Tag Archives: Cover Letter

How to boomerang back to an old employer

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to boomerang back to an old employer

The concept of boomerang employees – or re-hiring ex-employees is not new, but it is on the rise. According to recent research, HR professionals are more open than ever before to re-hiring former employees. In the past, this practice was sometimes frowned upon – even if the employee had left on good terms – but now it’s becoming more and more common – and with good results for both employers and employees.

With this practice on the rise both in Australia and around the world – it’s worth considering as a viable option for your next role. Many companies that had to retrench workers in previous years are starting to increase their capacity again as business continues to improve. There are benefits to both employee and employer, but a few things worth considering.

Maintain Relationships

Firstly, as a boomerang employee, you have to maintain good relationships with your previous company and colleagues. This means ensuring any split is amicable and then making sure you keep in touch with colleagues and bosses (LinkedIn makes this easy). When you leave a job, do so on good terms by remaining professional and positive about your reasons for leaving. Draft a professional letter explaining your reasons and what you plan, then try to provide some positive comments about your experience. For smaller companies, a more personal approach might be better – think about sitting down with fellow team members or colleagues to explain your reasons for leaving. If your company conducts exit interviews, endeavour to remain upbeat – if this isn’t possible keep your answers short and simple.

Ensuring a Good Fit

Before making any decision to re-join an ex-employer, consider the reasons why you left and investigate whether they still exist. Likewise, make sure the things you loved about the role and/or company still exist. If you left to grow your skills in other areas, study or travel – your new skills will be attractive to a former employer. Not only do you know the company, but now you have an added level of competency they can leverage.

Sell Yourself

If you are approaching a former employer about returning back, be sure to have a goal in mind and then be honest with them about what it is you’d like. Try to communicate your new skills, competencies and experiences and how that would help the company in the future. They may not have something open currently, however if you articulate your new skills and/or direction they can keep you in mind for future roles – perhaps thinking of you in broader professional terms than how they saw you previously. If you’re after a more senior level role than the one you left, articulate the reasons why you think you’d be successful by incorporating examples of relevant accomplishments you’ve made in the role(s) since you left.

Remain Professional

While the whole process of being employed at a previous employer may be far less formal than if you were a new employee, don’t become complacent. Remain professional and focused and be prepared to go through the same selection process as others. The questions you get asked may be a little different and focus around your reasons for wanting to re-join, any new skills you will bring and how they’re relevant, what immediate benefits you might achieve for the company, and your thoughts on what will stop you from leaving again.

Becoming a boomerang employee has plenty of benefits for both the company and the employee. Employers benefit from someone who knows the business, culture and processes and this is a huge saving – both in time and the cost of getting someone up to speed. For employees, the knowledge and contacts you have puts you in a great place to ‘hit the ground running’ and achieve some quick wins in your new role.

Are you considering returning to an ex-employer? Would you like help from one of our professional resume writers to prepare a winning Resume that clearly articulates your value? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services. Perhaps you’ve secured some interest and would like help preparing for the interview? If so, please see our Interview Skills Training service.

How to stand out the right way

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to stand out the right wayWhat makes one person stand out from the rest in a job application and/or interview if everyone has similar backgrounds, experience and education? Being creative with your application is one way you can achieve this – but that doesn’t mean a scented application on coloured paper with a cute gift. It means articulating your value to the organisation in a way that resonates with the recruiter and helps them understand why you’d be a good fit. Some examples of how to do this include:

  • Talking about your achievements: Career achievements sell you to potential employers but many people struggle to convey these in their application. The recruiter doesn’t know (yet) how fabulous you are, so your content should be tailored to make an immediate impact. And immediate impact can only be achieved by showing them how valuable you could be to their organisation. Achievements don’t always have to be money or number focused – although it is great if they are. Think about things you do in your day-to-day work that benefit the business, the customers, and/or colleagues. Sit down with a pen and paper and brainstorm ideas where you have done things that you were commended on or that made you feel proud. Think about positive feedback received, times when you solved a business issue, projects completed, or new processes implemented. Maintaining an ongoing file with positive feedback or notes when something goes well will help.
  • Aim for quality over quantity: This applies both to the length of your application as well as the number of applications you send out. Our research suggests 3-5 pages for a Resume is ideal and keeping your cover letter to one page is optimum in the Australian market. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule, particularly where selection criteria needs to be addressed or for particular fields where certain information must be included. As a rule of thumb, keep your documents to this length and target jobs that you are a) interested in; and b) suitable for.
  • Tailor your message: Casting your net far and wide with generic applications only waters down your success. This applies to applications for specific roles as well as generic ‘feelers’ or ‘contacts’ via LinkedIn or other social networks. With applications, tailor your message to suit the role. Go through all the ‘requirements’ of the role and make sure you’ve covered off how you have the necessary skills, qualifications and capabilities by demonstrating previous accomplishments in those areas. Likewise with professional networking, if you’re reaching out to someone cold about a position within the company, respect their time. Tell them your name and why you’re contacting them with a brief description of what you’re hoping to learn from them or achieve. Utilise your existing network too – check whether you know someone within the organisation you’re targeting – or even associated with that organisation in some way, and reach out to them first to ask for a referral.
  • Solve a current issue: Conducting some research into the company you are interviewing with means you might be able to provide some educated insight into solving a problem for them. Showing how much you care about the role and the company during the interview by knowing about the organisation, the market, its competitors and customers will ensure you leave the recruiter with the knowledge that you’d be a valuable employee. By researching the company beforehand and preparing a list of relevant questions or perhaps highlighting a potential solution to an issue being currently faced is a great way to stand out.
  • Make your application easy to read: This includes structure, content, format and grammar/spelling! Use bullet points, sections, headings, achievements and white space to make your application appealing – and don’t be tempted to make it too fancy. Make sure you proofread your documents, and have someone else do it as well. Ensure the application is cohesive, clear, concise and accurate – and focused on why you’re an ideal fit for the role.
  • Be punctual, organised and professional: This might seem obvious but you’d be amazed how many people just don’t place the right emphasis on this point. For a physical interview, plan to arrive at least 15-20 minutes early to allow for any last minute issues, research transport/parking options prior to the interview day, and dress neatly and appropriately for the company. Take a copy of your resume, the position description, a pen and note paper. Don’t be afraid to take notes and ask questions to find out more about the role and the company, as well as providing a chance to highlight your interest in the role and stand out to the recruiter.

Our research indicates that while some recruiters do appreciate creativity and unconventional approaches, many do not. What is essential is that you can demonstrate that you have done your research and can show how serious you are about the opportunity. It takes a recruiter between 5 and 30 seconds to decide whether to read your application in more detail, so give them every reason to do so.

Would you like help making sure that your next application or interview helps you stand out in a crowded job market? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services or Interview Skills Training Service.

Email vs. Cover Letter: What do I Need?

Article by Belinda Fuller

Email vs Cover Letter What Do I NeedWith most jobs requiring submission of your work related documents to an online portal or sent via email, many of our clients are confused about the necessity to create and send a formal cover letter when the job ad doesn’t specifically mention it. Many people think that if you’re sending an application via email or even submitting online, then a cover letter isn’t required, but we don’t agree.

When clients ask our advice about this issue, our answer is ALWAYS YES – include a separate cover letter – no matter how you’re applying for a role and no matter whether or not the job ad has specified you include one. In addition, if you’re applying via email (rather than an online portal), also include a short introduction in the email. By supplying a customised cover letter with your Resume, you give yourself the best chance to stand out – and it’s the perfect opportunity to highlight the unique capabilities that make you an ideal candidate for the role. The email content can briefly introduce you and your motivations for applying.

We recently recruited for a writer and the facts around the applications we received are astounding. Our advertisement specified that applicants provide a Cover Letter addressing some selection criteria, together with their resume. Despite this specific request – check out the statistics:

  • More than half of the candidates who applied did not include a cover letter – even though the job advertisement specifically requested one. Those applications were not considered.
  • Of those candidates who did include a cover letter, less than half of them went on to address the selection criteria – even though the job ad specifically requested they do so. Those applications were not considered.
  • Many candidates mentioned their interest was focused around the flexible hours on offer, but made no mention of their interest in the role itself or what they could bring to the role professionally. This was a big turn-off and those applications were not considered.
  • Three candidates attached cover letters they had written for completely different jobs! Those applications were not considered.
  • More than half the applications contained spelling and grammatical errors. Those applications were not considered.

So while we always advise including a cover letter, we are not talking about a ‘standard’ approach. We advise customising the letter for the role by putting yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and thinking about why you are right for the role, rather than why the role is right for you from your perspective only. Pay attention to all the details in the job ad or position description. What does the candidate need to achieve in the role, what are the company’s issues, and how can you help solve them? Provide brief details of scenarios where you have achieved similar successes in the past – and always provide proof of the outcomes. Make sure to clearly and succinctly address any selection criteria or other specifics mentioned in the job ad.

For the email, keep it brief and reference your attached Resume and Cover Letter for context and detail. Use it as a way to provide a quick introduction. Don’t leave the subject line blank – use it to clearly reference the job title and specific reference number if applicable. While we recommend keeping the content very brief in the email, we also strongly encourage professionalism and proper writing style while avoiding abbreviations, ‘text talk’, overly familiar language, and emoticons.

The bottom line is – it’s not hard to stand out from other candidates – just including a tailored Cover Letter will often put you ahead of the majority of candidates! Even in job ads that have not specifically requested a Cover Letter – we always recommend sending one. Doing so creates a more concise and targeted picture of you and the value you can bring to the role. Our anecdotal evidence also suggests that candidates who include a customised Cover Letter with their application are more likely to achieve an interview.

Are you confused about the different content in a Cover Letter and email? Would you like assistance from a professional writer to prepare a winning Cover Letter targeted towards a specific role for your next job application? If so, please see our customised Resume and Cover Letter Writing Services.

Email vs. Cover Letter

Article by Belinda Fuller

EmailWith the majority of applications now submitted via email or online job application systems, what is the difference between an e-note or email and a traditional cover letter? Many of our clients are confused about whether to include both, and how much detail to include on each. This article explores the two approaches and evaluates the most effective use of each.

When clients ask us whether or not they need to include a separate cover letter when applying for a job via email, our answer is ALWAYS YES. Supplying a customised cover letter to accompany your Resume will give you the best opportunity to highlight your unique skills and successes that make you an ideal candidate for the role. The e-note/email should also be included and used as a way to briefly introduce yourself and your motivations for applying.

From an employer’s perspective, sending a short e-note without a customised accompanying cover letter can give the impression that the candidate is lazy and has opted to take a ‘short-cut’ approach. First impressions count, and in a competitive job market, you need to give the recruiter a reason to call you in for an interview – instead of the next candidate with similar qualifications, background and experience.

For email applications, we suggest attaching a cover letter and resume as separate documents. In the case of online applications, use the same approach where you create a separate customised cover letter targeted towards the role you are going for and upload both the Resume and Cover Letter. If the system allows for only one file – add your cover letter in as Page 1 of your Resume document.

When preparing your cover letter – we are not talking about a standard approach. We advise customising the letter for each role – put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and think about why you are right for the role, rather than why the role is right for you. Pay attention to all the details in the job ad or position description if you have one. What does the candidate need to achieve in the role, what are the company’s issues, and how can you help solve them? Provide brief details of scenarios where you’ve had similar successes in the past – and always provide proof of the outcomes you achieved. This should all be done succinctly and clearly.

For the e-note, our advice is to keep it very brief and reference the attached Resume and Cover Letter for context and detail. Use it as a way to provide a quick introduction. Don’t leave the subject line blank – use it to clearly reference the job title and specific job number if available. While we recommend keeping the content very brief in the email, we also strongly encourage professionalism and proper writing style. Use some letter writing etiquette – ‘Dear’ and ‘Regards’ will suffice, with your name and full contact details at the bottom. Avoid any abbreviations, ‘text talk’, overly familiar language, and emoticons.

In summary, there aren’t many cases where we would recommend sending only an e-note. Even in job ads that haven’t requested a Cover Letter – we always recommend sending one. Doing so creates a much more concise (targeted) picture of who you are and the value you can bring to the role. Our anecdotal evidence suggests that candidates who include a customised cover letter with their application are more likely to achieve an interview.

Are you confused about the different content in an e-note and Cover Letter? Would you like assistance from a Professional Resume Writer to prepare a winning Cover Letter targeted towards a specific role for your next job application? If so, please see our Resume, Cover Letter and Selection Criteria Writing Services.

How to stand out in your next job application

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to Stand Out in Your Next Job ApplicationI speak to new clients almost every day and when I ask them about their ‘achievements’ in previous roles, I would estimate that eight times out of ten, I hit a brick wall. People find it so difficult to identify and articulate their achievements. The fact is, you need to sell yourself in a job application. The recruiter doesn’t know (yet) how fabulous you are, so your content should be tailored to make an immediate impact. And immediate impact can only be achieved by showing them how valuable you could be to their organisation.

Achievements don’t always have to be money or number focused (although it is great if they are). This is where many candidates can get bogged down – they don’t have a revenue generating or financial management role so they think they don’t have ‘achievements’. However there are many different areas we can look to for achievements. Think about things that you do in your day to day work that benefit your business, your customers, and/or your colleagues. Sit down with a pen and paper and brainstorm with me.

Start by thinking about anything you have done that you were commended on or that made you feel proud. Maintaining an ongoing file with positive feedback or notes when something goes well always helps with this. But just ask yourself a few key questions to help the process:

  1. Did I receive any positive feedback from colleagues/superiors/clients about something I did?
  2. Have I overcome or solved any ongoing issues in the business? How?
  3. What projects did I complete/work on and what did they achieve?
  4. Did I implement a new way of doing something that made a difference – to the time it takes, the money it costs, the quality of the outcome, the level of service etc.?

Areas you could focus your attention on include:

  • Revenue increases
  • Expense / cost savings
  • Productivity
  • Customer Service
  • Quality
  • Relationships
  • Time Saving
  • Competitiveness
  • Branding / market awareness
  • Safety
  • Employee morale/attendance
  • Deadlines
  • Simplifying complexity

Our research indicates that recruiters look for achievements while more quickly discarding resumes that are purely ‘responsibilities’ focused. Make sure the achievements you use are tailored and support your ability to perform in the specific role you are applying for.

Would you like help identifying and articulating your achievements so your next job application has a better chance of standing out? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services.

Job Applications That Get You Noticed

Article by Belinda Fuller

What really makes a recruiter stand up and take notice? In today’s job market, it is common for recruiters to receive upwards of 100 applications for one role, so what are they doing to cull those applications? How does that process affect how you should prepare your application?

There are many ways to make sure you get noticed in a job application. Despite what many people think, the best way is not with colourful graphics, complex formatting and an enticing head shot on the front page. Today’s job market is tough and there are simply more people with the right skills and experience applying for the same jobs. So how can you ensure you give yourself the best possible chance at getting noticed? Here’s our TOP 8 TIPS:

TIP # 1: Call the recruiter: many job ads include a contact so call them to find out exactly what they are looking for. Ask if there is anything in particular they are expecting or looking for in an ideal application or any specialist experience they would find useful. Then use that information to tailor your application.

TIP # 2: Focus: understand who you are and what you have to offer and focus your content around those core themes. As a Resume writer I am often asked to write a ‘general’ Resume because clients want something they can use across various roles and industries. Unfortunately this approach just does not cut it. Apart from the fact there is increasing competition in the marketplace, by generalising your experience and skills you could come across as a ‘Jack of all trades, Master of none’. Employers look for value and they need experts who can quickly hit the ground running and add immediate benefit.

TIP # 3: Use keywords: many recruiters use software or online systems to make an initial cull of applications and this software works in different ways depending on what it is and how it’s implemented. Regardless if automated systems are used or not to cull applications – it is important to include keywords in your application. By mirroring the content found in the job ad or position description, you increase your chances of getting noticed and being perceived as an ‘ideal’ candidate. Sometimes, all it takes is changing your language like using ‘client’ instead of ‘customer’; and using key industry buzz words to demonstrate your knowledge.

TIP # 4: Write a customised cover letter: you should do this for EVERY job you apply for. Go through the job ad and/or position description with a fine tooth comb and highlight all your relevant experience, skills, qualifications, and specific expertise. If possible, think outside the box to identify successes you’ve had or skills you possess that might make you stand out. For example if you’ve worked in a similar role or industry – perhaps identify a key issue or challenge the industry is currently facing. Maybe you’ve implemented a similar project and have some specialist knowledge – if so, say so and indicate the level of success you achieved and how that is relevant to the recruiter.

TIP # 5: Tailor your Resume: Yes, that’s right – and again EVERY time! This might be as simple as re-ordering some points or de-emphasising/emphasising certain aspects of your job history, but tailoring your resume is just as important as writing a customised cover letter. The recruiter needs to immediately identify with you as being an ideal candidate and you won’t achieve that with generic content. This comes back to focus, but you can brand yourself as the ideal candidate by showcasing relevant experiences and successes and using the same language as the recruiting company.

TIP # 6: Address your cover letter: address your letter to the individual mentioned in the job ad and make reference to the conversation you had if you made an initial call (see TIP # 1). With LinkedIn and other online information sources, it isn’t hard to find out someone’s correct name, title and company address. Take a few minutes to source this information and address your cover letter professionally.

TIP # 7: Include all relevant details in the cover letter: after your address, open with a bold heading stating the job title, where the job was advertised, and the reference number if applicable. This makes it easy for the recruiter to identify exactly what job you’re applying for and allocate your application to the relevant area for assessment.

TIP # 8: Follow up: this is especially so if you have spoken with the recruiter prior to submitting your application but equally relevant if you haven’t. Leaving a brief voicemail or sending a short email is both appropriate and admirable because it shows commitment and interest. Briefly highlight how you match the job description and reiterate your desire for an interview.

Taking a little time to customise the content in your application can reap big rewards when it comes to the job application process so don’t underestimate the value in doing this.

Would you like assistance from a professional Resume Writer to create a job application that gets you noticed? Do you feel your application lacks relevance to the roles you are applying for? If you would like assistance with writing a winning job application, please see our Resume Writing and Job Search Coaching Services.

How to Tailor Your Job Application in 5 Simple Steps

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to Tailor Your Job Application in 5 Simple StepsIf you feel like you’re sending off rafts of applications with little success, it might be time to change your approach. Tailoring your application is an important stage in the job search process for many reasons – but it becomes more so in a competitive job market like the one we’re experiencing at the moment. It may mean the difference between your Resume ending up in the YES or NO pile so what are you waiting for?

We often tell our clients that job applications are like sales proposals and any good sales person knows they need to be tailored to achieve success. While we usually recommend writing a customised cover letter for each role you are applying for, tailoring the entire application is often something candidates relegate to the ‘too hard’ basket. The process of tailoring your Resume can sound time consuming, but we challenge you to put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and ask yourself ‘What’s in it for me?’ Your job application should immediately highlight you as someone who can add value in the role.

Before we even begin to tailor, we are assuming that you have a killer resume in place already – a document that highlights who you are, identifies your key skills, and shows the value you have added in previous roles. If you don’t already have that, then focus on this step first – see our previous article How to Write a Resume – Top 10 Tips to get started. Then, follow these five simple steps to tailor it each time you apply:

1.    Do Your Research: The first step is research. Read the job ad and identify exactly what they are looking for. Highlight skills or experience that seem important and make notes. If the company is advertising directly, have a look at their website, Google the company name and find out if any current company or industry events might impact the job. Writing just one sentence that references your knowledge of a current situation could mean the difference between success and failure at this initial stage.

2.    Customise Your Career Profile: We always recommend including a good strong career profile in your Resume. The profile should introduce you and highlight what you will bring to the role. It should clearly demonstrate your skills and past experience and highlight how they add value to an organisation. Most people see this section as fairly standard; however by customising the content to address specific individual job requirements, you’ll put yourself a step ahead. Make it enthusiastic, passionate, easy to understand, concise and engaging – and clearly demonstrate to the recruiter ‘What’s in it for me?’ in the context of the job you’re applying for.

3.    Change Your Key Skills: Once you know the recruiter’s main priorities in terms of what they’re looking for, you can customise your content to meet those needs. In its simplest form, this means re-ordering your ‘key skills’. Get more involved by rewording those key skills and customising them to suit the job. Think about what the job is asking for and how you can demonstrate that skill by some past experience or success.

4.    Write a Customised Cover Letter: We can’t stress enough how important this step is. Writing a customised cover letter is the simplest way for your application to stand out from others. Think about it for a second – if a recruiter receives 100 or so applications, how do you think they’re going to choose which ones to actually read in detail? Research has proven that you literally have seconds to make a good first impression. Preparing a cover letter that highlights your key skills, experiences and past achievements that are highly relevant to the role you are applying for increases your chances significantly of ‘getting noticed’.

5.    Change the Order of Your Job History: This is not something we recommend doing unless absolutely necessary because the Resume can become confusing. However, where we may recommend doing this is if you have highly relevant experience in your past work history, with the recent roles not at all relevant. In this case, you should make a new section called “Relevant Employment History” then list the relevant roles. Move your other more recent role descriptions to a section called “Other Employment History”. This means that the recruiter will see your ‘relevant experience’ first but the title of the section will give some insight into why that experience is not recent.

Taking the time to tailor your application might seem time consuming, but if it means the difference between success and failure, it’s worth it! We talk to so many candidates who are seemingly perfect for roles, but aren’t achieving interviews. After tweaking their applications, they are amazed at the success they can achieve.

Are you struggling to achieve interviews? Do you feel your application lacks relevance to the roles you are applying for? If you would like assistance from a professional Resume Writer to help you customise your job application, please see our Resume Writing and Job Search Coaching services.

Where to Start With Career Services

Article by Belinda Fuller

Where to Start with Career ServicesAre you sitting on the fence regarding enlisting the help of a career coach or writer? Do you read this newsletter each month, and wonder how you could best use our services? The coaching business in general has exploded in recent years with an expert ready and willing to support you in achieving just about anything you set your mind to. But how do you determine what’s going to help you most?

We regularly hear from people who aren’t quite sure how to best take advantage of the vast array of career services available today. They think they need one service, when in fact they’d be better off with another. In order to take advantage (and get the best bang for your buck), we’ve put together a list of questions we get asked on a regular basis, with responses to indicate what might be your best path to success.

“I’m in a senior role but stuck in a serious rut. I just don’t know how to move forward.”
Mid life crisis happening right now? Perhaps you’re feeling like there must be more to life. If you are thinking of making a major career transition – but you’re not sure where to start, our Executive Career Coaches are trained professionals who’ll quickly put you at ease and listen to your concerns. They’ll help you develop goals, plans and action steps to take that all important first step, and support you throughout the process if need be. Click here for more information on Executive Career Coaching.

“I know what job I want and believe I have all the qualifications/skills needed but I’m not getting any interviews”
That’s great that you’re clear about what you want to achieve – but perhaps you need a new Resume and Cover Letter that cuts through the clutter. Or maybe you’re trying for government jobs and need help addressing the Selection Criteria more concisely. If you would like to be short-listed for more jobs, take advantage of our free evaluation service. Send us your current Resume and we’ll let you know how it could be improved. For more information, see our Resume, Cover Letter and Selection Criteria Writing services.

“I’m in a great job but can’t help feeling like I’m missing out on opportunities”
If you’re not already taking advantage of LinkedIn, now might be the time to investigate. As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn recently announced it has more than 300 million members worldwide and more than 5 million members in Australia. If you don’t understand LinkedIn or think it’s not relevant for you, now might be the perfect time to explore it further and learn how you can use it to uncover new opportunities. The numbers speak for themselves – you will increase your chances of being headhunted by recruiters; as well as gaining the opportunity to uncover hidden job opportunities, contract/freelance work and word of mouth referrals. See our LinkedIn Writing and Coaching services for more information.

“I’m really unhappy in my job but don’t know what to do”
Being unhappy in our job affects every part of our life, and it can be especially hard on our families. Sometimes confusion and fear take over and cause us to do nothing, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Career counsellors are trained professionals who can independently analyse where you’re at and what might be the ideal career. They’ll take into consideration personal and financial situations and help you on the path to happiness. Life is too short to stay in a job you hate! Click here for information on our Career Counselling services.

“My Resume seems to be working, because I’ve been called in for quite a few interviews now, but I’m not getting to the next stage”
Congratulations on making it that far, many people don’t. If you’d like to improve your success rate in interviews, our interview coaching service is designed to help overcome nerves, build confidence and improve the effectiveness of your overall performance. You will get advice on how to answer common interview questions for your target job/industry and get feedback on your responses in a mock interview. See our Interview Skills Training service for more information.

“I’m a student and have no idea what I want to do when I leave school so am feeling anxious about my subject/university choices”
Have you heard about personality profiling? By taking a formal test, you can gain invaluable insight into the careers that your personality type is most suited to. It’s helpful to individuals already in a career as well and can guide you with further career development. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment tool is based on more than 50 years research and is one of the most widely used personality assessments in the world. Click here for more information about our MBTI® Assessment service.

Established since 2002, Katie Roberts Career Consulting has provided career consulting services to more than 10,000 individuals and companies across Australia and overseas.

If you are struggling to achieve the success you believe you deserve or simply need assistance to identify the direction you should be heading in, our team of consultants are experts in their field who provide advice, guidance, and support to people seeking career success. Visit our website for our full range of Career Consulting services.

Do I Really Need a Cover Letter?

Article by Belinda Fuller

As a professional resume writer, I am often asked this question from clients. My experience indicates that many employers will not even consider candidates who do not include a cover letter with their application – it’s your chance to stand out from other applicants – so the answer is always a resounding YES!

Many clients come to us requesting a ‘general’ cover letter that addresses a variety of roles they would like to apply for in the future. Whilst this can be achieved, I can’t stress enough the importance of specifically targeting your cover letter to individual roles. I always advise clients to modify their cover letter to specifically suit each role they apply for and never just reuse the same letter.

It’s important that the recruiter immediately identifies with you as someone who could do their job well. This means you need to spend some time analysing the role you are applying for and matching the requirements to your own skills and experience.

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be well on your way to making it to the top of the recruiter’s pile:

  1. Be Succinct – clearly and briefly (no more than one A4 page) highlight why you are an ideal candidate. Do take care not to be too brief though. Don’t simply state that you think you’d be great in the role and refer the recruiter to your attached resume. Provide an overview of your background, summarise the relevant parts of your resume, and identify yourself as perfect for the role.
  2. Cross Match Your Skills – Sit down with the job ad and/or position description and go through it in detail – work out where your strengths lie. Make notes on all the areas you’d like to focus on. Your cover letter should highlight applicable skills, experiences, qualifications, achievements, projects and general knowledge, then demonstrate (again briefly) how they match the specific requirements of the role.
  3. Add Value – Take the time to do some research into the company and mention why you would like to work for them – highlight similar roles you’ve held or companies you’ve worked for and how that experience might help you succeed in this role. Make sure you mention relevant achievements or projects.
  4. Request Contact – Always ensure your contact details are prominent on the cover letter and ask for an opportunity to discuss your experience / background further. Make sure you include your email address and mobile phone number at a minimum.

Don’t mention anything in the cover letter that isn’t mentioned in your resume and focus on ‘what’s in it for them’ – the employer needs to feel compelled to shortlist you for the job – so give them a reason to do so. Good luck!

If you are interested in getting assistance from a professional CV Writer to prepare a winning cover letter for your next job application, please see our CV Writing Services.