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How to Write an Effective Cover Letter


This could have been avoided with a good cover letter

Here’s a question: when does a job interview begin?

The answer isn’t “with the handshake” or “when you arrive at reception.” The interview process begins the second a recruiter or hiring manager receives their first piece of correspondence from you. In almost all cases, the first thing they see is your cover letter. The cover letter is the first test, and if you haven’t taken the time to prepare one that’s tight, compelling, and good at selling your skills, you’re already blowing it. It’s time to stop worrying about how to write an effective cover letter and start doing it.    Read More →

How and When to Secure Great References | Day 6

It’s difficult to estimate just how many job seekers we’ve seen blow an offer, just because their references were in disarray. Whether they treated them as an afterthought, believed they were either too senior or too accomplished to be asked for them, or just forgot about them all together, job seekers at any level rarely put the necessary effort into selecting, prepping, and deploying references. This is a late-stage mistake that can easily throw a wet blanket on an otherwise successful hiring process. Nail down your references before you begin applying, or you risk playing catch-up down the line.    Read More →

Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile

You need a great LinkedIn profile. There’s no getting around that in 2013. It’s not just another social networking outlet. It’s not “professional Facebook.” It’s the digital face of your job search, and that alone makes it an absolutely necessary component in your job search toolkit. There are 200 million professionals and 2.6 million companies on LinkedIn. Over 5 billion professionally-oriented searches were conducted there in 2012. If you’re not maximizing your profile’s effectiveness, you’re missing out on one of the best – and one of the easiest – ways to up your job search game.    Read More →

How to Write a Great Resume

The resume is the core of your application materials and is by far the most difficult to construct. That’s why no one likes writing them. Doing it well is hard and time consuming, and there are a million resources for resume guidance on the market, many of them offering contradictory advice. And yet, once you’re done with the resume, it’s pretty smooth sailing. Figuring out the resume – how you’re going to position yourself, how you’re going to spin your story – will inform the rest of your job search and will be a reference point throughout the process. With that said, let’s talk about how to write a great resume.    Read More →

Preparing Your Job Search Toolkit | Day 3

So you’re almost ready to get started applying. You’ve combed the job boards and reached out to your network. You’re finding a number of promising opportunities from both venues, but there’s just one thing: you need a job search toolkit.  You need a resume. And a cover letter. And a LinkedIn profile. And references.

You forgot about the references, didn’t you?

Every year, some pundit makes a grand, sweeping statement like “Resumes Are Dead” or “Why The Cover Letter is Extinct.” These sorts of headlines are great as cynical clickbait, but they’re dangerously misleading and just plain wrong. The hard truth is that you need all four of the aforementioned tools in order to run an effective job search campaign, and it’s best to get them all squared away before you start applying in earnest.    Read More →

How to Determine What Jobs Are Worth Your Time | Day 2

Don't try this at home.In this economy, just showing up no longer counts. Jobs are no longer doled out to the deserving. Instead, they’re given to those that are the most qualified, the best prepared, and who prove that they want it the most.

This is my way of telling you not to start the job hunting process unless you’re willing to make it your relentless pursuit to end up in a hiring manager’s short list — the top three candidates of all the people who applied for a given job — every single time.

Tall order? Maybe. Achievable? Absolutely.

So what can you do today that will make an immediate and positive impact on your job hunt? Start refining the jobs you’re going to apply for.    Read More →

Making the Decision to Find a New Gig | Day 1

Not recommended

Be warned, friends: once you commit yourself to job change, it’s really, really hard to put the “new job” genie back in the bottle.

Once you’re on the hunt, the same-old, same-old of your current job will begin to wear thin and you’ll want out ASAP. Then, with every tweak to your resume, every interview you crush, and every new contact you’ve schmoozed, you’ll find yourself increasingly ready to jump into that sexy new opportunity.

But before you do, you need to be sure that you’re truly ready to pull that rip cord, and that you’re pulling it for the right reasons.    Read More →

28 Days to a New Job: How it Works

The day has come, folks. Every day in February — the next 28 days — we’ll be bringing you tips and lessons designed to completely prepare you for a killer job hunt. If you want to follow along (and you definitely want to follow along), here’s how:

Read each day’s post. If there’s suggested homework — there usually will be — take a crack at it. When you’re done, let us know you finished by posting a comment on our Facebook page or tweeting using our hashtag #NewJob28Days. Tell us how you did. Share what you learned and what you struggled with. Ask us questions. We’re here to help.

Next up: Ally kicks it off with “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Making the Decision to Find a New Gig.”

POV: Weisstuch and Livingston on the Future of Women in Marketing

Julie Livingston

Mad Men’s ratings may be higher than ever, but we all know the role of professional women has come a long way since the 60s. We recently sat down with Melissa Weisstuch, Associate Director of Marketing Communications at Somnia Anesthesia and Julie Livingston, Senior Director of Client Development at CarrotNewYork to learn more about the current state of women in marketing. Both Melissa and Julie are members of New York Women in Communications (NYWICI), a 1,500 member organization for communications and marketing professionals. They were kind enough to give us their takes on the dynamic world of marketing, public relations, and communications.    Read More →

Listomania: The Best Year-in-Review Lists for 2012

January’s coming to a close and most of the big year-in-review retrospectives are all done. From misbehaving executives to edible iPhone cases, here’s what 2012 gave us:

This cat was the biggest thing on the internet in 2012. seriously.

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