How Do We Ensure Our Client’s Success?

Client Success and resume

Our business revolves around our clients and we want to ensure our clients experience successful results.  Success to us means that we create a resume for our clients that get them the callbacks for interviews they are after and go on to land the job they want.  Success also means our clients have a great experience working with us.  Here are some of the components that help us, and our clients succeed

Detailed Intake Process

At the onset of a project we engage in a detailed intake process with our clients.  We gather the necessary information from our clients to compile thoughtful questions.  We then interview our clients with these questions to dig out useful information we can use as content for the resume.

Collaborative Process

We approach resume writing as a collaborative process.  We get in touch with the person we are writing for to better understand them, their professional history, and what direction they want to go in.  Our lines of communication are always open for our clients.

ATS Optimization

With the ever-growing use of ATS (applicant tracking systems), it is becoming more and more important to make sure you have the right formatting and keywords.  If your resume doesn’t have these key ingredients, it will not get to a hiring manager.  We make sure that our resumes are optimally formatted to make it through the challenges of the software and algorithms.

Targeting a Resume

What good is your resume if it doesn’t have a focus?  We take the time and effort to understand what specific jobs you are targeting so we can incorporate key details from those jobs into your resume.  This ensures that your resume speaks clearly to the hiring managers reading it.  If a resume is too broad, you will not come across as the right candidate for the job.

Follow up and Customer Engagement

We hate goodbyes!  So, we invest time and effort to stay connected to with our clients to gain their feedback, share our news, answer questions, and remind people that we are ready to handle any updates they need.  We love to hearing the many success stories of our clients.

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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 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!

3 Key Differences Between a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Resume

Resume or CV

Ever wonder what the differences are between a resume and a CV?  Now you don’t have to!  This quick to read article breaks down the 3 main differences and shares when it is appropriate to use either format.

Original article click here.

A curriculum vitae (also known as a CV) and a resume both reflect a person’s skills and experience, but they are vastly different documents. Here are three important distinctions between the two.

Length of Resumes and CVs

Resumes are typically one or two pages long, depending on how much experience a candidate has. To keep a resume to one or two pages in length, it is necessary to omit older positions and details as time goes on. On the other hand, a curriculum vitae grows longer over time as new information and accomplishments are added. A curriculum vitae can be two pages long, or it can be upwards of a dozen. There are a couple of reasons for the difference in length. One is that resumes often use short phrases and bullet-point formats, while a curriculum vitae goes into more depth.

Typically, education is the first portion of a curriculum vitae, including a listing of all degrees earned or in progress; areas of academic interest; and thesis and dissertation titles and descriptions. With the exception of recent graduates, however, resumes tend to list education last.

A curriculum vitae also includes sections listing teaching and research positions; works published; presentations given; grants, awards, and other honors received; scholarly and professional affiliations; and a list of references.

When to Use a Resume or a CV

A good resume is concise, highlighting select experiences and accomplishments, while a curriculum vitae is instead a complete catalog of a person’s educational and professional background. The purpose of a curriculum vitae is to provide a comprehensive look at a person’s experience, while a resume is intended to provide an at-a-glance overview (one study found that recruiters spend just six seconds reviewing a resume).

Where Resumes and CVs are Most Common

Resumes are more commonly used than curriculum vitae in most fields in the United States. Academia and research are notable exceptions; fellowship and grant applications also sometimes request that applicants submit their curriculum vitae. In most other parts of the world, however, curriculum vitae are used more often than resumes.

Because a resume and a curriculum vitae serve different purposes, job candidates should consider having drafts of both written and ready to use.

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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 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!

Gap in Employment History? Don’t Worry

Employment Gap

Gap in Employment History? Don’t Worry
A concern we commonly address with our clients is how to handle a gap in employment history. The reasons are numerous why you may have gap and while it could pose some challenges there are a few key things to remember.

Be Clear and Straightforward

There is no need to bend the truth if you are trying to explain to a potential employer why you have a gap in your employment history. If you decided to take 6 months off to travel, tell them that. They will probably be interested to learn more. If you had a baby and took maternity or paternity leave, let it be known. Most adults have kids and can appreciate the attention required for newborns. Did you take time off to pursue a hobby? Let it be known, you are demonstrating that you are dedicated to a passion and you can transfer that passion to a new role.

What If I Was Laid Off?

If you were laid off, keep things upbeat and focus on the positive. Give the most concise explanation possible for you being laid off and move on. Attitude is everything. Employers want to hire someone with a positive attitude that can be effective in a new role. Exploit your positive self and be upfront about the positive impact you can have in a new role.

Show Your Involvement

Whether you were laid off or took voluntary time off, you should strongly consider using a portion of your non-working time to stay involved in some way. Study current industry trends, work on obtaining am industry certification, take a college course to expand your knowledge and give you a boost of confidence, read lots of books. You might be surprised; an employer may put a lot of value on your active involvement not working as you may bring a fresh perspective to their organization.

Get Yourself Prepared

The more time you spend preparing to re-enter the job market the better your chances of success. Get your resume ready. There are a number of formatting techniques that can skirt around an employment gap and focus more on your effectiveness and positive qualities. Consult a Certified Professional Resume Writer if you have any doubts. Properly preparing for job interviews can go a long way towards your success. Work with friends, family, or an interview coach to go over tough questions, such as addressing employment gap, so you feel confident answering the questions.

If you still have any doubts, just keep in mind that there are many people who’ve been in the same situation as you who are now successfully employed. Stay positive and invest the time and resources into yourself that you deserve.

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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!

10 Essential Career Success Strategies

Career Success

Having a great cover letter, resume, and LinkedIn profile are only a small of helping to achieve career success.  This article covers 10 important topics you should strongly consider to give your career direction and meaning.

Original article click here.

Over the course of your lifetime you may spend 80,000 hours at work. Are you getting what you want from work? Are you excelling at your career? Here are 10 strategies to help you become more engaged and successful at work.

1. Ask yourself for directions

Career success, although different for everyone, occurs when your career direction aligns with who you are and what is important to you. To build a successful career, determine what success looks like for you. After you define success create your personal brand and then set and meet your career and life goals. When you master this success strategy, your efforts are channeled in the right direction to ensure your career brings personal and professional satisfaction.

2. Optimize your outlook

People quickly judge you on what you do and say, or even on how you look, walk, and talk. When you take care of yourself, manage stress, and demonstrate a positive attitude and confidence, others enjoy interacting with you and value your contribution. Mastering this career essential contributes to both your health and career success. When you have a positive attitude, believe in, and take care of yourself, your goals are easier to accomplish.

3. Put yourself in charge

It is tempting to blame others or the situation when things are not going the way you want. When you put yourself in charge of your career, you take ownership for your mistakes and accomplishments. You stand behind and are accountable for what you say and do. By taking ownership of your words and actions, you link your efforts to success and learn from mistakes. Others count on you and see you as determined, dependable, reliable, and dedicated, all qualities much needed and rewarded in the workforce.

4. Learn from everyone

Everyone can teach you something. To be successful, you need to pay attention to what others have to say. You benefit when you listen carefully, clarify expectations, and act on feedback from others. The benefits of learning from everyone include an increased ability to see multiple perspectives, exposure to helpful corrective feedback, and an opportunity to develop rapport. Many opportunities arise when you are open to, and eager to learn from, what others can offer.

5. Relate to anyone

Career success depends on expressing yourself clearly, directly, and diplomatically. When you express your perspectives and provide information and feedback effectively there is little room for miscommunication or misunderstanding. When you relate to anyone, you resolve conflicts and issues using a win-win approach so everyone benefits. You accomplish your goals by working cooperatively. Mastering this career success strategy provides you with a network of contacts willing to support the development of your personal brand.

6. Cultivate your curiosity

There is a wealth of facts and ideas available in our information and technology-focused society. When you cultivate your curiosity, you manage the large amounts of information available and become a lifelong learner. You are interested, up-to-date, knowledgeable, and aware. You understand your learning style, apply what you learn to work more effectively, and use learning strategies to retain important information. Others are confident in your ability to easily learn new skills and apply new information and will have you in mind when new opportunities or challenges arise.

7. Disentangle your thoughts

To be successful at work you need to hone and direct your thinking to best deal with the situation at hand. Disentangling your thoughts involves thinking about and then selecting the right approach, strategies, and tools when working on tasks, making decisions, or solving problems. As a result, you make well-thought-out decisions and solve problems effectively. Others see you as resourceful and strategic. You adapt and flex your thinking to use an appropriate combination of thinking modes including practical, creative, global, logical, and humanistic thinking.

8. Exceed expectations

Others need to know they can count on you to exceed their expectations and achieve exceptional results. To exceed expectations you prioritize, plan, organize your time and activities, and persist on tasks. You work to a high standard and continuously look for ways to improve your work. People see you as results oriented, productive, persistent, efficient, and effective. You show pride in your work and take initiative to do the best job you can. When others know you will do a good job, they feel confident offering you new and important tasks and projects to complete.

9. Thrive in uncertainty

Those who are successful in their careers accept that the world is rapidly changing. To thrive in uncertainty you need to take a heads-up approach to work. You observe patterns and trends and anticipate change so you can quickly adjust. When you thrive in uncertainty, you are seen as flexible and versatile. Others are confident in your ability to cope with unexpected changes. You make the most of opportunities by being adaptable and proactive. When you thrive in uncertainty, you create opportunities and position yourself for success.

10. Promote your progress

To create your success, you need to let others know your goals and aspirations so they can assist or guide your progress. As well as sharing goals, you can also promote your brand by highlighting your skills, interests, experience, and other valuable personal qualities. Self-promotion opens the door to opportunities by showing people who you are and what you can do.

Using these 10 Career Essentials will help you create career satisfaction and success on your own terms. Enjoy your journey.

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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!

How Applicant Tracking Systems Will Affect Your Job Search

Applicant Tracking System

The use of Applicant Tracking Systems is becoming more common in today’s hiring arena but what exactly are Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)?  Why are they used?  Who uses them?  And how do they affect your job search?

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS for short, are software programs that are designed to process and weed out large amounts of incoming resumes and job applications.  A hiring manager can set parameters and keywords that they think qualified applicants will include in their resumes.  If your resume doesn’t include the right content and keywords your resume will not be considered.

Why are Applicant Tracking Systems Used?

The use of ATS greatly limits the number of qualified applicants a hiring manager needs to consider.  ATS reduces the burden of having to read endless amounts of resumes to find the veritable needle in the haystack.  Applicant Tracking Systems are also used to track where candidates are finding job postings.

Who Uses Applicant Tracking Systems?

You might think that Applicant Tracking Systems are only used by large corporations, however this is not the case.  More and more, small and mid-sized companies are using ATS to improve the efficiency of their hiring practices.

How Will Applicant Tracking Systems Affect Your Job Search?

Simply put, if you don’t have the right keywords, phrasing, or content in your resume, your resume will not pass and will not see the likes of the hiring manager.  There are many things you can do to get your resume past ATS for consideration including researching job postings and incorporating specific keywords in a job posting.  We generally don’t recommend having more than one version of your resume floating around during a job search so optimize your cover letter to make it job or position specific, again, using keywords that you think a hiring manager will be looking for.

Summary

While it may seem daunting to craft a cover letter and resume that will get past ATS screening on your own, taking your time and putting in the preparation can make the difference.  Working with a professional resume writer can also greatly increase your chances.

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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!

Job Search Strategies for Workers Over 40

Older Job Interviewer

Throughout your career the approach you take to a job search will vary depending on a great many factors.  We often encounter clients who are concerned about their age being an obstacle when trying to land a job.  But with the right resume, preparation, and attitude, you can capitalize on your age, and experience and make great leaps in your career.  This article offers some tips and strategies, beyond the resume work we provide, that can help you along the way. 

Original article Click Here.

Today’s aging global workforce, a stagnant economy, and widespread downsizing have forced a rising number of workers over 40 back in the job hunt.

Don’t let your age pose an obstacle to your job search. If you’re over 40 and seeking work, these eight job search strategies for workers over 40 can help you land a job.

8 Job Search Strategies for Workers Over 40

1. Don’t let your resume date you. Resume best practices have changed over the years so don’t let your resume date you. Ditch the references, one-size-fits-all resume, and snail-mail submissions. Don’t simply list your skills and experience, explain how you contributed to your organization’s success and the bottom line. Create a targeted resume for each position that is tailored to the job you seek and submit your resume electronically.

2. Become Web-Savvy. Technology know-how is crucial to your job search. Learn how to SEO your resume, use online application techniques, post on-line resumes and master online submissions. Peruse online job search sites, post a virtual resume and tap into online social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to network and look for jobs.

Create an online brand for yourself and market your brand through social media. Join listservs and forums relating to your field to expand your network and gain up-to-date knowledge.

3. Battle age discrimination. Although it is illegal, age discrimination exists in most industries, including the legal industry.

4. Update your skills. If you are changing careers or returning to the workforce, it’s important to keep your skills current. If necessary, return to school to complete a degree or take classes to brush up on certain skills. Technology skills are essential to most positions today and a basic understanding of word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation and calendaring applications are required for many jobs.

5. Network. Get involved in professional associations, volunteer programs, and networking groups to expand your networking contacts and learn about new opportunities. Focus on building relationships and helping others rather than your own job search.

6. Update Your Appearance. Even if you are older, you don’t want your appearance to scream “over 50.” Interviewers are influenced by your appearance so update your look to gain a competitive edge.

Color gray hair, update your wardrobe and purchase a trendy handbag and shoes. Presenting an image that polished and professional, not worn and dated, will help avoid the perception that your skills are not up to date or that you are too old-fashioned for the company.

7. Adapt to today’s work culture. Yesterday’s workforce was ruled by Baby Boomers who thrived in a hierarchical autocracy where top-down communication and regimented work culture were the norms. Today’s work environment is global, flexible, interconnected and round-the-clock. Telecommuting, flexible schedules, and 24/7 availability are becoming the norm. Understand how your role fits into the bigger picture and remain flexible.

8. Target the right employers. Older professionals might do best to focus on small to medium size organizations that are more likely to value a Boomer’s perspective, experience, and expertise.

For example, research by NALP (National Association of Law Professionals) has found that ​small law firms embrace older lawyers more readily that large firms.

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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!

7 Keys To A Successful Job Search

Standing out

The proper preparation, dedication of time and resources, and a clear focus can have a huge impact on the success of your job search and career ambitions.  We’ve found article below is a helpful resource that can greatly make your job search efforts more effective.

Original Article by Nancy Collamer for Forbes Click Here.

7 Keys To A Successful Job Search

I’m always trying to keep on top of the latest career trends and recently read through the mother lode: The 2012 white paper published by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium. It’s full of useful tips, strategies and ideas for job seekers and I want to share my favorites with you.

The report summarizes the key findings of the consortium’s annual Global Career Brainstorming Day, an international, multicity event that brings together nearly 100 career professionals — including coaches, resumé writers and college career services professionals — from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. “What’s consistent every year is the very fast pace of change,” says Louise Kursmark, co-director of consortium and one of the co-editors of the report.

Here’s what the experts said are seven keys to a successful job search in today’s competitive environment:

 1. Keep your resumé short and succinct.

Despite reports of its impending demise, the experts said a resumé is still very much an essential tool of the job search. But hiring managers (and the computers they use to sort through resumés) are in a rush. So you need to format your resumé to be read quickly and in small bites. These days, a typical resumé is scanned for just six to 10 seconds, often on a mobile device.

Eliminate filler words, use numbers to quantify your impressive results (such as “boosted sales 83 percent”) and include relevant keywords that appeared in the job posting.

Limit your contact information to just one email address (old-fashioned AOL, no; contemporary Gmail, yes), one phone number and your LinkedIn profile URL.

 Residential addresses aren’t needed, although it can be helpful to list your region (for example, New York Tri-State), so the employer knows you’re located near the open position.
2. Create a portfolio of job-search documents.

Want a way to distinguish yourself from the crowd of applicants? According to the Career Brainstorming Day pros, many job seekers are supplementing their resumés with collateral leadership briefs, blogs that establish their robust online professional identity and, among senior-level managers, one-page executive summaries.

3. Consider hiring a coach to perfect your video interview skills.

More employers are relying on Skype for long-distance and initial screening interviews. As a result, more job seekers are using coaches to help them excel in video presentations.

4. Dive deep into LinkedIn.

Over the past few years, using LinkedIn to find work has gone from a good idea to essential. “Having a sharp LinkedIn profile may be even more important than having a great resumé,” Kursmark says.

Nonetheless, the experts said, all too many job candidates fail to fully embrace this tool, especially older job seekers. To maximize the use of LinkedIn, engage more frequently with your LinkedIn networks. One of the best ways to do this is to actively participate in LinkedIn’s industry and interest groups.

Find relevant groups by going to your LinkedIn home page, clicking on the Groups tab and search the “groups you may like” or “groups directory” tabs. Then join a few groups and post links to interesting articles, participate in discussions and share helpful resources. You will become known as a go-to resource and improve the likelihood that you will get noticed by recruiters, referral sources and hiring managers.

5. Use Twitter and other forms of social media to attract the attention of employers who are hiring.

According to the white paper, “employers will move from using external recruiters to an internal hiring process that will depend heavily on identifying prospective employees through their online presence and through referrals of existing employees. Personal websites, social media presence, development of subject matter expertise and a well-defined personal brand will be the requirements for gaining the attention of prospective employers.”

6. Limit the amount of time you spend on job boards.

As Next Avenue has noted, job boards are one of the least effective ways to get hired. The Career Brainstorming Day experts said it’s generally only worth applying for a position through a job board if your resumé matches 80 to 85 percent of what an employer asks for in a posting.

Job seekers continue to be frustrated by computerized Applicant Tracking Systems that scan applicants’ resumés for keywords. “This finding underscores the importance of direct, targeted search with networking as its core component as the most important method for finding a job,” Kursmark says.

To maximize your chances for success using job boards, focus on smaller, regional and industry-specific job boards, as well as aggregator sites, like Indeed.com and Simplyhired.com.

7. Start your search sooner rather than later.

The hiring process has been growing longer, with more steps and delays between the time people apply for jobs and receive offers.

It helps to approach a search as though you are in sales: keep building your network pipeline,don’t let your momentum flag and expect to hear “no.”

All is not doom and gloom, though. The report says career professionals are finding “growing demand for workers” and that businesses are worrying about losing managers and other key talent. I hope they’re correct.

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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!

How to Email a Resume and Cover Letter Attachment

Emailing your resume and cover letter
You have a fresh, well-written cover letter, your resume has never looked better and now it’s time to start sending them out so you can get a callback for an interview!  But how should you email the aforementioned documents?  This is a great how-to guide for those that may need a little help in that department.  
Original article click here.

How to Email Cover Letter and Resume Attachments

Depending on the job for which you’re applying, you may need to email your resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. Networking contacts who are helping you job search may also ask you to email your application materials so they can review them and share your resume with prospective employers.

When you apply for jobs via email, the employer may require you to send your resume and cover letter as an attachment to an email message. It’s important to send your attachments correctly, to include all the information you need so your email message is read, and to let the receiver know how they can contact you to schedule an interview. Here’s how.

How to Save a Cover Letter and Resume

When you are sending cover letter and resume attachments, the first step is to save your resume as a PDF or a Word document. This way the receiver will get a copy of the resume in the original format. You can either save your cover letter in document format or write it directly in the email message.

If you have word processing software other than Microsoft Word save your resume as a Word (.doc or .docx) document. File, Save As, should be an option in your program.

Depending on your word processing software, you may be able to File, Print to PDF, to save your documents as a PDF. If not, there are free programs you can useto convert a file to a PDF.

A PDF file retains the format of your resume and letter, so the recipient will see them as you wrote them when they open the file(s) you send.

Use your name as the file name, so the employer knows whose resume and cover letter it is i.e. janedoeresume.doc and janedoecoverletter.doc.

How to Include a Subject Line in an Email Message

The subject line is one of the most important parts of the email messages you send to apply for jobs. If you don’t include one, your message may not even get opened.

Your email message must include a subject line, and it should explain to the reader who you are and what job you are applying for. Be specific, so the recipient knows what he or she is receiving. Employers often hire for many positions at the same time, so include both your name and the job title.

Add a subject to the email message before you start writing it. That way, you won’t forget to include it afterwards.

Here’s what to write:

Subject: Your Name – Job Title

How to Write an Email Message to Send With Your Cover Letter and Resume

Once you have saved your resume and cover letter and they are ready to send, the next step is to write an email message to send with your documents.

First, open your email account. Then click on Message at the top left of the screen or click on File, New, Message.

You can either type your cover letter directly into the email message, copy and paste from a word processing document, or, if the company requests an attachment, send your cover letter and resume with the email message. So, your choices are to send a cover letter attachment or to use the email message as your cover letter.

If you are attaching a cover letter, your email message can be brief. Simply state that your resume and cover letter are attached. Offer to provide additional information and let the reader know how you can be contacted.

If you’re writing an email cover letter, review these formatting tips before you send it.

Also, be sure to follow the directions in the job posting for how to apply when sending your cover letter and resume or your application may not be considered.

 

Add a Signature to an Email Message

It is important to include an email signature with all your contact information, so it’s easy for hiring managers and recruiters to get in touch with you. Include your full name, your email address, and your phone number in your email signature, so the hiring manager can see, at a glance, how to contact you.

If you have a LinkedIn profile, include it in your signature. Do the same with any other social media accounts you use for career and business purposes.

To add your signature to your email message, click on File, Insert, Signature if you have a signature saved that you use for job searching. If you haven’t created an email signature, type your contact information (name, email address, phone, LinkedIn) at the bottom of your message.

 

How to Attach a Resume and Cover Letter to an Email Message

Once your email message is ready to send, you need to attach your resume and cover letter to your message. Click on Insert, Attach File. Your email client will display a list of files in the default file folder of your computer.

If your resume and cover letter are stored in a different folder, click on the appropriate folder.

Click to select the file you want to add to your email message, and then click on Insert to attach the document to your email message. Take the time to carefully proofread the message before you send it.

Before you click Send, send the message to yourself to be sure all the attachments come through and your email message is perfect.

Send a copy of the message to yourself, as well as to the company, so you have a copy for your records. Add yourself as a Bcc (blind carbon copy) by clicking Bcc… and adding your email address.

Then click Send, and your cover letter and your resume will be on its way to the employer.

We hope you find this article helpful and we would always like to hear your comments and questions.  Power Writers USA is here to help you with all your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and more.  Please feel to contact us.

Should you always send a cover letter?

Resume

When it comes to preparing and applying for new jobs everyone has different needs.  You may have a warm introduction for a potential new employment opportunity where a resume is merely a formality or you may be sending resumes to companies you’ve had no prior contact with.  This article from Monster.com will help you to decide whether or not it’s appropriate to send a cover letter along with your resume.

Original article click here.

Do you always have to submit a cover letter, or can you skip it? We checked in with a panel of career experts to find out.

You found an exciting new job posting and are getting ready to submit your resume, but what about a cover letter? Is it always necessary to spend time writing a cover letter, or are there times you can get away without one? We checked in with a panel of career experts to find out.

Pro: A Cover Letter Can Set You Apart

“Skip the cover letter, and you miss out on an opportunity to sell yourself,” says Evelyn Salvador, author of Step-by-Step Cover Letters: Build a Cover Letter in 10 Easy Steps Using Personal Branding and principal of Creative Image Builders, a resume-development and career-coaching firm in Coram, New York.

Sending a cover letter along with a resume helps job seekers build their brand, the same way an advertising company promotes a product’s brand. “A well-defined brand wins interviews, maximizes salary potential and puts job seekers in the top 2 percent of candidates considered for positions,” Salvador says.

Think of your cover letter as another tool in your job search arsenal, says Betty Corrado, owner of career-coaching and resume-writing firm Career Authenticity in Cos Cob, Connecticut. “The cover letter is a key part of your marketing package,” she says. “Use it as an opportunity to convey your brand and value proposition.”

Pro: Cover Letters Let You Reveal Your Personality and Build Rapport

A resume tends to be fact-based and somewhat formal, but a cover letter can be infused with personality. “Don’t be afraid to inject personal notes about interests or philosophies that may help employers determine if you will fit into their culture,” says Roleta Fowler Vasquez, professional resume writer and owner of Wordbusters in Fillmore, California. To increase the “wow” factor of their cover letters, she encourages applicants to add a few standout accomplishments that don’t appear on the resume.

Laila Atallah, a Seattle career counselor and owner of Career Counseling with a Twist, agrees that a cover letter can be more revealing than a resume. “The best cover letters are infused with energy, personality and details about the applicant’s skills and achievements,” she says. “I get a sense of the person and what they’ve accomplished, and it’s easier for me to picture them in their next job.”

Job seekers often make the mistake of sending a resume without a cover letter, says Ann Baehr, president of Best Resumes of New York in East Islip, New York. “This is a missed opportunity to establish rapport with employers and provide a sense of who they are beyond their work experience,” she says.

Thinking about skipping the cover letter when applying for an internal position? Don’t. Use the cover letter to show how well you understand your employer’s mission and remind management of how much you have already accomplished. Include a cover letter even if a colleague is submitting your resume for you. The letter is a chance to introduce yourself and mention your contact as a reminder that you are a referral. This is what a cover letter should include, should you decide to send one.

Pro: A Cover Letter Lets You Tell a Story

The cover letter can include information that would be out of place on the resume. “Job seekers can include the name of a mutual contact or referral, state how they would benefit the employer if hired and explain tricky situations such as changing careers, relocating, returning to the workforce and so on,” Baehr says.

Atallah encourages job seekers to learn about the requirements of the job opening and use the cover letter to express how and why they are uniquely qualified. “Use your cover letter to tell a story,” she says. “Studies show that stories are memorable and engaging, and cover letters are a perfect vehicle for expressing your successes in a more storylike format.”

When Not to Send a Cover Letter

Given all the reasons to send a cover letter, is it ever a good idea not to? “If the application instructions expressly say not to include a cover letter, or if an online application offers no opportunity, then you can forego the cover letter in these cases,” Atallah says.

Vasquez agrees that you should not send a cover letter when the employer specifically says not to. “This may be a test of your ability to follow directions,” she says.

What if you think the cover letter won’t be read? Corrado says that while some hiring managers say they don’t read cover letters, those who do may dismiss your application if you don’t send one. “Why take this chance when you need every possible advantage in this job market?” she asks.

While writing cover letters is time-consuming, the consensus is that the effort could give you an edge and help you land more interviews.

Article written by: Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

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Everybody has different needs when it comes to their resumes, cover letters, CV’s etc.  Power Writers USA is here to help answer any questions you may have about your resume or having your resume crafted by a Certified Professional Resume Writer. 

How to Change Careers

Change Careers

Many people change careers several times throughout their working life and sometimes those changes can be a big challenge.  This article offers some helpful advice for those looking to make a change.  Please contact us if you want to discuss how your resume can become a vital asset when entering a new job field.

 

Changing careers takes focus and commitment. To be successful, you’ll need to develop short-term, intermediate and long-term goals, and decide on the steps you’ll need to accomplish them. Once you do that, it will be a lot easier to take the plunge into a new line of work.

Start by researching the marketplace to identify expanding industries. Search the Labor Department’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, job boards and the business press to see what’s areas are most in demand.

Next, take assessment tests to discover your hidden talents and jobs that fit them. Leading tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory and Campbell Interest & Skill Survey. Also, ask individuals you know personally and professionally for their insight into occupations that might be a strong fit for your background and skills.

Once you’ve decided on a new path, do some online research and networking to determine the skills you’ll need to qualify for jobs that interest you. If you lack key credentials, consider signing up for volunteer work enrolling in classes to bridge the gap.

Next, revamp your résumé to highlight skills and experiences that are most relevant to your desired new line of work. A professional career coach may be able to help.

When applying for jobs, craft cover letters that will help employers understand why you’re looking to change careers and how you can add value. Similarly, prepare for interviews by crafting 30-second introduction that sums up what you can do for employers.

Tips

  • Consider taking assessment tests to discover your hidden talents and jobs that fit them.
  • Do the necessary research on marketplace and hiring trends in the field you are considering.
  • If you lack required or desired credentials in the field, seek the training you need to bridge the gap.

Article originally posted here: http://guides.wsj.com/careers/managing-your-career/how-to-change-careers/