How To Write A Cover Letter To Make Your Resume Stand Out

First impressions matter! For today’s job seekers, the first impression comes long before you meet a potential employer face to face. An application that calls for a cover letter gives you a chance to make a remarkable first impression. This article will discuss when to use a cover letter and how to write a cover letter.

Why Should I Include Cover Letters With My CV?

The short answer to this question is that it makes your application look more professional. It shows that you have researched the position and the company and that you care about the job application. An application without a cover letter looks lazy at worst and unimpressive at best. For a job application, your cover letter is your explanation of your purpose. Just as you would be daft to email your CV as an attachment without anything written in the body of the email, you appear unimpressive when you submit a CV with no cover letter.

A cover letter is an opportunity to make yourself stand out. Think of your cover letter as your marketing material. You highlight the most relevant and important parts of your CV, put them into context, and tell a potential employer why you are an excellent candidate for the position. It is also one more place for you to put your contact information. If your phone number and email address are more visible and accessible to an employer, you have just made it easier for them to contact you for an interview.

When Should I Use a Cover Letter?

  • There are many situations in which it is appropriate to use a cover letter. Here are some situations when you should submit your CV along with a cover letter:

  • To apply for an advertised job with a specific employer. Make yourself stand out from other candidates.

  • To send your CV to a recruitment agency. Explaining what type of work you are looking for helps the agency to determine how they can serve you best.

  • To contact an employer to enquire about job opportunities. If an employer has specific openings or unadvertised openings they will be more interested in you if you explain your expertise and what you can bring to their company.

There are more situations in which you can and should use a cover letter. If in doubt, take the extra step and write a cover letter.

It goes without saying that your cover letter, like your CV, must be adapted to each situation, and you should follow standard protocol for letter writing. Read on for more information and cover letter pointers.

To Apply For An Advertised Job

In this situation, your main goal is to make yourself stand out from other candidates. Take note of the job requirements and address these in your cover letter. Explain why you are the ideal candidate. Relay to the employer your expertise, skills, and experience, emphasizing the most relevant details.

Bear in mind that an employer who has advertised a job opening is receiving up to hundreds of applications. Address your letter to the contact person listed on the job posting, and keep your letter short and to the point. Refer to the last section of this article for guidelines to write your cover letter.

To Send Your CV to a Recruitment Agency

Recruitment agencies work with professionals from many different fields, so they need to know what your experience is and what kind of work you are seeking. When you submit your CV with a cover letter, you streamline their work and speed up the process so that they can help you more effectively. Instead of weeding through your CV and then scanning a list of open positions that you may match, they can identify immediately what you are looking for and what openings they have.

While we are on the topic of recruitment agencies, here are a few other considerations that you can include in your cover letter:

  • Time Frame: Specify whether you are looking for permanent or temporary jobs.

  • Role/Title: Explain what type of job role you would like. While you don’t want to be too vague, naming specific job titles may limit your options more than it helps, if you are looking for a variety of different things.

  • Options: Keep your options open. Working with a recruitment agency is a great way to get experience in a variety of fields and work towards that dream job even if you don’t currently have the necessary experience. To this end, as you work towards a “dream job,” advertise your strengths as well as your interests. For example, an aspiring journalist may say, “I have excellent communication and research skills and I follow current events and local news closely.”

  • Flexibility: Communicate to the recruitment agency that you are interested in available jobs even if they don’t have openings in your specific field. However, if you know exactly what you are looking for, be specific from the start.

All of the above points can and should be worked into your cover letter for a recruitment agency so that they know right away how to place you.

To Enquire With An Employer About Potential Job Openings

At times, you may find a particular company you wish to work for, but they have no advertised job openings. This doesn’t mean, however, that there is no room for you in the company. You can enquire directly with the company, politely asking if they have a need for a _____ (fill in the blank with your desired job title). The great advantage to this method of job searching is that you are interacting directly with potential employers. Even if there is no response, you can be satisfied knowing that you have taken initiative and proceeded as far as you can in the recruitment process.

Submitting a cover letter and CV to a specific employer as part of an enquiry is similar to applying to a recruitment agency. You need to introduce yourself, relate your experience, and explain your goal. What type of work are you looking for? Are you open to work in related fields or only in a specific job title?

A very convenient aspect of this method is that you choose the employers you want to work for. Take full advantage of this and communicate to the employer what you like about their company. Why do you want to be part of their work? What attracts you to them? Convey with enthusiasm why you would fit well with their team.

Remember to address and sign your letter appropriately. (More on closings in the next section). When contacting employers directly, you should address the letter to the HR Manager or Office Manager.

Guidelines For Writing Your Cover Letter

  • Use a professional font and format

  • Address the reader by name and title (if appropriate). If you do not know the name, use Sir or Madam.

  • Limit the letter to one page. This is your first impression, or your introduction, not your interview.

  • Break up the text by using small paragraphs. This makes it easier to read.

  • Include all of your contact information and the date you sent the letter.

  • Elaborate on key parts of your CV that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Do not simply repeat what is already in your CV.

  • Relate your experience to the job. Explain how your skills fulfill the requirements for the position.

  • Finish with a formal closing. If you know the reader, use “Yours sincerely.” Otherwise, use “Yours faithfully.” Follow the example below for capitalization and punctuation.

Yours sincerely,

John Smith

Note that sincerely (or faithfully) are not capitalized, and they are followed by a comma. Your name should be beneath the closing. Also note that the closing “Kind regards” is reserved for email.

Last but not least, proofread extremely carefully! Many a cover letter has been discarded without a second glance because there was a glaring typo in the first line. Use your cover letter to make a great first impression that will land you the perfect job!

Leaving Your Job Well – How to Write a Resignation Letter

For one reason or another, you have decided you quit your job. Now you need to make it official. As long as your employer isn’t asking you to vacate the premises immediately, you will likely be asked to submit a resignation letter. Let me tell you a secret: you do not want to write, “This is a horrible place to work. I put in long hours and don’t get enough money or appreciation. Top competitor X over there is offering me a larger salary with better benefits, so I’m leaving.” Saying this to your employer or colleagues is in poor taste and may lead to burning some bridges.

If you want to keep a good reputation and protect all that you have worked so hard for, writing a good resignation letter is crucial. This article gives you some helpful pointers for writing an effective resignation letter.

A Hypothetical Situation Where A Good Resignation Letter May Save You Later

Let’s take a minute to imagine a hypothetical situation. This might not be you, but it could be one day.

You work for a top firm, and you just scheduled an appointment with a potential client. You can’t wait to get this contract, the biggest you have ever gone for. You know you are the best choice; there’s no reason for this client to choose anyone else. You have years of experience and several promotions under your belt; your company is the best in the area and has consistently received top ratings and accolades from its prestigious clients. You love working for such a well-known company—unlike that lousy little place where you used to slave away.

Back then, you were so miserable that when you finally found a better job, you didn’t even tell your boss. During your job search, you quietly snuck out for an interview here and there, and when you landed the big job, you just left one day without a word. It was easier that way.

And here you are now, at the top of the field, going for a huge contract. You walk into the appointment to find . . . your old boss, the tyrant who you ran away from, now the manager who is going to say yes or no to your business. If only you had left with more tact.

Broken relationships are a fact of life, but they don’t have to haunt us when we move on in our careers. Writing a letter of resignation before abandoning a job is like leaving a trail of positivity. It helps to smooth over those rough spots and can protect you in the future when you run into your old manager or boss. A well-written resignation letter can also gain you a positive reference or recommendation letter from your ex-employer.

How To Write That Resignation Letter

Whatever the situation is, handing in your resignation can be challenging. If you are leaving on good terms, your task may be relatively easy, but if you are leaving because you’ve been offered a better job or you dislike your current employer, you need to find a way to placate any hurt feelings. The letter needs to be sincere and personal without raising sensitive issues.

Take a moment to consider the situation from a manager’s perspective. Whether or not they do a good job of demonstrating it, many employers do care for their staff and they feel responsible if an employee leaves. If it is a highly valued employee leaving, the manager may even feel that they failed personally. They also need to report to their superiors and to the entire team or department why you are leaving.

From this point of view, the resignation letter is a document that provides an official narrative to explain your resignation without casting blame on anyone. It allows you to depart without any hard feelings.

Your goal in writing the resignation letter is to explain in a reproducible way why you are leaving. If this letter were shared with the entire company, would you write it any differently? Think of it as personal insurance. It’s not a soapbox. Set aside your feelings and rise above the circumstances.

Points To Include In Your Letter Of Resignation

There are a few basics you should be sure to include in your resignation letter:

  • A thank you to your employer.

What have you appreciated about working for this company? What have you learned or gained from this experience?

  • A brief explanation of why you are leaving.

Keep it polite and professional. Don’t share reasons for leaving that are going to lead to negative memories or create hard feelings.

  • If you can’t think of a decent reason for leaving, succinctly say that another employer has offered you a better package.

If you have hurt feelings, keep them to yourself. No matter how much you want to lash out at your boss or make their life as miserable as they made yours, take the upper road. Demonstrate forgiveness. Apologize for your shortcomings. Heed some advice from Oscar WildeAlways forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much.”

Example Of A Resignation Letter

Since a resignation letter is a very personal document, there is no foolproof how-to list for writing one. However, you can start with these guidelines:

  • Personalize the opening. You’re not writing to a stranger here! Use your employer’s name.

Dear James….”

  • Be direct. Don’t skirt the subject. Get to the point in the first sentence. If there is a subject line, utilize it.

Subject Line: Resignation

  • Concisely explain why you are leaving. Remember to do this carefully, as discussed above.

  • Ensure that all of your responsibilities are taken care of. Are you leaving projects for someone else to finish? Consider leaving behind a list of important information such as passwords or time-sensitive work that needs to be prioritized.

  • Give your employer advance notice. Check your company’s policy for resignation (two or three week’s notice is typical).

  • If necessary, offer to stay longer to smooth the transition. You may be needed to train or even hire your replacement. It’s a good idea to offer to help in this way even if your employer doesn’t take you up on it. Willingness to go above and beyond reflects well on your character and leaves a good impression for you.

  • Conclude professionally. Tell your employer how grateful you are for your time at the company.

Make sure you maintain a professional tone throughout the letter. This is a crucial document to keep your career moving through a delicate time. Mishandled, a resignation can have disastrous effects. With forethought and tact, a resignation letter can make all the difference.

Remember, this is your job, your resignation, your career. Personalize the letter to fit your circumstances. Handle it with care to protect your reputation and your career so that you can move on freely to bigger and better things!

Why Did You Leave Your Last Job? – The Dreaded Interview Question

Interviewing for a new job is stressful enough, but why is it that interviewers always seem to ask complicated questions that evade any great answer? Well, that’s their job, my friend. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do all that you can to prepare for these questions to come up. So how do you prepare to answer the question, “So why did you leave your last job?”

Well it is clear that you can’t say the first answer that comes into your head. “My boss was a tool who didn’t know his butt from a hole in the ground,” isn’t the answer your potential new employer is looking for. While it may be the truest thing you ever said, your interview calls for a more diplomatic answer. Yes, your interviewer is interested to know why you are moving on from your last job, but there is a lot more that they are learning from your answer than you would initially expect.

Your answer will tell your employer about you as a person. How do you deal with obstacles in the workplace? How do you deal with bosses you disagree with? How do you protect the reputation of a company you have previously worked for? All these things tell the employer what you will be like if they decide to hire you themselves.

Here we have compiled a spectrum of answers that would be appropriate, or at least mildly acceptable, when asked this question in an interview.

Good Reasons for Leaving Your Previous Job

  • There was no option for advancement and progression within the company.”

  • I have heard great things about this job and this company, and I decided to apply when I saw that a position was available that suited my skills.”

  • This position is the next logical career progression for the track I am on, and I know I can be an asset to your company.”

  • I learned a great deal from my previous job, but once I learned all that I could I decided to pursue a company with which I could continue to grow. That is why I have applied for this position.”

  • I was not being challenged to improve or succeed in my previous position, and I believe that your company can be as beneficial to me as I can be to your company.”

These answers reflect well on you and your ambition for further work without the negative impact of saying something that reflects badly on yourself. With answers along these lines it is fairly easy to deflect the conversation away from any negative reasons you had for leaving your last job and instead focus on giving a good impression in your interview.

Plus, any sort of wording that shows flattery for the company you’re hoping to work for (without sounding like you’re trying to talk your way in) and an understanding of the needs and interests of the company will only be helpful in the process of interviewing.

Reasonably Acceptable Answers (Which May Still Be Problematic)

  • I wasn’t happy in my old job.”

  • I frequently disagreed with managers and coworkers at my previous job.”

  • I did not like the company I was working for.”

  • I was not asked to renew my contract after the initial term ended.”

None of these are bad reasons to leave a job, but they bring up many more questions and possibly doubts in the mind of your interviewer. If you are going to give an honest answer along these lines you should be prepared to be asked more questions about the specifics of your issue with your previous employer. When this happens it is in your favor to still try to put as positive a spin on the situation as possible. It is possible to do this effectively by highlighting ways in which you dealt well with the situation. (This way you are still showing your positive work place qualities.)

Most important to remember is that even though the details of your answers here may not be exactly relevant to whether or not you’re hired, your interviewer will be taking note of the way in which you answer the questions. It’s like reading between the lines – the spirit of what you’re getting at is as important as the actual words you are speaking.

Horrible Reasons for Leaving Your Job

  • I was bored in my job and figured I’d try something different for a change.”

  • My supervisors were idiots.”

  • I was late to work nearly every day so they said they had to let me go.”

  • I’m just looking for whatever pays most.”

These are the sorts of answers you want to avoid at all cost. They cannot do anything to help your chances of being hired by the company interviewing you. Even if these are the honest answer to why you left your previous employment, I cannot stress how detrimental it would be to your interview to answer this way.

We have all been there. We have all had those jobs that we just had to leave because it was basically the worst, and that’s all there was to it. But should we tell a potential new employer this? I’d stick with the other answers we discussed. Just find one that’s accurate in some way so you can elaborate on it for the purposes of your interview. It is important to emphasize to your interviewer that you will be entirely committed to the job and the company in case you are hired. This is how they can have confidence that if they hire you will not be a problem to them later on down the line.

Instead of allowing an interviewer to dig around and come up with sporadic information that paints a skewed picture of who you are as an employer, you can use your answers to set the scene for them to see you as the ideal candidate for the position they are attempting to fill. When you are in an interview, remember that the ball is in your court and with the right answers; you are that much more likely to land any job you are qualified for.

Just remember the basics – paint yourself in a positive light, do NOT criticize previous employers outright, do not let the interview get away from you. Believe me, you’ll have this in the bag!

What does OTE really mean?

What Is On Target Earning?

On target earning is when your Employer expects you to reach a target they set for you. This is most often used in Sales positions. These jobs can be very stressful but the opportunity to earn a lot of money can draw a lot of people to this kind of job.

Most Employers will advertise for this type of job by saying that you can make anywhere from 20k to 60k. They do this because you have a very low starting salary and it will get them more interest in the position is people thing that they can make a lot more starting out. That is usually not the case though. You may have a base salary of 20k and if you meet or exceed the targets you will get a commission and can make up to 60k. While this sounds like a great incentive to get started in a job like this, there are some things that you need to consider.

Below are a few things that you need to ask yourself and your prospective employer before taking a job that involves OTE.

What Is Involved With Achieving The Earnings?Sales Target

So they give you a target to meet for sales but you need to know exactly how to meet those goals or targets. Each company will have their own methods and that’s why you need to know how they handle it through theirs and what they expect from you. There are many factors in how you can reach the proposed targets and you need to be ready to ask these questions when you are at your interview.

How Do They Generate Their Sales Leads?

Is it cold calling for do they have lists of people who are already interested. If it is a store and you are selling things out of a store it is pretty straightforward. But if it is telephone of Internet based sales or and job that uses OTE, this is something that has a big impact. If you are cold calling, you can expect your sales to be a lot lower than if you are calling people that already have an interest in the product you are selling.

Is This A Team Based Target Or Will You Be Working By Yourself?

If it is a team, then what effect does that have on you individually reaching the target and the commission you will end up getting from the position. If one person in the group doesn’t meet the target does it affect the rest of the team that did meet the target?

How Will Your Performance Be Tracked?

This is good to know so that you can try to make sure you are on target through the way they monitor your work. You need to know if it is something that is monitored daily, weekly or even monthly. If it is daily and you have a bad day, how will it affect your commission?

Are Only Considering This Job Because You Have Been Out Of Work For An Extended Period Of Time?

It is hard for anyone who has been out of work to not just take the first thing that comes along. This may seem like a great opportunity, but you have to think about the fact that you could end up not making as much money as you thought you would. You may not even end up making enough to cover your bills. “Potential” earnings are nice but if it isn’t a reality, you might end up worse than having no job at all.

Can You Handle The Stress?

There is very high stress for a job like this. This is a job that completely depends on you making meeting a target set by someone else. You have to have a good personality and be a quick thinker. You want to meet your target or exceed it because it means more money for you. But if you don’t meet your goal, you could end up losing your job. There is a lot a stake and if you can’t handle pressure like that all of the time, then this is not the field for you.

Are Your Expectations Realistic?

The fact of the matter is that you will not start out making the top pay or commissions at a OTE job. The higher end of the money that these prospective Employers are saying that you can make is usually made by people who have been doing the job for many years. They know the ins and outs of the business and probably have tips and tricks to make it easier for them. If you think that you can go in making the highest amount of money that they say you can, you are only hurting yourself. This is a job that takes time and patience to learn. Make sure that you keep that in mind.

Will This Kind Of Job Make You Happy?

If you like the kind of high stakes and adventurous life this kind of job can give you, then by all means take it. It can offer you a lot of things that other jobs can’t. If you have the right kind of personality and drive, this type of job can turn into a lifelong career. At the end of the day, you really want to do something that you can see yourself still loving in 20 or 30 years.

If you are out of work or just looking for a new career path, OTE could be the field for you. If you love a challenge and have an outgoing personality, you can really go far with this type of job. Just make sure that you keep your options open, don’t be desperate and ask all of the right questions. Give yourself time to think it over after you have all of the information you need. If after mapping out the pros and cons, ask yourself if this is still something that you want. If the answer is yes, you may just have what it takes to make this into your career.

Starting A Career As A Computer Game Designer

This is a fast paced and fast growing field. You may have thought about doing this kind of work for a long time and had people tell you that it is not a good idea. Well, that just isn’t true. Not only is this an ever-expanding field, it is also very high paying. They are always looking for a new set of eyes as well as new ideas in this business. There are a few things to think about if you are trying to get into a field like Computer game design.

Things For You To Consider

  • Are you creative? This is by far the most important skill that you need to have in the business. You will be creating and helping to create fantasy worlds and being creative will be your greatest asset.

  • Are games and gaming your passion? If they are then you will have an easier time. It is everyone’s dream to have a job that they enjoy doing.

  • You must know how to communicate well. If you can’t speak to people effectively and sell your ideas, you will not make it in this field.

  • Do you have to technical skills to do this type of job? Besides being creative, this is another very important skill.

  • Do you keep up to date on the gaming industry? This will help with every aspect of this job. So is you don’t, now is the time to start.

Like Every Career Path, You Need To Know About It Before You Decide To Work In It.

  • Learn about the market. You need to know who and what is in the highest demand, as well as who you are trying to sell the game too.

  • You need to play a wide variety of games even if they are games you would not normally play. You never know what kind of projects you will be working on, and having knowledge of new games regardless of genre will keep you one step ahead.

  • If the market changes as it often does, you need to be ready to change with it. Being flexible and accommodating in an ever-changing field can be one of your biggest assets.

Increasing Your Skills Set

  • Having a good writing ability is a very good skill to have in this field. You need to be able to write well enough to make your ideas come to life on paper.

  • You need to have knowledge of computers, how they work and how the software works.

  • The ability to understand code is essential to being able to create a game.

  • When you have an idea for a game, you need to know how to present it and sell it to others so that you can make your idea into a reality.

  • Knowing how to sketch and do a storyboard are not only great skills but it is one of the best ways to present your idea.

  • Management skills are very important. You need to be able to tell other people what you want and how to get it done. But this also applies to time management and stress management. These two skills can get you far in a fast paced market like gaming.

  • Having the drive and motivation to create and get things done.

You Need Some Experience

There are a lot of internships in this field that you can apply for. It may take some time but this is where your motivation is very important. Don’t give up and apply often. Some of this Internship may even pay you. But the best thing you can expect to get out of an internship is making contacts within the Game Design world.

Your Resume Needs To Sell You As The Best Candidate.

It needs to include anything that will show your creativity, talent. It needs to sound intelligent and make you sound like a motivated person. It also needs to show that you are a good communicator.

Things That Will Help Take Your Resume To The Next Level

  • Creating conversions of games that already exist or creating a game of your own.

  • If you have tested games in the past, make sure to include that in your resume.

  • If you have ever written reviews or worked in Games Journalism that can be a great addition to your resume.

You Are Trying To Market Yourself, So You Need To Have Two Things

  1. A great design portfolio that showcases your range of skills and talent.

  2. A great resume. Another thing you might want to consider is including your own website that shows your talents.

How Get Work In This Field

There are a lot of job sites that offer contact information for studios or agencies. You can send your resume and design portfolio to them.

You can apply to studios even if you don’t know if they are looking for someone. If you are going to your resume and portfolio to these, make sure to do a little research so that you can tailor it to what they are looking for.

Networking is another great way to make contacts in this field that can tell you when places might be looking for someone. Try doing to annual trade shows or joining the International Game Developers Association.

The Interviewing Process

  • Research the company before you go for the interview so you can suit your answers to their needs.

  • Ask questions and present yourself with confidence.

  • Be prepared to answer questions about current gaming.

  • They may ask you questions like ‘where do you think the industry is headed?’ Make sure to think through questions like this before you have an interview so that you can answer them with confidence and knowledge.

Once you have a job as a Game Designer it is imperative that you still work hard to improve not only your skill but also your portfolio. Make yourself more marketable by taking on different tasks and completing many projects. With enough hard work, you can become what is known as an expert in the field.

Writing A Great Scholarship Essay

Writing a great scholarship essay is one of, if not the most important part of trying to get any scholarship. You want to make your essay unique and relatable. You need to stand out from the many other students that are applying for the same scholarship that you want.

Many scholarship committees are looking for students that can write effectively and also communicate well because it is believed that those are traits that students today do not have. It may be because they just don’t know how to write a good essay or they aren’t sure what should go into it. In this article you will learn somewhat goes into writing a great Scholarship essay.

Things You Need To Consider For Writing A Great Essay

  • Make sure that you answer the essay question directly. Many people have really a really great essay but if the question that is asked is not answered, it will not matter how good it is. Don’t let yourself get off track.

  • Allow yourself at least two weeks to work on your essay. Some people need more or less time but having at least two weeks will make sure that you have the time needed to research and edit it. If you are someone who needs more time to get things done, make sure that you give yourself that extra time. A great essay cannot be done in an hour, it takes work and patience.

  • Add extracurricular activities to your essay. Make sure they are tied to the subject of the essay to show how you relate and understand. These do not have to be school related, just make sure that they are things that will make you look good.

  • Highlight any major accomplishments that you may have. It makes you look like someone who is involved and is willing to put in extra work for what you want. As with extracurricular activities, these do not have to be school related.

  • If you have overcome any adversity in your life make sure to include it. You want them to see that you can work hard and overcome almost anything and it could set you apart from other applicant and make you look more deserving.

  • Do some research to know who will be reading your essay so that you can word it to what you think they would like. Make sure that your answers and experiences are tied into the question that they ask in a way that relates to them.

  • See what questions have been asked in the past so that you will have some idea of what they expect you to write about. Researching this is one of the best ways to understand what they are looking for and what you can do to make your essay meet their expectations

  • Look at the students who have been awarded the scholarship in the past. This will help you better understand what they are looking for in a candidate. What kind of person were they? What is their background? Do you have anything in your life that is similar to theirs that might help you get the scholarship? All of these things can have a huge impact on how your write your essay.

  • Learn everything you can about the organization that is awarding the scholarship. If you can relate in some way to the organization through your essay it may increase your chances of winning. For example, if it is an organization that helps under privileged children then make sure to try to relate to that is some way. Maybe you did volunteer work afterschool and tutored children or collected winter coats for children.

  • If you had problems in school with your academics, make sure to address those issues in your essay and be honest about it. Do not try to place the blame on someone else. Taking responsibility for your mistakes is always the best way to go. Make sure to explain how you overcame any problems you had or what you did to solve the problem. Low GPA does not have to keep you from getting a scholarship.

  • You need to edit your essay or pay someone to do it for you. This is often a major problem people don’t address when they write their essays. Using the spelling and grammar check on your computer is not enough. There are things that can be easily missed. So edit it as many times as it takes. But in the end getting someone else to edit it for you is probably the best way to go if you really want it to be done right.

  • You have to proofread your essay. First do this yourself and then get your friends or family members to proofread it as well. Sometimes others can see mistakes that you can’t see yourself. Sloppy writing, misspelled words or misuse of words can cost you the scholarship you are trying to get. The more people you can get to read your essay the better chance you have of finding anything that may be out of place.

  • Show them that you are well rounded. You need to have academics but they also want to see someone who was involved with after school activities, sports, volunteer work or even if you had a job. It shows that you can handle a lot at once and that you deserve to get that scholarship.

While this is not a comprehensive list of what you will need it is a great place to start. Each essay will have differences and not every tip can be used for every essay. No matter what you have to come across as a student who is unique and is deserving of the scholarship. Having a well-written essay that is both professional and relatable is your best bet. Pay attention to details and know who you are writing for. You need to stand out in a sea of essays and if you follow the tips about you will do that.

Many scholarship committees are looking for students that can write effectively and also communicate well because it is believed that those are traits that students today do not have. It may be because they just don’t know how to write a good essay or they aren’t sure what should go into it. In this article you will learn somewhat goes into writing a great Scholarship essay.

Things You Need To Consider For Writing A Great Essay

  • Make sure that you answer the essay question directly. Many people have really a really great essay but if the question that is asked is not answered, it will not matter how good it is. Don’t let yourself get off track.
  • Allow yourself at least two weeks to work on your essay. Some people need more or less time but having at least two weeks will make sure that you have the time needed to research and edit it. If you are someone who needs more time to get things done, make sure that you give yourself that extra time. A great essay cannot be done in an hour, it takes work and patience.
  • Add extracurricular activities to your essay. Make sure they are tied to the subject of the essay to show how you relate and understand. These do not have to be school related, just make sure that they are things that will make you look good.
  • Highlight any major accomplishments that you may have. It makes you look like someone who is involved and is willing to put in extra work for what you want. As with extracurricular activities, these do not have to be school related.
  • If you have overcome any adversity in your life make sure to include it. You want them to see that you can work hard and overcome almost anything and it could set you apart from other applicant and make you look more deserving.
  • Do some research to know who will be reading your essay so that you can word it to what you think they would like. Make sure that your answers and experiences are tied into the question that they ask in a way that relates to them.
  • See what questions have been asked in the past so that you will have some idea of what they expect you to write about. Researching this is one of the best ways to understand what they are looking for and what you can do to make your essay meet their expectations
  • Look at the students who have been awarded the scholarship in the past. This will help you better understand what they are looking for in a candidate. What kind of person were they? What is their background? Do you have anything in your life that is similar to theirs that might help you get the scholarship? All of these things can have a huge impact on how your write your essay.
  • Learn everything you can about the organization that is awarding the scholarship. If you can relate in some way to the organization through your essay it may increase your chances of winning. For example, if it is an organization that helps under privileged children then make sure to try to relate to that is some way. Maybe you did volunteer work afterschool and tutored children or collected winter coats for children.
  • If you had problems in school with your academics, make sure to address those issues in your essay and be honest about it. Do not try to place the blame on someone else. Taking responsibility for your mistakes is always the best way to go. Make sure to explain how you overcame any problems you had or what you did to solve the problem. Low GPA does not have to keep you from getting a scholarship.
  • You need to edit your essay or pay someone to do it for you. This is often a major problem people don’t address when they write their essays. Using the spelling and grammar check on your computer is not enough. There are things that can be easily missed. So edit it as many times as it takes. But in the end getting someone else to edit it for you is probably the best way to go if you really want it to be done right.
  • You have to proofread your essay. First do this yourself and then get your friends or family members to proofread it as well. Sometimes others can see mistakes that you can’t see yourself. Sloppy writing, misspelled words or misuse of words can cost you the scholarship you are trying to get. The more people you can get to read your essay the better chance you have of finding anything that may be out of place.
  • Show them that you are well rounded. You need to have academics but they also want to see someone who was involved with after school activities, sports, volunteer work or even if you had a job. It shows that you can handle a lot at once and that you deserve to get that scholarship.

While this is not a comprehensive list of what you will need it is a great place to start. Each essay will have differences and not every tip can be used for every essay. No matter what you have to come across as a student who is unique and is deserving of the scholarship. Having a well-written essay that is both professional and relatable is your best bet. Pay attention to details and know who you are writing for. You need to stand out in a sea of essays and if you follow the tips about you will do that.

Is A Job In Sales Right For You?

What Is So Appealing About A Job In Sales?

There are a lot of jobs out there that can be very tempting because they offer you the potential to make a lot of money. Sales jobs are just one of many that can offer you this opportunity. Most sales jobs pay by OTE, which is on target earning. This means that you are given a goal or target that you have to meet and then you get paid a commission. Some offer a base pay as well as commission and some only pay commission.

The opportunity to make money is what motivates most people in this field of work. So how can you know if this kind of job is right for you? Well there are a lot of things to consider.

Do You Have The Personality That Will Make This Job Rewarding For You?

You need to be outgoing, enjoy being around and talking to people, and you need to be polite and courteous. You are the first impression that people will have of the company you are working for.

How To Prepare For An InterviewPrepare for sales job interview

  • You need to understand the market for the company you are applying for. Make sure it is something you already have knowledge of or could easily learn. If it is a market that you have no interest in, how are you going to be able to convince the customers to buy from you? It is best if the market you choose is something that interests you and something you would stand behind. The more you believe in what you are doing, the easier it is to convince someone else.

  • Pick job opportunities that are close to home. You don’t want to have a long commute. It can be tiresome to work a long day and then have a long commute back home. This is especially true when you are starting out in this business and the hours are long and the money isn’t that great.

  • If you find a company that interests you, send them your CV first. Feel free to leave out the personal statement on your CV, as it is usually not used for this type of job. If you feel that it is an important part of you CV, you can leave it in but it is not recommended.

  • Prepare ahead of time by answering some basic interview questions. Some of the best to ask yourself are: Tell me about yourself? Why should we hire you? You may even want to throw in a few strange hypothetical questions just to prepare yourself for anything that may come up during the interview. Sometime the interviewer will ask strange questions just to gauge your reaction and see how you react under pressure.

  • Do some research on the company and the market before your interview. This will make it easier to relate your answers to that specific market and company. You want to make it look like you are comfortable and know what you are talking about.

What To Do Once You Get An Interview

  • You need to be confident. Show that you are very interested and try to enjoy it. In this field the interviewer is trying to get a feel for your personality to see if you will be a good fit for their company.

  • Ask questions. The more interested you seem in the company, the better. This will show the interviewer that you are serious and want to work for their company.

  • Make sure you are well dressed. If you will be dealing with the public, you want to show that you can have a professional appearance. You will be the face of the company and you need to make them look good. Even if you will not be dealing with the public face to face, it will make you look like a well put together candidate.

  • Do not share too much personal information when answering questions.

  • You prepared beforehand by researching the company. Now you can use the knowledge you have gained to relate your answers to the market or company you are interviewing for. This makes you more desirable because you already know what some other candidates might not know.

  • Make sure you answer all of the questions directly. Do not ramble or stumble over your words. This will make you seem less professional and nervous. They are looking for someone who can handle the pressure of a high stress sales job.

What You Need To Know Once You Have A Sales Job

  • You need to be knowledgeable about the market you are selling too. The more information you can give the client, the higher the chances are that they will buy from you. You need to make them feel confident that your company and or services are the best choice for them. Be persuasive but not too pushy because that can make people uncomfortable.

  • You are the face of the company if you are doing face-to-face sales. You need to always be well groomed and well dressed. You will seem more professional and the clients will trust more in the information you are giving them.

  • If you are face to face, over the phone or on the Internet you must communicate well. This means you must use proper terminology and speak in a professional manner while dealing with the customer.

  • Always listen to the customer. You are trying to get them to buy something from you so listening can be your best tool. Once you know what the customer wants, you can relate your product or service to their needs.

Remember that if you choose to work in this field that it is a learning process. Accept tips and tricks from others that have been doing this type of job and are successful. While all of their advice may not work for you, some of it might. Always be open to new things, as it will get you far in this field. You may not start out making the most money but if you learn, listen and grow you can go very far in this field and earn the kind of money that comes with it.

So, Why Don’t You Tell Me About Yourself?

In almost all interviews you will be asked “Tell me about yourself?” The one question that you can always bank on an interviewer asking is also one of the hardest questions to answer. You need to know how to answer this question effectively because it can be the difference in you getting the job you have applied for. Below are some great tips on how to answer this question.

Interview

Tips On How To Answer This Question:

  1. Prepare yourself ahead of time. You don’t want to seem like you have no idea what you are talking about. If you think this question through before you go to your interview it will be much easier for you to answer quickly and with the proper information. It will also make you less nervous.
  1. Keep your answer under two minutes. You want to keep their attention. Going on for too long will also make you seem nervous and unprofessional. Preparing ahead of time will make it easier for you to keep your answer short but still let you get the information in that your need.
  1. Keep your answer as professional as possible. That means you need to stick to the main topics of experience, education and your work history. You want to give as much information as you can in a small amount of time so make sure it is information that will make you look good and is relevant to the position you are interviewing for.
  1. Since you want to keep it professional, do not give too much personal information. The interviewer is not interested in your life story and this is where many people make their mistake. You can add a few things such as hobbies but keep those very short and do not elaborate unless they ask you too. Depending on the personal information that your share, it could make them not want to hire you.
  1. Do not just repeat the information that is on your CV. They have already looked at that. Make your answers sound well thought out. The same information in the same way that it is written on your CV can make you look boring.
  1. A great way to make your answer not sound robotic or rehearsed is to relate your answer to the position you are applying for. This makes you seem more interested in the position and the interviewer will take notice of that. You want your answer to sound natural and not like you are reading it straight from your CV or resume. Making it relatable to the company or position makes you look like you have an interest in not only the position but the company itself. This may make you look like a better fit for the position itself.
  1. Be honest. Giving the interviewer information that is not true can come back on your later. Most people are not great liars and you probably aren’t either. Lying means that you have to remember what you said to who and it can be very hard to keep track of. Also, the Employers in this day and age do a lot of research before hiring someone. If they find out that you lied about anything, you have no chance of getting that job.
  1. One thing that goes along with be honest, is not saying anything that will make you look bad. You do not have to share everything with the interview, but what you do share needs to make you look like the best candidate for the job. Your interview could go great but it could all be ruined by you telling one lie. So just stick to the facts and the truth and you have nothing to worry about.
  1. You can give a lot of great information for this question, but do not use all of your best points. Save some of the good stuff for other questions you may be asked. You need to spread out your skills and talents in the interview process to keep them interested in you. So make your answer good but don’t overdo it on this one. This answer needs to be short anyway. Just pick the points that you can directly relate to the position and make you look good.
  1. Confidence is a major factor you need to convey when answering any interview question. It is no different with this question. Keeping your answer relevant and professional will help you to show yourself as a confident person. You want to come across as a person who does well under stress and know how to easily and professionally answer questions. Your confidence is one of the most important things to bring to any interview.
  1. Make sure that before any interview that you research the company and the position you are applying for. This can help you to relate your skills and experience to suit the position you are interviewing for. If you make can make them think of you in the position for their Company, it will help you stand out as a great candidate for the job.
  1. Always end this question by asking a question of your own. Relate it to the position and to the company. This will help to relieve stress on your part and it will let the interviewer know that your care about the company and/or position and want to know more about it. This will also give you a chance to learn more about the company or position and relax a little before being asked another question.

You need to give them a great answer with as much information in a very small amount of time. By following the tips above, you can do just that. Also, be prepared for the interviewer to ask you questions about the information that you have provided. So be through and give the best, most professional answers you can. This is the both the easiest and hardest question to answer but if you answer it with the tips above in mind, you are sure to make a great impression.

How to make your CV catch their attention in 30 seconds

Most employer or recruiters admit to taking 30 seconds for less to read a CV

That means that you have to catch their attention and keep it if you want to stand out. Below are some great tips to make the most of you CV.

Make sure that all of your important information at is relevant to the position is easy to find

You don’t want the person reading it to have to search for it, because odds are they won’t. Do not leave out any important information either. It is bad for the information to be hard to find but it is worse if the information is not there at all.

Do not refer to yourself in the first or third person

It is very off putting to read. In the first person you will be referring to yourself as I and you will have to use it a lot. It just takes up a lot of space. In the third person it will sound like you are talking about someone else and you want the recruiter to be thinking of you when they are reading your CV. After all, that is the point of having one in the first place.

Leave out picture, graphic or links

Picture and graphics increase then time that it takes to download your cv and resume. That takes time away from them actually reading your CV. Adding links is not a good idea because they will most likely never be used. If they are taking so little time to go through each person’s CV why would they click on your link?

Always send your CV as a word attachment

If a recruiter or future employer has to convert and image to look at it, they probably won’t.

Make sure that the font you use is simple and easy to read

Using Arial in 10 or 12-point font is a good choice, and Times New Roman in 12 is a good choice. Do not use below 12 if you are using Times New Roman because the words will be small and very hard to read. You should use the same font but in a bigger size for the title of your CV.

Do not put misleading or false information onto your CV

This includes inaccurate dates, inflated or false job titles, unfinished degrees. Most employers do some research on you before they decide to hire you. They will find out if the information is misleading or a straight out lie. Be honest and upfront. If you don’t lie, then you don’t have to try to remember what you told to whom. It works in all aspects of life and it is no different in the working world. You want to seem trustworthy and dependable.

Do not share information on your CV if it does not relate to the position you are applying for

Unnecessary information just takes up space that you could have used for something that might have helped you get the position.

You should not to apply for jobs that you are obviously not qualified for

If a recruiter looks at your CV and resume and can see that you are clearly not qualified, it will probably make them mad at you for wasting their time. If you are going to apply for jobs that you are not qualified for, make sure to add somewhere in your cover letter that you do not have all of the qualification they are looking for. It is a great idea to ask them to keep you in mind for future positions that you may be qualified for.

Keep your CV under two pages

You can do this by only adding current and relevant information. One or two pages is what is expected by most recruiter when they receive a CV. If it is longer than that, they will not waste their time. If they are taking less than 30 second to review each CV and yours is very long, they will not see all of the things that they need to see. You probably have things that can be removed so that you can showcase your skills and achievements is a smaller amount of space.

Do not have long paragraphs in your CV

If it looks like a novel, they are not going to read it. Keep it short and don’t be afraid to paraphrase. Use bullets and remember to use the white space to guide the reader. You want it to be appealing to the eye and very easy for the reader to pick out key points that you want them to notice. This is especially important for skill or experience related to the position you are applying for.

Always provide dates and make sure they are accurate

If you leave out dates of employment or schooling, they may start to think that you are trying to hide something or that you did not even take the time to look over your CV after you typed it up. Both of these thing look very bad on you.

Add accomplishments to work history

When you are adding your work history, make sure to talk about things that you accomplished or helped accomplish and not just the tasks that were expected of you. This will show a future employer that you care about the work you do and that you will go the extra mile to make a difference.

Check for spelling and grammar errors

The very top thing that you can do to make your CV easy to read and professional, is to check the spelling and punctuation. First use the spelling and grammar check on your computer. After you do that, make sure that you go over the whole thing yourself to check for anything that the computer might not catch. Things like someone’s name or a word that should have a different spelling can slip right through if you are not thorough enough. If you have spelling and punctuation errors in your CV it can cause the recruiter to toss it aside and look for someone else.

Tips to Having a Great Job Interview

Make sure you are fully prepared for a job interview. Below are some good tips on how to prepare for and have a great interview.

Do your research

Research the company that is going to be interviewing you. Look up what exactly they do and what their future plans are if any. The more you know about the company, the better it will look for you. If they ask you a question, you can easily relate it to their company. Most employer or recruiters will find it impressive that you took the time out to find out about the company. It also makes you look like you are not just looking for a job but a career with them.

Ask questionsinterview questions

Before going for your interview, sit down and write a list of thing you want to ask them about. This will also impress them because they may not be used to it. If you make sure to get the answers you are looking for, it will tell you more about the company and it will also tell them more about you. It will show the interviewer that you are the type of person who wants to know what they are in for and that you really want to know about the company.

Dress for Successdress smart

The way you dress for an interview is very important. It is the interviewers first impression of you. Make sure that you are dress appropriately for the position you are applying for. Even if it is an entry level position, you want to have a nice, wrinkle free outfit. Your clothes should match and be free of wrinkles and anything that could make them appear dirty. Your shoes should match your outfit as well. You don’t want to pair running shoes with a suit. Your hair should be neat. Any facial hair should be shaved or well kept. Tattoos should be covered as much as possible because some tattoos may be offensive to others.

Be on time

You don’t want to be late for your interview. This can be the number one mistake you make that will ensure that you do not get the position.

You can make a plan ahead of time. Use the internet or your GPS to figure out how far the company is from your house for where ever you may be coming from. Find alternate routes in case you need to go a different way. And always give yourself extra time to get there. It is always better to be a little early than a little late. Employers don’t really like excuses, even if it is something that you couldn’t change.

Do not argue

During the interview, you may get asked a question or questions that you do not agree with. The interviewer may ask you or say something ridiculous to you on purpose just to see how you will react. In this situation you need to discuss why you feel differently. If you debate the issue without getting angry or yelling it will look better on you. If you state fair and factual reasons for what you believe it will also show them that you have the ability to handle stressful situations without losing your cool.

Turn off your cell phone

It should go without saying that you don’t need to have your cell phone on during an interview. It will make you seem rude and uninterested if it goes off during the interview. If you do forget to turn it off, make sure to do it as soon as you can. Excuse yourself to turn it off quickly and apologize to the interviewer for forgetting to turn it off before. Do not at any time excuse yourself to answer a call. If you do the interview will probably be over at that point. You have to show them that the most important thing to you at that moment is the interview.

Keep calm

If you start fidgeting and moving around too much, it can make the interviewer think that you don’t want to be there. It will also make you look like you are not confident. Self-confidence is one of the best tools you can have when it comes to your interview. If you stay calm and collected, your confidence will shine through and make you much more interesting and hirable. Interviewers are looking for people who can take the stress of the job and if you cannot handle the stress of the interview, it looks really bad on you.

Be honest

If they are looking for someone with a specific skill set and you don’t have all of them, make sure you tell them. You can however provide them with other skills that you have that could be related to the skill they are looking for. If you lie about anything on your resume or at an interview, there is a good chance that they will find out. It doesn’t take much these days to dig up information on people and most employers do it before hiring someone. It’s best to just be honest.

Answer questions concisely

If you are asked a question and then go off on a tangent, you may not even answer the question that you are asked. Keep your answers short and concise.

Personal information

You should not give too much personal information about yourself. If it is not related to the position you are interviewing for then they don’t need to know it. The interview does not need to know that you have six cats at home or all of their names and what kind of treats they like. They also don’t need to know that you just came out of a bad long term relationship. By giving some personal information you could give them a reason not to hire you. It is best just keep to your professional information. If they do ask you something personal just keep the answer short and vague.