Marketing Yourself for a Career After Receiving Your Degree
Finding a good job can seem like a difficult task at times, but with the right tools, you can show potential employers your skills and experience, and encourage them to hire you. There are two main components when it comes to submitting your information to a business for consideration: the cover letter and the resume. Both of these important documents are a way to introduce yourself, show off your individual abilities, and let the employer know who you are. It is extremely important that these two elements are correct, and that both the appearance as well as what's in these documents are just right. If they are, you could open many doors and see a lot of job offers come in. On the other hand, if the cover letter has grammatical errors for example, it may send employers the wrong message. There's simply no substitute for a well-written, concise cover letter and resume.
Creating a Cover Letter
When writing your cover letter, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Of course, you'll want to begin the letter with a friendly greeting in a format that sounds formal yet friendly. To whom it may concern might be ok in some cases, but for a cover letter, a better suggestion for a greeting would be something more personalized, preferably the name of the person you're submitting it to, if you have it. If you do not have a name, a simple "Dear Sir/Madam" is a good choice. When writing the letter, remember that the goal is to supplement your resume and not duplicate it. This means you should simply state your basic skill set without going into too much detail. The letter is designed to serve as formal introduction of yourself to the employer, and to express your desire and enthusiasm for wanting to be employed there.
Cover letters should be printed on high quality paper along with your name, home address, the date the letter was written, and of course your telephone number and email address. The letter should emphasize what you can offer the employer in terms of skill and experience. The letter should be brief, well written, and free of any spelling and grammatical errors. You can email the letter if you choose, depending on how the employer wishes to be contacted. Do not use fonts that are overly decorative, but instead use simple and professional fonts. The paper and font you use for the letter should match whatever you use for your resume, so there is consistency and a professional, uniform appearance. Once you've written the content of your letter, sign it with your actual signature, and type your name underneath so the reader can clearly see whose letter they are reading. Do not use inappropriate language, and try to avoid asking questions in the letter.
Crafting a Resume
The resume is a vital part of getting a job. Its function is to let the potential employer know exactly what your previous experience is, so that they can make a decision about whether or not you will be the right fit for the position. Your resume should be printed on the same high quality paper your cover letter is printed on, and you should use the same font and font size. Be sure you mention the basics: your name, address, phone number, and email address. Next, write a summary of your goals. In other words, let the potential employer know why you are applying, and why you think you'd fit in with their company. The next section should include your last three employers, as well as your position, the time you were employed there, and what kind of duties you had to perform. This section is truly the "meat" of the resume, and should showcase your prior experience in a thorough way that explains what you're capable of.
Another aspect of a good resume is to showcase some major projects you've worked on in the past. Or, if you have received any kind of award or accolades in the workplace, you should include this as well. Remember to always include the date of both your previous employment dates and the date of any official awards you've received. A basic rule of thumb is that your resume should never be longer than one full page. If you find that it's longer, you might want to edit it and reconsider a few things. Employers want to get the basics of who you are and what you can do, and they don’t want to read a novel! Spell check your resume for any errors, and make sure all of the information is thorough and correct. You might want to have a friend or family member take a look at both your resume and cover letter before you submit it and see if they have any feedback or opinions to offer.