Cover letters are your chance to narrate your work history. Think of the resume as raw data and the cover letter as the presentation. It gives you the chance to highlight or de-emphasize information, as well as add your voice to your application.
Cover letters should be concise, but they should also reveal your point of view. Answer these questions to make a powerful impression.
Paragraph 1: What is your interest in this job?
How will you help the company or excel in the position?
What makes you shine?
Paragraph 2: What is your most relevant work experience?
How does your work history prepare your for this job?
What have you learned from your previous jobs?
Paragraph 3: How can they reach you?
When should they call you?
In general, American companies want brief and precise explanations of your qualifications. As a result, they tend to ask for a fairly formulaic outline. They want to know your educational background, work experience, and references. How do you make your resume stand out even though it is following a formula? Live by these tips.
1. Keep it to one page. It may be tempting to add the details of your work history and go over the page limit, but it is not a good idea. You are likely competing with many applicants and the reviewers want to get to the point. Instead opt to highlight the most relevant information and leave the rest for the interview.
2. Use active verbs. Basically, this means stay away from the common verbs do, have, and be. Choose verbs that are more powerful and descriptive. Find out more about active verbs here.
3. Match your verb forms. In other words, don’t forget parallelism. This means that when you list your job duties, use the same verb tense. Don’t switch between the present, past, and gerund forms. It also means that you need to start each bullet point with a verb.
4. Tailor your resume to the job. It is a good idea to have a comprehensive resume that you can adapt to individual jobs. Take out points that are irrelevant and let the important details shine through.
Teachers can find more job hunting lesson plans here.
How persuasive are you? Practice your pitch structure by making short speeches on the prompts listed here. Review the video if you need a refresher on the four qualities of successful pitches.
1. What is the most useful item? Create a pitch which promotes your choice.
2. What is an important value or ethic? Support your choice.
3. Who deserves our support? Choose an individual or a group and create an argument.
4. What is a habit we should adopt? Support your choice.
5. What makes you a valuable employee or friend? Pitch yourself and support your argument.
How are this week’s vocabulary words used in the article posted below? Do you understand what you read?
Tips for Earning a Promotion
Many people have been asking us for advice on advancing their careers. We took it upon ourselves to investigate by asking bosses what they looked for when they promoted their employees. Some of the advice may contrast with tips you’ve heard, but, take it from us, these are the new workplace rules. We predict they will serve you well.
Now it is time to practice summarizing writing. Here you will find links to three articles that you can read. Try to summarize the articles in the comment box. Remember to use the guideline presented earlier in the week.
Article #1: Funding Your U.S. Study by Doug Bernard
A short post on the Voice of America blog about studying in the United States.
Article #2: When and How to Say “Enough!” by Martha Beck
A longer article from Oprah Magazine on how to improve your life.
Article #3: 4 Steps to Take if Your Boss is a Micromanager by Dr. Peggy Drexler
This is longer article on a problem that sometimes arises in the workplace.
Here you will find three "notes". Summarize the main idea of each page in the comment box below.
East Bay ESL is an English language school for learners in the San Francisco East Bay.