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Resume & Cover Letter Guide: What You Have to Offer

What You Have to Offer and How to Follow-Up

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What You Have To Offer

In responding to an advertisement, refer specifically to the qualifications listed and illustrate how your particular abilities and experiences relate to the position for which you are applying. In a prospecting letter express your potential to fulfill the employer's needs rather than focus on what the employer can offer you. You can do this by giving evidence that you have researched the organization thoroughly and that you possess skills used within that organization.

  • I am especially interested in working at your school because my student teaching experience in designing and executing a career awareness program fits very appropriately into the pilot career program you instituted last year. Communicate interest, motivation, strengths, and intelligence.
Refer the reader back to your resume, but do not repeat verbatim from the resume. Instead, provide additional details that space did not permit on your resume, and/or put your resume into a certain perspective by labeling your experiences.
  • Evidence of my leadership and organizational skills can be seen in my experiences as Branch Manager, Communications Assistant, and Head Resident of my residence hal. Emphasize your achievements and problem-solving skills.
  • As editor-in-chief of the XXX newspaper, I introduced a more attractive and readable format, developed several new columns to broaden our scope, and improved the quality of writing.
Show how your education and work skills are transferable, and thus relevant, to the position for which you are applying.
  • Your posting indicates that you seek candidates with business degrees and sales experience. My educational background in business and psychology, combined with my fund-raising experience with XXX Development Office are excellent preparation for your Marketing Representative position.
When writing to request an informational meeting, write about your interests, skills or experiences as they relate to the person, organization or field.

How You Will Follow Up

Bid directly for the job interview or informational interview and indicate that you will follow-up with a telephone call to set up an appointment at a mutually convenient time. Be sure to make the call within the time frame indicated.

In some instances, an employer may explicitly prohibit phone calls or you may be responding to a "blind want-ad" which precludes you from this follow-up. Unless this is the case, make your best effort to reach the organization. At the very least, you should confirm that your materials were received and that your application is complete.

If you are applying from outside the employer’s geographic area you may want to indicate if you’ll be in town during a certain time frame (this makes it easier for the employer to agree to meet with you).

References

In conclusion, you may indicate that your references are available on request. Also, if you have a portfolio or writing samples to support your qualifications, state their availability.

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