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ResumeEdge http://www.resumeedge.com Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:57:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Great Advice From Recruiters to Help you in the Job Interview http://www.resumeedge.com/great-advice-recruiters-help-job-interview/ http://www.resumeedge.com/great-advice-recruiters-help-job-interview/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:46:07 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4817 I recently met with a group of recruiters to discuss recruitment trends, plus things that can turn a recruiter off a candidate and what really stands out. These are their dislikes and likes, so make sure to take note, so you don’t make a costly mistake. Did you receive my application? You applied to the...

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I recently met with a group of recruiters to discuss recruitment trends, plus things that can turn a recruiter off a candidate and what really stands out. These are their dislikes and likes, so make sure to take note, so you don’t make a costly mistake.

  1. Did you receive my application?

You applied to the position but haven’t heard anything from the recruiter. Do you call them? When? These recruiters almost all agreed you should give it at least a week before sending an email. Give them time to go through the applicants before inquiring about your application. They all prefer email as oftentimes they are working on so many positions they aren’t always prepare to give an answer when someone calls. Email gives them a chance to do the research and not feel as pressured.

  1. Be prepared

Many of the recruiters say they want every candidate to bring a pen and paper to the interview and take notes. A few recruiters said if the candidate doesn’t bring anything to take notes with they wouldn’t move them to the next step.

  1. Ask questions

Recruiters agree that candidates should ask questions and make sure they are good questions. They like when candidates ask about the growth and numbers of the organization, which shows that the candidate is truly interested.

  1. Do research and I don’t just mean online

The recruiters said that anyone can research the company online but suggest that you go beyond that and talk to employees. Find out what it’s like to work there—network and ask questions!

  1. Sometimes it is what you know

Don’t feel that just because you’re friends with someone at the organization you’re getting the job. Often, candidates come in overly confident because they have friends or family working there. They said that’s a turn off and often times the candidate doesn’t have the experience needed, so they aren’t getting the job – no matter who you know.

Everyone agreed that you can never be too prepared. On the day of your interview, if you feel like you studied up way too much, you’ll do just fine. Don’t be too pushy, ask great questions and take notes in the interview and this will leave a great impression.

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Resume Formats—Which to Use? http://www.resumeedge.com/resume-formats-use/ http://www.resumeedge.com/resume-formats-use/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:54:29 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4810 It’s time to put together your resume. You’ve reviewed your work history, assessed your skills, abilities, and strengths, and compiled examples of your quantified accomplishments. The next question is, “what format do I use?” While each person is unique and should have a resume tailored to their needs, there are three general formats that are...

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It’s time to put together your resume. You’ve reviewed your work history, assessed your skills, abilities, and strengths, and compiled examples of your quantified accomplishments. The next question is, “what format do I use?”

While each person is unique and should have a resume tailored to their needs, there are three general formats that are commonly used.

The Reverse Chronological Resume

This format presents your work history from the present, then works backward. This is the most appropriate choice for most applicants. In addition, this is the format that most hiring managers and recruiters expect to see. The benefits are obvious: it’s logical in its presentation, and allows the reader to quickly scan your history. This works well for job seekers with a consistent work history in the same career field.

The Functional Resume

The functional resume allows you to present your work history by skill area, such as sales, administration, technical expertise, or consulting engagements. The functional areas should be chosen based on both your skills and qualifications, and the requirements listed in the job announcement. The bullets should be written in the same manner as a chronological format, with the action taken for a particular challenge, task, or project, and the quantified results. This format works well if you are making a major career change or if your skills were gained through a non-traditional work history. However, most interviewers will want to know when a particular skill was gained and used, so be prepared to answer those questions and provide a chronology.

The Combination Resume

Finally, the third commonly used format is the combination resume. Just as the name implies, this format combines the best of the chronological and functional formats. For example, you could compile your work history in reverse chronological order and use functional sub-headings within each job entry. However, this type of resume format should be tightly focused on the skills required in the job announcement or the document could easily become too long and unwieldy.

Focus first on the needs of the employer when you develop your bullets. Solidly written, quantified information that demonstrates how you can meet the employer’s talent gap will be more compelling than a beautifully formatted document filled with fluff. The format which is best for you and your situation will then be more obvious. If you need more help, contact a Certified Professional Resume Writer to guide you through the resume writing process.

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The Key Components of Your Resume http://www.resumeedge.com/key-components-resume/ http://www.resumeedge.com/key-components-resume/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:13:36 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4804 Whether you’ve been out in the workforce for many years or you’re a recent graduate, everyone’s resume should include these following key components. Lacking these may be why you’re not getting call in for the interview. Contact information: It sounds basic, but it’s very important to have your name and contact information visible on each...

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Whether you’ve been out in the workforce for many years or you’re a recent graduate, everyone’s resume should include these following key components. Lacking these may be why you’re not getting call in for the interview.

Contact information: It sounds basic, but it’s very important to have your name and contact information visible on each page of your resume.

  • Make sure to include your phone number with area code. Your voice message should be professional, without any ring backs or other novelties.
  • Provide your mailing address with zip code.
  • List your email address, and ensure that it’s professional, just first and last name, or a variation thereof.
  • Include a link to your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s up to date.

Eye-catching summary statement: Your summary should make the reader want to keep reading. Often, the candidate writes a poor summary that tells the employer what they want from them. However, it should be about what the candidate can achieve for the employer.

Work experience: This includes

  • Positions held;
  • Name and location of the company;
  • Dates of employment (in years, not months)
  • And job responsibilities and skills.

Use the right skills: Read the job description and emphasis your skills and accomplishments with the desired skills of the position. How did you use the skills to improve the bottom line or increase profits? Use verbs and number to highlight these accomplishments. For example, “saved the company $150,000 by improving the bottom line.”

Keywords: It’s very important to match the keywords in your resume with the keywords from the job description. This ensures you don’t get rejected by the applicant tracking system for not having the right keywords.

Education section: The education section should be near or at the bottom of your resume, unless you’re a recent grad and this is your main qualification. The education section should include post-secondary school, with name and location, degree obtained and major.  Make sure to list the most recent education first.  Also make note to list any certificates or awards obtained or any professional development courses attended.

All of these components are so important, along with the obvious of your resume being free of spelling and grammar errors and having the right format. You should also have a great cover letter, which is sort of the wrapping on the gift and the recruiter can’t wait to tear open and see what’s inside. If you need help crafting one or both, there are resume writers to help you every step of the way.

 

 

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Winning at Behavior-Based Interviewing http://www.resumeedge.com/winning-behavior-based-interviewing/ http://www.resumeedge.com/winning-behavior-based-interviewing/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:21:13 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4796 Many human resources professionals and staffing/recruiting firms have come to rely on the Behavior Based Interviewing (BBI) method as an important tool to discover exceptional candidates: those candidates who will hit the ground running, have continuous success, and stay with the employer long-term. Often, frontline managers BBI questions without ever even having heard the term....

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Many human resources professionals and staffing/recruiting firms have come to rely on the Behavior Based Interviewing (BBI) method as an important tool to discover exceptional candidates: those candidates who will hit the ground running, have continuous success, and stay with the employer long-term.

Often, frontline managers BBI questions without ever even having heard the term. One very large staffing/recruiting firm, Robert Half International, makes it a point to educate their clients in how to best ask BBI questions.

“There is a seemingly endless variety of job interview questions,” the article explains. “With behavioral interview questions, candidates are asked to relate past on-the-job experiences to situations they are likely to encounter in the position being discussed.”

Defining BBI

BBI can be defined as using types of questions specifically designed to expose characteristics about a candidate that an employer sees as important. BBI questions are meant to produce a response that demonstrates a candidate’s positive or negative behavior in certain situations. Put another way: past performance is a good indicator of future success.

Some typical BBI questions that Robert Half includes in their article are:

“Can you describe how you handle tight deadlines on the job?”

“Can you give me an illustration of how you improved productivity at your last job?”

The Co-operative Education & Career Services Department at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada explains “(q)uestions that start with ‘tell me about a time when…’ are popular because they show how you’ve handled difficult situations in the past—which is a good indicator of how you will deal with similar situations in the future.”

Preparing for the Behavior Based Interview

Preparation for BBI is an ongoing process. A good practice is to keep track of your success stories throughout the year. In addition to making prepping for behavioral interview questions easier, it will help with updating your resume. Plus, you’ll find these to be valuable when you have your annual review with your supervisor.

The career experts at Guelph suggest using the STAR Approach when faced with BBI questions.

STAR stands for:

Situation (or)

Task

Action (you took)

Results (you achieved)

The advice that Guelph gives includes the following steps:

  • Understand what skill the interviewer is looking to learn more about
  • Have a story prepared that illustrates your success
  • Describe the situation and the task
  • Explain the actions you took that illustrate the skill you have been questioned about
  • Finally, relate the results and summarize the relevance

 

Keep these tips in mind for behavioral interviews, and you’ll be more than prepared!

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Why Didn’t I Land an Interview? http://www.resumeedge.com/didnt-land-interview/ http://www.resumeedge.com/didnt-land-interview/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:59:37 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4785 You’ve found your dream job! You submitted your cover letter and resume as requested, but didn’t receive a call. So what are you doing wrong? Here are some reasons as to why you might not make the cut. A resume that doesn’t fit the bill—Let’s face the fact that we’re not all professional writers, and...

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You’ve found your dream job! You submitted your cover letter and resume as requested, but didn’t receive a call. So what are you doing wrong? Here are some reasons as to why you might not make the cut.

A resume that doesn’t fit the bill—Let’s face the fact that we’re not all professional writers, and often times people just slap together a resume.  A resume needs to be properly formatted, be free of spelling and grammatical errors, and should have the job description keywords to make it past the applicant tracking system.  It’s a great idea to hire a professional resume writer to ensure that’s not the reason you’re not getting the interview.

If it’s not there, how will they know— I know I was qualified to do this job! Why didn’t they call me? Did you list everything on your resume? If you don’t list it as a skill, how will they know? Make sure to list all of your qualifications. Recruiters aren’t mind readers, so make sure to show it!

Social media—In this day and age, a recruiter receives a resume and the next thing they do is search the candidate on LinkedIn. If your resume and LinkedIn profile show two different things this can be a red flag. It’s best not to lie and make sure both are showcasing your experience in a truthful way.

You’re not as qualified as you think you are—You hired a resume writer and also had them do your LinkedIn profile for you, but you still haven’t received a call. A professional resume writer can only do so much and you might not be the most qualified for the job. The recruiter doesn’t have time to reach out to everyone. Emailing the recruiter and let them know of your interest, and ask them to let you know if they have anything coming down the pike. They want to fill positions and have a pool of candidates before a position is open is a great thing for recruiters.

There are a lot more people than jobs, so the best thing to do is have a professional resume ready to go at all times and do a lot of networking, so the recruiter informs you when they have a position ready to be posted, so you don’t get left in the cold.

 

 

 

 

 

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Creative Resumes — Are they a do or a don’t? http://www.resumeedge.com/creative-resumes-dont/ http://www.resumeedge.com/creative-resumes-dont/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:52:48 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4776 For many job seekers looking for careers in media, the arts, and various segments of the entertainment industry, an important aspect of their job search is demonstrating creativity and creative resumes could be the right choice. From time to time, however, job seekers in more traditional roles also want to infuse a little of their...

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For many job seekers looking for careers in media, the arts, and various segments of the entertainment industry, an important aspect of their job search is demonstrating creativity and creative resumes could be the right choice. From time to time, however, job seekers in more traditional roles also want to infuse a little of their own personality into their resume. So how creative should you be?

While it’s true that nearly all resumes contain common elements such as your name, contact information, work history, and education, the main purpose of it is to demonstrate your unique qualifications through skills, training, and quantified results and accomplishments. Therefore, your resume should be tailored to you and, preferably, to your targeted employer. Content is the most important aspect of your resume. Without compelling, quantified information, the reader will not invest more than a cursory glance before moving to the next candidate.

After content, the layout is the next most important aspect. When deciding how creative to make your resume, consider your audience. Take the time to research not only the industry, but how your targeted organization fits within that industry. Obviously if you are applying to be an art teacher at a local school your resume will look different than the candidate applying at a bank. On the other hand, that does not mean that my client with an outgoing personality, who loves working with people, needs to be constrained with a “boring” resume if he is applying for a banking position. Perhaps that bank is local or regional and its main selling point is how it takes care of its customers. My client would be wise to let his personality show through not only in the wording he chooses, but also in the design elements.

When in doubt, take the time to talk with your Certified Professional Resume Writer to determine how to balance quantified content with appropriate design elements to make the resume work best for you.

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Why You May Not Be as Ready for Your Interview as You Think http://www.resumeedge.com/may-ready-interview-think/ http://www.resumeedge.com/may-ready-interview-think/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:44:34 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4774 Most people get apprehensive about interviews, whether they’re for an academic program or for a job. It is the part of the process over which you have the least amount of control — but that doesn’t mean you’re out of control. Follow these four tips to put your best foot forward in your next interview....

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Most people get apprehensive about interviews, whether they’re for an academic program or for a job. It is the part of the process over which you have the least amount of control — but that doesn’t mean you’re out of control. Follow these four tips to put your best foot forward in your next interview.

1. Just because your resume is awesome doesn’t mean that you can piece it together into a cohesive and intelligent response.

Resumes, by their nature, break things down into the smallest digestible parts. It can be frustrating that, now that you’ve taken the time to divide everything up into bullet points, you’ll need to piece it back together for the interview. However, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do. What was the meaning of each bullet point? What was the bigger picture for each project? How does it all fit together? The interviewer will want a three-dimensional and multifaceted view of you as a professional and as an individual.

2. Your speech is probably not as smooth as you imagine.

You know that you’re a smooth talker. You think you’ve “got it” because you’ve gone over it so many times with your friends and colleagues. However, those are situations where you have more control than you will during the interview. Do a bunch of “ums” and “ahs” find their way into your speech when you’re under pressure?

Also, there are some minor gender differences when speaking under pressure. Women have more of a tendency to use the High Rising Terminal, making their responses sound like questions. Men have more of a tendency to laugh (read: giggle) and say “I don’t know” for no reason in the middle of a sentence. Feedback can help you minimize these nervous tics during the interview.

3. You might have the basics, but do you have the follow-ups?

Books and articles can give you all of the basic questions asked in interviews, and honestly there is a lot of consistency in interview questions. Every academic program and every company will want to know about your basic background and qualifications. In that way, advance research can certainly be helpful.

But the books don’t know you as an individual. They can’t assess your specific background and then provide the inevitable follow-up questions that your interviewer will have for you. If you seem flustered or lost during the follow-up questions, this can be a real red flag for the interviewer and cause them to wonder if your original answer was a real and spontaneous response to their question.

4. Can you stay cool regardless of what your interviewer does?

Your interviewer asks you a question that you’ve practiced. In your mind, you think, “Yes! I’ve got this one.” However, two sentences into your response, the interviewer interrupts you to ask a follow-up question. Are you ready? Can you answer the question while also controlling the conversation to bring the natural flow of the interaction back to the original question? Or has the interviewer completely thrown you off? During your interview, the interviewer might take a call in the middle of one of your responses, continually ask questions and write notes while never looking you in the eye, type into a laptop, or just generally be distracted the entire time.

That’s not the typical case; the interviewer has scheduled time for you and will generally devote that time to you. Even so, you need to practice in order to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and be able to keep your focus and emotional cool regardless of the interviewer’s behavior.

Have you ever been taken off guard in an interview? Share the questions that you found most challenging in the comments.

About the Author
Ryan Hickey is the Managing Editor of Peterson’s & EssayEdge and is an expert in many aspects of college, graduate, and professional admissions. A graduate of Yale University, Ryan has worked in various admissions capacities for nearly a decade, including writing test-prep material for the SAT, AP exams, and TOEFL, editing essays and personal statements, and consulting directly with applicants.

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Expand your Social Media Brand http://www.resumeedge.com/expand-social-media-brand/ http://www.resumeedge.com/expand-social-media-brand/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:47:25 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4769 The online job search has transformed from submitting job applications into cyberspace with the hope of it landing in the hands of a real-life hiring manager to connecting directly with hiring managers, job leads, and more. In 2003, LinkedIn® was created as a site for professional networking. By 2006, it had more than 20 million...

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The online job search has transformed from submitting job applications into cyberspace with the hope of it landing in the hands of a real-life hiring manager to connecting directly with hiring managers, job leads, and more. In 2003, LinkedIn® was created as a site for professional networking. By 2006, it had more than 20 million viewers with the main goal of helping users “access knowledge, insights, and opportunities.” This networking tool has come a long way since its inception to include 300+ million global members and inclusion in many job-searching resources, self-help guides, and more.

While many agree that LinkedIn is the prime social media tool for professional networking, don’t forget about the many other avenues available to build a positive and professional online presence. In a recent U.S. News article about using social media, it recommended that you use every social media network that makes sense for you. It also noted that employers and recruiters are tapping into multiple social media networks, not just LinkedIn. So, if you base 100% of your job search success on your LinkedIn profile it might be time to expand your social media brand!

Again, it’s important to drive your online presence based on research, data, and what works for your industry. Based on the mentioned article and the Society of Human Resources 2013 Survey, here’s a breakdown of what employers are using to look for job seekers:

  • 92 percent use LinkedIn
  • 58 percent use Facebook
  • 31 percent use Twitter
  • 25 percent used Google+
  • Less than 10 percent used sites such as YouTube, Pinterest, Myspace, and Foursquare.

So, it might be time to clean up your Facebook profile or hop on the Twitter train. Before you do this, take a step back to understand how recruiters use Facebook and Twitter. Recruiters are tapping into these social media sites to pre-screen job applicants before or during the job search process to see a more personal view of you and depending on what they find, it can help or hurt your image.

Many job seekers spend time perfecting their LinkedIn profile but forget about the important role of Facebook and Twitter. Whether you like it or not, hiring managers are looking you up online and doing it early in the game. So, think of Facebook and Twitter as a personal branding platform. Of course, you can limit the privacy of your Facebook to some extent, but remember that employers have Facebook pages too that you might want to connect with or follow! It’s a little scary to think about using Facebook to network professionally, but research indicates most employers will be looking there anyway to screen you in or out. So, whether you chose to keep it completely social or make it professional you still need to consider a large percentage of employers will look you up and only you can choose what they see!

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Interview tips-sometimes you just have to listen to your instinct http://www.resumeedge.com/interview-tips-sometimes-just-listen-instinct/ http://www.resumeedge.com/interview-tips-sometimes-just-listen-instinct/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:45:08 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4694 Looking for a new position can be a daunting task. Does my resume look good? Did I do a good job on the interview? Will I negotiate the right salary? Often, we are so focused on getting the job that we don’t really think about the “right fit.” Here are some tips to nail the...

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Looking for a new position can be a daunting task. Does my resume look good? Did I do a good job on the interview? Will I negotiate the right salary? Often, we are so focused on getting the job that we don’t really think about the “right fit.” Here are some tips to nail the interview—and also how to make sure you’re making the right decision.

The obvious: It’s pretty standard, but make sure to arrive a few minutes early, dressed for the part, with several copies of your resume and a readiness to follow up with a thank you note afterwards.

Make a connection: When interviewing, it’s important to make a connection with the interviewer. Show emotion—I don’t mean start crying or show anger, but rather be human and share things about your life outside of work. Maybe you and the interviewer share the same interest and can spark some great conversation. Often candidates can appear like a robot, and “yes m’am” or “no m’am” you to death. So show some personality and make them like you.

Observe employees: It’s so important to pay attention to the employees, which can start from the moment you arrive. I remember once sitting in the lobby, waiting for an interview and everyone seemed afraid to laugh; even the receptionist looked like she was putting on a fake smile. I picked up on several cues from the employees and realized this would not be a company I wanted to work for.

What’s next?: We all want to be offered the position, but have you determined this is a company you want to work for? If so, follow-up with a thank you note within the first 24 hours. I also recommend sending a follow-up in two weeks if you haven’t heard anything back.

If you determined that the company isn’t a good fit for you, it’s time to cut ties, thank them for the interview, and let them know that this isn’t the right opportunity. Don’t be afraid to tell them—it’s worse to go through the entire process and waste your time and theirs for something you’re not interested in.

The bottom line is don’t just take a position because you’re afraid to turn it down or because you just need a job. We spend the majority of our time at work, so it’s important to make sure it’s a good fit for you personally and professionally.

 

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The Power of the Cover Letter http://www.resumeedge.com/power-cover-letter/ http://www.resumeedge.com/power-cover-letter/#comments Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:08:52 +0000 http://www.resumeedge.com/?p=4679 Imagine that you are meeting someone for the first time. You extend your hand in greeting, and you are met with the limp fish; a handshake that is disinterested, weak, or lacking in confidence. As an interviewer, I have also met with the bone crushers and arm rattlers who have left much stronger impressions than...

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Imagine that you are meeting someone for the first time. You extend your hand in greeting, and you are met with the limp fish; a handshake that is disinterested, weak, or lacking in confidence.

As an interviewer, I have also met with the bone crushers and arm rattlers who have left much stronger impressions than required. In a sense, cover letters are similar to handshakes—they are your opportunity to make a good first impression.

Karin Reynolds is the Deputy Superintendent for Academy School District 20 in Colorado Springs and regularly leads training sessions for student teachers to help them prepare for their professional careers. Her main recommendation is to research the organization so that applicants can demonstrate that they understand what the employer is looking for.

She also recommends finding a balance between humility and ego. “Even though the job search process requires some ego,” Ms. Reynolds said, “stating ‘I’m the best person for the job’ just shows too much ego.”

Her advice includes:

  • Provide a cover letter whenever it is requested“If we don’t get the cover letter, that indicates that they cannot follow directions,” Ms. Reynolds said.
  • Briefly address gaps in your work history if needed, or if there is anything that might be questioned.
  • The cover letter should be a brief summary of what follows in the application—not too long and not too short.
  • Grammatical errors are red flags to the reader.
  • Avoid using form letters and tailor the cover letter for the organization you send it to.
  • Address the person rather than using “To whom it may concern.”

Finally, Ms. Reynolds advises job seekers not to be too informal when applying via email. Cover letters can be included in the body of the email or they can be sent as an attachment with the resume.

As with handshakes, the idea of a cover letter is to connect, not to be overbearing, and to leave a memorable impression.

 

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