to the table. Short and sweet. #ResuChat

@AllThingsBiz A2 Your value proposition–what makes you different from the other candidates and how can you make a difference at the company? #ResuChat

@sparkhire A2 quick blurb on why you are a fit for the job use examples of past experience. Leave out full summaries of experience. #ResuChat

Q3. What’s the optimum length of an entry-level cover letter?

@TomBolt A3: Three paragraphs. Not pages and pages. Middle paragraph can be bulleted to show key matches to specs. #ResuChat

@CreativeCLs A3: Short and sweet! A killer hook (paragraph 1), your qualifications (paragraphs 2-3), and a polite, memorable closer. #ResuChat

@Jess_AsPRing A3, One page, max. I know we are nervous and want to write an essay, but I’ve learned keeping it short works best #ResuChat

@bob_firestone A3 Cover Letters: Give 3 bulleted examples that show how in past you “Get, Get Rid Of, Reduce, Avoid, Preserve, Protect.” #ResuChat

Q4. What are some differences between cover letter and resume content?

@MikePetras A4: Resume = skills, education, accomplishments. Cover letter = why u r a fit & what makes u diff than any other candidate #ResuChat

@CreativeCLs A4: I may be in the minority but I believe your resume is a list of skills/accomplishments. Your cover letter should tell a STORY. #ResuChat

@sparkhire A4 Resume content should be what you did in the past and your impact. Cover letter content should be why you fit this role. #ResuChat

@LeaMcLeod A4; cover letter is the anecdotal “why” to hire you. Resumes are the evidence to support that. #ResuChat

Q5. What are some creative entry-level cover letters you’ve seen?

@hourly A5: I’ve heard of some trending into using testimonials on their cover letters. (similar to references) #ResuChat

@kavita1010 A5: #Vine cover letter mashable.com/2013/04/09/v… She just got a job! #ResuChat

@bob_firestone Q5: Send them a large pizza with a piece missing. Cover letter on top of pizza box says “there’s a piece missing from your team.” #ResuChat

@CreativeCLs A5: Pizzas, coffee cups, #Vines etc CAN all work. But if you just want to write a great letter, that’s totally acceptable. #ResuChat

Thanks to everyone who participated last night! Be sure to join the conversation with @JackalopeJobs for #ResuChat on Twitter every other Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET!

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NEXT #RESUCHAT
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 8PM ET
Topic: Optimizing Your Cover Letter For Entry-Level Jobs
Host: Rachel Kaufman (@CreativeCLs)
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