Are Cover Letters Still Necessary?

Are cover letters still necessary?

With advancements in video interviews and social media job application processes, many clients ask about cover letters. Are cover letters still necessary?

At Power Writers, we always offer a bundled quote for clients which includes a cover letter. This is because as a guideline we lean in favor of cover letters still being necessary. However, there are many factors that affect this practice.

The first of which is ‘who’ the cover letter and resume will be reviewed by.  As an example, traditional hiring managers may lean heavily on the value of a cover letter. Whereas modern hiring practices are directed towards quick visual scanning of resume details for the purpose of quality filtration. 

What’s the Point?

Overall, the point of a cover letter is to build a bridge between you and the recruiter or hiring manager. Cover letters, when written properly show that you have something to say. They portray that you have something to add to the company and that you have extended forward thought into your placement within the company. 

When formalizing a plan for your cover letter, remember that a cover letter should address the following:

  • How you learned of the opportunity,
  • How your qualifications match the job requirements.
  • Your possible availability in the area.
  • How you can be contacted.

It’s common to wonder if writing the cover letter is even worth the effort since the carefully crafted letter won’t get read.

Recruiter and Cover Letters

A recruiter’s role is to focus on whether you have the skillset, education and years of experience required for the job. With recruiting firms acting as an extension of your potential new employer, cover letters are often only passed on to employers when requested.

Additionally, if employers are swamped with resumes, they may consider the cover letter unnecessary.  

That being said, it’s hard to know exactly. Yet strong arguments remain in favor of preparing a tightly written cover letter.

Major Career Change.

Our recommendation, if you are delving into a major career change then a well-written cover letter can be a powerful tool to aid the story the resume is portraying. This goes for those embarking on significant career growth as well.  

Big moves such as Senior Director to VP will be greatly complemented by an expertly written cover letter. As such, growth from Manager to Senior Manager will also be best highlighted by a cover letter written to align with the story told on the professional resume. 

Editing is Your Friend.

All this being said, if you do send a cover letter, be sure it is well written. A compelling cover letter is a powerful tool for securing a job interview.  In contrast, a poorly assembled cover letter can yield a completely opposite and much less desired result.

A well-written cover letter complements your resume and social media presence, pulling out the highlights most relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Grammar or Go Home.

Like all angles of writing, never underestimate the importance of correct grammar and spelling. Hiring managers are rightfully critical throughout this first impression. A cover letter with inadequate proofreading can, and will, harm your chances of being selected for an interview opportunity.

Industry Trends.

What’s interesting is that we have yet to notice any significant industry trends in relation to cover letter requirements. It appears the requests for cover letters still spans across all industries.

Customize by Experience.

While you want to be honest about your work experience, you don’t necessarily have to include everything you’ve ever done in your cover letter. Remember this is a compliment to your resume.

Your cover letter should sum up the places you’ve been and the skills you’ve learned. Particularly those skills directly related to the job you’re applying for.

So if you’re applying for a marketing position and you’ve worked as a sales associate, include that. However, you probably don’t need to discuss the two years in college you spent as a waitress in your cover letter unless it somehow applies to your future marketing career.

Need help with the process?  Our team at PWU is here to help.

Along with Cover Letters, we offer Resume updates, LinkedIn Optimization, Recruiter Services, and Professional Career Coaching.

Book a free 15-min consult here https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

The Rise of Video Interviews

The Rise of Video Interviews

Over the last several years, organizations of all sizes and from all industries are increasing the usage of video interviewing. For hiring managers, the incentive to use video interviews is in the rich benefits gained in their ability to manage the speed and candidate accuracy for their specific recruiting process.  With all industries participating in the rise of video interviews, being prepared is of ultimate importance.

If you haven’t yet been asked to engage in a video interview process, chances are you will sooner than later.

To understand the popularity from the employer’s perspective let’s browse a few perks from their side and why they are engaged in the rise of video interviews.

  • Easier process for high volume job applications.
  • A decrease in the volume of poor quality in-person interviews.
  • Reduced hiring process timeframe.
  • Better collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers.
  • Accessibility to non-local candidates.

So how to prepare for yours?

When you attend an interview, consider how long it takes to prepare for the face to face meeting.  Then add travel time. It’s not a short process. Undoubtedly, the perk to video interviews lies in the time-saving.

Dress as you would for an in-person interview from head to toe. Doing so will make you feel more confident. Don’t try the old newscaster trick of wearing a blazer with sweatpants assuming you’ll only be seen from the waist up. 

It’s also recommended to avoid wearing bright, flashy colors as this can look too busy on camera. Choose something that looks neatly pressed while you’re sitting down. Wear your interview outfit during your trial run so you can get feedback from your friend or family member about how it looks on screen.

Choose a location that’s free from the distractions of children, roommates or pets. Hang a sign on the door asking mail carriers and package deliverers not to ring the doorbell. Avoid public places such as coffee shops or courtyards which can suddenly become loud. Likewise, steer clear of libraries where you could be interrupted and asked to quiet down.

Make sure the background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles. Set up lighting that’s bright but not glaring, illuminating your face from the front. Natural light is the best.

Turn off email, text and social media alerts. While it may seem like a stretch, be aware of any software updates and other notifications that may show up on the screen during the interview. Turn off programs that might interfere with the webcam and close browser tabs.

Test your technology

A few days before the interview, do a technical trial run to make sure your equipment is working correctly. Download any apps or plugins you’ll need. Whether you’re using Skype for Business or another video interview platform, make sure you have a username that’s professional, just as you would with your email address or social media handle. 

Check that your computer’s camera, microphone and internet connection are working. If possible, do a trial run with a friend or family member so you have ample time to adjust if any of your equipment or software is malfunctioning.

Charge it up

If you’re using a laptop or tablet, make sure it’s fully charged on the day of the interview. Better yet, keep them plugged in during the interview.  And pick a spot that has strong Wi-Fi. If you must use a tablet, find a way to keep it stationary. Otherwise, the screen will appear shaky when holding the device. Avoid using a smartphone for video interviews if possible.

Testing, testing ….

Check your volume controls and speak clearly so the microphone picks up your voice and the interviewer doesn’t have to strain to hear you. This can take practice but you really want to understand how to project your voice. And remember that digital connections can sometimes be delayed. To avoid talking over the interviewer or having your first few words cut out, let the interviewer finish the question and then pause for a few seconds before delivering your answer.

Prepare for the Questions

Like the in-person interview, you’ll want to prepare for the interview questions. To be a key player in the rise of video interviews, you’ll want to nail these questions.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What’s your expected salary?

As you would in a traditional interview, close the video interview by sharing your appreciation. Be gracious and listen for the cue to end the interview on a high note.

Need to get ready for job search success?  Our team at PWU is here to help.

We offer Resume updates, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Optimization, Recruiter Services, and Professional Career Coaching.

Book a free 15-min consult here https://calendly.com/powerwritersusa-ca

Talent Aquisition in 2019: Internal Promotions

According to an article found in Deloitte Insights, many companies in 2019 are placing more emphasis on hiring within their organization first. According to the writers hiring within has historically not been the route taken by most companies. However, due to the shortage of qualified recruits business’s are starting to see the value in gleaning talent from their existing employee pool. Of course, this is good business sense. Return on Investment for training current employees would be high because they already have a strong knowledge base of how the business operates.

Pros to promoting internally:

  • Your current employees know the culture of the company.
  • Save time and cost on hiring campaigns.
  • Provides an incentive for current company talent.


As talent markets get tighter and the world becomes more connected, a major new trend has emerged from our research: the need to improve internal talent mobility to more effectively move people among jobs, projects, and geographies. This year, internal talent mobility has become a C-suite-level topic, with 76 percent of our survey respondents rating it important and 20 percent rating it one of their organization’s three most urgent issues.



Erica VoliniJeff SchwartzIndranil RoyMaren HauptmannYves Van Durme,Brad DennyJosh Bersin : Talent Mobility: Winning the war on the home front[Web log post]. Retrieved May 9, 2019, from
https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/human-capital-trends/2019/internal-talent-mobility.html

This quote from Claudette Dunlap further highlights the shortage of available candidates. She places emphasis on the fact that there are more jobs available than there are people to fill them.

With more job openings than people to fill them, recruiters have a long road in 2019 to combat the effects of a tight labor market. Not only do recruiters need to overcome the lack of candidates to fill positions, but they will also need to find creative ways to overcome any skills gaps that exist. Finding ways to offer training or career development represents a significant opportunity for differentiation.

Claudette Dunlap, Director of National Sales at TempWorks Software

If you have the existing talent within your organization it makes complete sense to build on their existing skill set. Not only are you creating growth opportunity for your employees but you are also retaining employees during this tight labor market.


Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Operations Management Employment to Improve by 31 Percent in 2017

Gears of Operation

Today we are sharing an excerpt of an article by Apics which focuses on some of the current job market trends for operations management positions and which specific job positions appear to be most in demand.

Operations Management Employment to Improve by 31 Percent in 2017

Findings from the “2016 APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook” report forecast an increased amount of opportunities for individuals in the field. APICS and the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business interviewed a random sample of 30,000 industry professionals around the globe to create a joint report providing year-to-year comparisons; trend analysis; and a 12-month outlook on hiring, layoffs, job function, job title, and salary compensation.

The job market for operations management professionals has been steadily improving since the first salary and employment report was released in 2009. Forty-one percent of survey respondents anticipate hiring within the next 12 months, up from 38 percent of survey respondents in the 2014 project. This growth in anticipated hiring pairs with a 3 percent decline in anticipated layoffs, resulting in a significant 31 percent projected net gain for operations management industry employment in 2017.

In addition to overall trends in operations management hiring, the report takes a closer look at five main job specialties within operations management: execution and control of operations, purchasing and customer relationship management (CRM), resource planning, and supply chain management. The Purchasing and CRM specialty is projected to be the most in-demand job area for the next 12 months.

2016 APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook infographic

Salary and compensation data collected in the 2016 survey also continue the positive trends reported in years past. Average annual compensation across all operations management job categories was reported to be $101,644 in 2016, a 3.3 percent increase compared with the 2014 report’s findings.

Respondents who classified their roles as “execution and control of operations” average the highest reported annual compensation. Those who selected “resource planning” as their job classifications are the lowest at $71,329.

Since the first APICS salary survey in 2009, male salaries have consistently outpaced female salaries, mirroring the gender bias found across industries nationwide. In the “2016 APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook,” however, signs of improvement are visible. Females in the US Midwest on average across all age ranges report an 8 percent higher salary than their male counterparts. When the US sample is divided by age and gender, another promising trend toward gender pay equality emerges: Females under the age of 25 are earning 41 percent more than males of the same age. There is still much improvement needed, evidenced by the numbers for the North Central and South East regions. In these parts of the United States, females earn on average 39 and 35 percent, respectively, less than their male counterparts.

According to the data, education makes a difference too. Employees with a bachelor’s degree can expect approximately 30 percent more in total compensation, on average, compared with a similar employee with only a high school diploma. Individuals completing a master of business administration (MBA) degree can expect approximately 11 percent higher compensation, on average, than those with a bachelor’s degree and approximately 44 percent more than those with only a high school diploma. Of those employees with an associate’s or technical degree, women earn approximately 14 percent less than men with the same amount of education. Women with a bachelor’s degree earn 11 percent less than similarly educated men.

To read more of the original article click here.

If you have any questions, comments, or are in need of resume writing services, please contact Power Writers USA.

7 Ways Healthcare Will Change by 2017

A compelling article regarding expected healthcare changes to expect by 2017. It’s coming fast!

Original article click here.

With so many uncertainties in healthcare today, it’s difficult to predict what the future of healthcare will hold. However, there’s one aspect that is certain: pharmacy will play a tremendous role in shaping the ever-evolving landscape.

 

Express Scripts recently released a report about the 7 ways healthcare will change by 2017. The report outlines the following seven trends driving the healthcare landscape this year.

 

Shift from Volume to Value: Plans and PBMs will continue to place greater emphasis on driving value and patient outcomes. There are several ways pharmacy can influence a value-based model, both clinically and financially.

Dramatic Cost Inflation: Drug prices have reached dangerously high levels. Best-in-class organizations are not taking the backseat on this issue; rather they are actively promoting advances that help to contain costs – particularly those that balance clinical innovation with sustainability.

High-Tech Healthcare: As the most widely used benefit, pharmacy can deliver a high-tech and high-touch experience that today’s patients demand. Savvy plan sponsors are offering remote and digital pharmacy solutions such as telehealth, remote monitoring, mobile applications, home delivery and more, as a way to continuously reach patients where they are and virtualize pharmacy.

Power of Consumerism: Consumers play an active role in pharmacy decision-making. Plans that leverage strategies such as educational programs, formulary management, cost-sharing and more can drive consumer engagement, maximize value and lower costs.

Effects of an Aging Population: Many seniors suffer from more than one complex condition, frequent several physicians and take a variety of pills, which can lead to dangerous drug interactions and other complications. Pharmacy plays a fundamental role when it comes to helping a growing population of aging patients manage and improve their conditions

Impact of Mega Health Systems: Due to the massive amount of corporatization across healthcare practices, competition will decrease and potentially inflate prices – making home healthcare more desirable for patients. Pharmacy is not immune to this trend.

Move from Population to Personalized Health: To produce the best possible outcomes, you need precise, real-time data and insights – and pharmacy data is often considered the best predictor of a patient’s health. Leveraging pharmacy data to make smarter healthcare decisions will be critical as the industry looks to improve clinical outcomes while lowering costs.

As we look at each trend uncovered in the report, we are reminded of the fact that plan sponsors cannot be complacent if they want to be competitive. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that plan sponsors have a partner to help anticipate what’s next, navigate change and solve the toughest healthcare challenges.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Talent Acquisition Trends 2016

Trends

It can be challenging to sift through all the news sources to get the real scoop on what trends are occurring when it comes to hiring.  This article delves into what we see are real occurrences in the job market.

Original article source click here.

In 2016 — when 73% of companies indicate that talent acquisition is absolutely critical to executing their businesses’ strategies — it is imperative to have robust, effective, and easy-to-use technologies and tactics in place. It’s not just about supporting HR and hiring managers, though. Successful talent acquisition today puts candidates front and center.

The gap between hiring volume and budget is a continuous struggle, and their aligned movement indicates that this trend isn’t going away anytime soon. This imbalance prevents organizations from overcoming obstacles or transforming their talent strategies.

While the urgency to fill roles has made “time to fill” increase slightly, quality of hire continues to be the most valuable performance KPI. Most companies are measuring quality of hire with feedback methodology (such as new hire evaluations and hiring manager satisfaction), or a long-term methodology (employee retention).

Talent leaders aren’t convinced that they’re measuring quality of hire effectively. Only 33% of respondents feel that their methodologies are strong, and an even smaller 5% felt “best in class.” Therefore, there’s a lot of opportunity to improve how you calculate and present quality of hire.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!