How to Build Good Online Presence for Fresh Graduates

Social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn are no-longer strangers for people nowadays. From elementary students to older people, almost everyone is on social media these days. Social media is also proven to be beneficial in job search, as you can use it for various purposes such as collaborating, networking, sharing, and gaining knowledge necessary for jobseekers. Not to mention, it is not uncommon for employers today to optimise social media presence as a method to enhance their recruitment process.

In terms of recruitment and employee engagement, social media plays an important role. Kristin Kane Ford, director of social media at Kane Partners, suggested that social media allows firms to identify candidates that are perhaps passively looking, engaging with leaders in industry, as well as to deliver information to prospective employees about their company’s opportunities, benefit, and culture. “Social media allows a prospective employer to get to know you beyond just words on resume. It has a potential to identify you as someone engaged in your industry, or contributions to the conversations taking place in the industry,” added Ford. Moreover, Resume Help added that “social media has helped individuals to enhance recruitment process once and for all.

Therefore, it is important, especially for fresh graduate to build up solid social media presence. Not only it can tell how much contributions or active you are in your field of expertise, social media also shows recruiters your professionalism. Hence, if you want to open your chance of getting employed better, apply these tips to help you get noticed online:

First Tip – Be human

First and foremost, social media has become one of many media to help you build your own personal brand. That being said, even the slightest mistake you made in social media will likely shatter your reputation one and for all. Moreover, you cannot be a faceless individual with zero personality. Because in the modern age of transparency, people want to get to know you on a more personal level. Therefore, posting about your interest and personal life can provide a nice peek into who you are. It can demonstrate a variety of interest for potential recruiters.

Second Tip – Set smart goal

It is true that social media is a platform to share thoughts and ideas. However, you can make your social media presence more attractive by setting a smart goal such as developing yourself through it or sharing useful contents. You can follow leaders or experts that catch your attention and see what difference you can gain from your social media. Recruiters will love it as they see a talented candidate who is up-to-date and thrived to grow.

Third Tip – Audit yourself

Most recruiters will Google their candidates before hiring. So, it is better to be ahead of them. Google yourself and see what web shows you about you. If you find something unpleasant, you should be able to eliminate it before applying a job. Moreover, ask yourself “is this enough to show how talented I am to recruiter?” If your answer is a no, then find solution and rearrange or recreate your social media presence. Most importantly, make your presence and name as clean as possible.  

Fourth Tip – Be active

Once you’ve built your social media presence, it tells you your personal brand name. So, to make it more engaging, you should stay active and keep it to the latest information. Post interesting articles of your own and share good content.

Read also: 4 Necessary Mindset a Graduate Should Have for Future Career

 

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For all your life, you have been believing that you have passion in X and want to pursue a professional career in it. You go to university A because of this reason and after graduating, you successfully land on that one job you have always wanted. Yet, why do you feel some kind of dissatisfaction in your heart? You told yourself that, ‘It is my dream, I have always wanted to be here and I don’t want to quit just to regret it later’. Nonetheless, unfortunately, you cannot find enjoyment and excitement in what you are doing. Have your career goal been a lie, then?

Let’s think about this, working in your dream job is awesome but if it no longer adds happiness, you should consider a change in your career. It might be a huge career decision but worth to try, isn’t it?

Looking what is right for your future is not an easy task to accomplish. When you are feeling lost, you might think that this is the end of your journey. The truth is, it is not. Felicia Ricci followed her dream career to be an actor and now, she is a successful businesswoman and motivator. In her TEDxYale talk, Felicia shared her inspiring advice about career satisfaction and change. She said that it is about starting a new and trusting the magic of beginning.

Revision is, in her talk, a life-changing that might take you to another step of success and happiness. Revision, either planned or unplanned, means any change that meaningfully alters your day-to-day life. Here, Felicia reveals her top three tips for making a life revision.

1st revision – Ignoring the odds

If you are innovative, the odds would never come in your way. If you consult to your closest friends or family, they might advise you to just follow the safest way. However, ignoring the odds means you need to trust your gut feeling. You need to consider what steps to take to achieve the next level. Ignore the odds and believe in yourself, these are keys to your success.

2nd revision – Revision can be terrifying and stressful

Change is scary. Yes, it is. It is like waiting for the tomorrow that might never come. Yet, think about which one is scarier, to stuck in your ‘miserable’ life or to not try at all? Felicia said in her talk that you can be scared and freaked out. But remember, there are a bunch of resources out there that can help you – no matter how stuck you are. For example, you can learn from experts, books, life lesson videos, TED talks, and many more. All of these media can help you overcome your fear and anxiety of ‘tomorrow’.

3rd revision – You cannot decide by thinking, you can only decide by doing

Many people often calculate the possibility and impossibility before jumping up on certain idea. Researching what you want to do and where you want to go is very valuable. While this is a good method before actually executing the plan, you might never know what you will find in the real field. The fact is, when you are making a decision, you’ll never know the outcome until you do the thing. Therefore, you should go forth and revise.

Lastly, there is no final draft – keep revising your life to create your reality. Michelle Lombardo said “on considering a career change, I would say go for it, … Life is short-lived, and you’ve got to take it while it’s there and run with it.”

Read also: Key Skills Needed to Survive the 21st Century

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Peter Drucker once said, “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.”

From what Peter said, it applies that mastering certain skills is essential for survival. Skill is a part of being able to meet challenges of everyday life. For an individual, having skills can help find new ways of thinking and problem solving, recognise failure and take responsibility, analyse option and make decision, as well as develop a greater sense of self-awareness.

Skills are also important when it comes to looking for a job. According to a research by Confederation of British Industry (CBI), students work hard to get good grades but many struggle to gain employment. Employers, on the other hand, are looking not only academic success but also key employability skills such as the ability to self-manage, time and people management, potential to be a leader, and agility and adaptability to different roles and flexible working environment.

Applied education systems (AES) suggested that skill plays as a vital role especially in the age of transformation and information. The skills you master will also determine your future success or failure. Below, AES has listed 3 categories of essential skills you should have in 21st century. Let’s take a look:

#1    Learning skills (the four C’s)

Known also as four Cs, learning skill helps individual acquire mental process needed to adapt and improve upon modern work environment. The 4 C’s stand for:

Critical thinking - This skill is important in business setting. It improves mechanism that weeds out problems and replaces with fruitful endeavours.  

Creativity – As equally important as other skills, creativity empowers individuals to see concepts from different angle which leads to innovations. Innovations, in this case, is one of keys for overall business success.

Collaboration - This skill is seen as the most difficult to acquire as it needs every person in the team to sacrifice part of their own ideas and adopt others to get the best result for company’s success. But once you master it, you can bring firm back from the brink of bankruptcy. In other words, this skill means getting an individual to work together, achieve compromises, and get the best result.  

and Communication. - Communication skill is always important to learn. It is also a requirement for any company to maintain profitability. It can bring all of your educational qualities together.  

#2    Literacy skills (IMT)

Literacy skill or so called IMT is skill you need to learn which concerns with different element in digital comprehension. IMT stands for:

Information literacy - It is a foundational skill that helps you understand facts, especially data point. Being able to separate fact from fiction is what this skill about. Also, in the age of chronic misinformation, finding truth over online platform has become a new job. Therefore, you should learn how to be information savvy otherwise, you will fall prey to myths, misconceptions, and outright lies.

Media literacy - This literacy skill means to help you practice identifying publishing methods, outlets, and source while distinguishing which one is credible and which one is not. Same as information literacy, media literacy also helps find truth in a world that’s saturated with information.

and Technology literacy - Another step to success, industry 4.0 requires you to be tech savvy. This is where technology literacy lies. You need to be able to use computer, cloud programming, and mobile devices to become part of tech world/industry.

#3    Life skills (FLIPS)

Life skill is the final category of skill you should have. Life skills might pertain to your personal life but also blend with professional settings. FLIPS is an abbreviation from:

Flexibility - This skill plays as a vital role for your long-term success. You should be able to know how to change, when to change, and how to react to change. Some people are struggling learning this skills as they need to adapt into 2 uncomfortable ideas: (1) your way isn’t always the best way and (2) you have to know and admit when you’re wrong.

Leadership – Leadership is needed to help you understand decisions that managers and business leaders make. In real-world experience also, you sometimes need to decide or lead entire team. This is where this skill plays its turn.

Initiative - This skill is an attribute that earns rewards. Initiative often means working outside your working hours or spending extra 30 minutes at your job before weekend. Regardless of that, it indicates that someone’s character in term of work ethic and professional progress is good.

Productivity - It is an ability where you complete work in an appropriate amount of time. Business leaders often say it as ‘efficiency’.

and Social skills - Networking is crucial in building and maintaining business relationship. This is why you need social skills. Social skills also mean that you should have good etiquette, manners, politeness, and be able to start a talk.

Read also: Should You Go to an Interview for a Job You Don’t Want?

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Do you know that blogging can be your next strategy to develop your small business?

There are many benefits of blogging for business. Blogging is important as it helps develop and maintain relationship with potential and current customers, establish your business brand, boost search engine optimisation, create opportunities for sharing in an easy way, as well as connect people to your personal brand while generating more money from your Adsense altogether. According to Hubspot, there are 57 percent of companies that acquire customers from their blog.  Great majority of business owners (81 percent) also said that blog is useful to generate more revenue to their business.

Nonetheless, creating business blog is not a piece of cake. There are things you need to pay attention to such as the design, layout, content, and many more. Here are easy blogging checklist for you to create a successful business blog taken from The Whole Brain Group.  

01   Know your business goals

Before you start blogging, even before starting your own business, you should already know your objectives and goals. After that, you can put your goals in your blog description. Goal description can inform your reader about your business mission and values. It can also educate consumers about your product and service, as well as establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

02    Know your audience

After deciding your business goals, time to decide your audience. Blogging is like a book but electronic. Sometimes, a book is not made for everyone, so is your blog. Therefore, having specific audience can likely make your blog attract more visitors. You should have this audience list in your note: age range, gender, occupation, income level, education level, type of industry, number of employees, type of business, revenue, and location. If possible, you can list some top problems your audiences might face. And your job is providing solutions to their problem.

Having those list can help you gain information, especially about your audience. As best as possible, use the information to develop an ideal audience persona and to tailor the content of your posts.

03    Plan your content strategy

One of the most important part of creating a successful blog is content. Interesting content means more revenues and visitors. In that case, you should have and choose content that serve both your business goals and audience. If you are new to writing content for your own blog, you can first pick 5 categories to focus your blog posts. Then, you can post your original content, guest writing content, or repurposed content. NOTE: you should schedule for every post you want to add to your blog. For example 3 times a week/month for original post, and so on. So, your post traffic will not overlap. Also, at least you should post 1 per day to your blog.

04    Design & Usability

For the design, make sure that your blog is both user- and mobile-friendly. It is meant to make people subscribe to your blog easily. Users can also navigate to previous blog, access from homepage, and share your post on social media sites easily. Don’t forget to add “search function” on top of the site/post.

05    Content & Readability

Usually people search for concise and informative content. So, writing in 500 words or less can be the best choice. Your posts should be introduced with catchy titles and tagged with the right keywords. The meta description of your posts should include detailed or expressing text that encourage clicks. If you use headings and subheadings, make sure they appear to your blog posts with feature keywords.

06    Encourage engagement

There are times you need to refer for another statistic or articles in your posts. Therefore you should include links within the post to other relevant pages of blog posts on your website. Also, you should add a Call to Action at the end of your post so the reader can contact you easily. If your post is completely new, you can seek participants to comment, question, or give feedbacks. It can be your colleagues, friends, family, or whoever you wish.

Additionally, after posting your posts, you should remember these three points:

  • You should ask other bloggers to mention your post.
  • Post is shared on social media sites that have million active users such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest.
  • You should submit your posts to social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, and Delicious.

Read also: A to D Tips to be a Productive Freelancer

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Being a freelancer does not mean you can just sit around and wait for opportunities to come for you. Being a freelancer often means that you should set a gig and update your gig at least once in six months to attract a customer. It is more like selling your potential but you do not have to go far to workplace. Not only that, working as a successful freelancer also means that you should always learn and increase your goals each day. Likewise, improving your productivity is as important as the others.

If you want to finish your job fast and have more time to enjoy your day which is the main idea of working as a freelancer, you should double your rate and productivity. To do that, here are simple yet powerful tips to increase your productivity as a freelancer.

A   Begin each day with a set of plans

Instead of waking up then checking social media notifications on your phone, you can start your day by reading the to-do list you make the previous night or create a new one immediately. As you organise the tasks by the importance or the difficulty, you should also set each goal for  tasks. You should arrange your work schedule according to your ability and how you want to use your time. As a freelancer, you should not be sluggish. It is still important to get up early and get some exercise as it will help refresh your mind and improve creativity.

B   Meditate each day

Exercise is important and you can add meditation to your list. Doing a meditation each day or night can increase your focus. This simple exercise can help your wandering mind to focus more on one thing and help you have a peaceful life/mind. It is proven by science that people who mediate can have higher focus because their minds wander very little compared to those who don’t meditate. You can be more relax – the more relax your mind is, the more task you can get done. Almost all successful people do meditate in their life.

C   Apply Pomodoro technique

What is Pomodoro technique? Never heard of it?

It is a technique where you should work for 25 minutes without distractions – without ANY distractions. Then, you can rest for 5 minutes and after 4 session, you can have a longer break – 30 minutes at least. To help you with this technique, you can use time tracker or time reminder installed in your laptop or phone. Moreover, this technique is easily applied and likely to succeed. As a result, you can be more productive by not being in that social media or phone stuffs.

D   Plan your break time

At the beginning of the day, you have to check or create your to-do list but you should not forget to create a break list as well. Break list will help you organise your break time. Combining this list to your Pomodoro technique can be powerful to eliminate every distraction that might haunted you because you know when to rest and when to work. Therefore, you won’t keep checking your social media, phone, or even fridge during productive time.

Read also: How to Balance Your College and Work life When You are a Freelancer

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Just like when you were at school, choosing a wrong seat at work can put you in an unfavourable position. In the workplace, sitting in the wrong place could hinder negotiations and even mar your professional image. You can say that spaces in business is a key in doing good deals, networking, and climbing ladder to success.

In professional settings, however, there might be some confusion on where to sit in order to achieve goals of meetings. For example, if you sit too close with potential business partners, you can be considered as a defiant and ambitious individual who does not understand the idea of ‘personal space.’ Meanwhile, when you sit too far from them, people might think you are unfriendly and unwilling to collaborate.

What should you do, then? Of course, you should sit ‘just right’ and people will see you are worth their trust, time, and investment. In other words, sitting in the right position can give you a good feeling about how you interact with colleagues, potential employers, or other attendees.

So, to look professional and to get full attention, here are some tips from Seats and Stools on how you should place yourself in the crowd.

When doing interview

On one on one interview

You have dressed nicely and studied all the company’s background to look professional and to make employer falls in love with you. While the recruiter might have recognised and expected your coming, you still need to introduce yourself. After that, it is time to find a seat where you can confidently talk to your recruiter. There might be several seats available in the room, but  you should sit at the opposite of the interviewer. You should also wait to be asked to sit. Your body should be sit up straight, and adjust your chair to be at eye level with the interviewer.

On group interview

Different from 1-to-1 interview, when meeting several employers, you can sit across from the group of interviewers. First you should introduce yourself with your full name to everyone on the panel because they might have no idea which one they interview. You should also make eye contact with the group, flash off genuine smiles, and show enthusiasm.

When doing brainstorming session

Being a professional in brainstorming session does not mean you should invite an expert. By not inviting executives or managers, you can cook the best original ideas to impress your boss. It also helps everyone contribute their best acts.

Therefore, you should keep your group small for more spontaneous and separate strong personalities by distance for the most collaborative environment. As good as possible, when doing an informal discussion, try to avoid sitting on the table.

When doing presentation

Engaging everyone in a discussion can be a challenging task. To help you deal with that, you should arrange seats in form of theatre style (semicircle). There will be rows facing speaker in semi-circular pattern or herringbone pattern for maximum view.

If you are a single presenter, you should be in front (on the stage) to get fewer distraction and more audience attention.

If you are presenting with a partner, both of you should sit on stage until it is your turn to speak.

If you are a co-presenter, you can stand or sit at the side of stage or room for minimising disrupt flow.

If you are one of panel speaker presentation, you should sit on stage at a conference table, and moderator will be at the end of table and to the side.

If you are an attendee, choose a seat in the front centre and you will get the best view from both, presenter and presentation.

Likewise, whichever you are, you should rehearse your lines or presentation before the acts to ensure a smooth transition.

Sales meeting presentation can be done in small tables in ‘banquet style’. It will help foster communication and keep attention of attendees.

When doing business lunch

It will be better to reserve a table or a meeting room. However, if you want a different view, you can choose 4-top table in a quiet area of a restaurant with minimal noise and distraction. You should seat next to one another on the corner of the table rather than across. It will allow you to get more intimate conversation. When your client arrives, subtly direct him or her to the chair next to you by gesturing.

Read also: 7 Tech Jobs with the Highest Salary

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More than just a piece of written resume, winning your dream job is all about making a perfect first impression and putting your best foot forward. You might look great on paper and get shortlisted because your resume is perfectly and neatly crafted. But not every employer will love you, let alone hire you just based on your resume.

Often times, employers look at other traits on their potential candidates. They examine your behaviours and personalities as well. Without further ado, in the end of this year, make sure a Cupid arrow is landed up for you and your career progression. Read on the listed tips below to make yourself appealing to employers.

Craft a professional social media presence – You should be aware that employers will stalk their potential candidates even before calling them for a job interview. In this case, social media can serve as an unplanned resume because it can tell a lot about you. Bad social media attitude, often means bad candidates. Of course you do not want your recruiter to think that way. So, ensure that your social profiles are up-to-date, appropriate for business matters, and have something exciting to tell recruiters about your personality.

Highlight your accomplishments – Your resume tells a lot about you, so is the way you answer your interview questions. When employers ask about your accomplishments that you already highlight in your resume, you should answer it certainly and accordingly. Show the potential employers that you do not embellish those acts and that your achievements can help you when you are hired for the position.

Ask relevant questions – Oftentimes, employers do not only assess your candidacy merely from how best your answers are, but how good and relevant is your questions regarding the job you are applying. The general rule here is to never ask questions that you can easily find in company’s website or Google search. Show them that you are well-prepared.

You can ask questions that will help you understand if this job if the right job for you. For example, ask about resources, budget you have to work with, upper level engagement in projects, or role that you should contribute in workplace.

Express your interest and ask the next steps – Many interviews end with only formal thanks and good-byes but it should not happen to you too. To make employers fall head over heels to you, you should show that you are genuinely interested about the job and position you are applying. Show them that you are the right candidate. Also, add key points in how you can be valuable for company and ask them the next step. Employers love to hire hardworking and smart working candidates.

Read also: 7 Things You Should Do Before Starting a Job Hunting

 

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Upon graduating from college or university, you might think that excellent grades and academic achievements will help make your job search easier. However, not as easy as it sounds, job hunting is always challenging. You have to compete with hundreds, if not thousands, candidates before actually get the job you want.

Looking for a job is not an exact mathematical science that is as simple as 1 + 1 = 2, but there are more factors that come into play. Those factors will determine whether you are the best candidate who can fill the position or not. A survey conducted by Future Workplace shows that there is a gap between job hunter’s perception of recruiting process and the company’s human resources department’s expectations. This means that sometimes, you can only wonder what hiring managers want and go through with the hiring process without knowing exactly what they are looking for from a candidate.

Here are seven important things you should do before starting your search:

Clean your social media presence – Recruiters are increasingly using social media to ‘stalk’ potential candidates’ personality and determine whether they will be culturally fit the existing company culture. That being said, it is better to spring clean your social media profiles from any sensitive or embarrassing posts and unnecessary information. If potential employers find something that they think negative such as posts containing bad words or controversial issues, it might lessen your chances of getting the job offer.

Find referrals – Most HR professionals would agree that employee referrals can be the best method for finding top candidates. It was said that applicants that are hired form referral start their work faster that those who apply via job boards or career sites. So, before landing a job, it will be better if you get in touch with someone who has been working in the company or other professionals in your expertise who can give you recommendation.

Learn technical skills – According to U.S. News, a quarter of employers rank technical skills as the most skills they are looking for in their candidates because nowadays. By learning technical skills, it will greater your chance to land a job in a position you want. Moreover, developing skills you are lack will boost your self-confidence and candidacy.

Find out the most wanted skills and highlight it – If technical skill is crucial, then so are other skills such as communication, adaptability, or result-driven. These are soft-skills that a hiring manager seek in their candidates. Other top skills company usually look for are leadership and teamwork. Therefore, you better highlight one of those skills so your resume can grab employer’s interest.

Highlight your internship, not GPA – If you are a recent graduate, you probably think that good grades are what employers seek most in candidates’ resume. The truth is, employers are more interested in applicants working experience such as internships and social achievements like volunteering. So, do not just highlight in what you have achieved because experience wins most attention.

Prepare yourself for a sudden test – In some interviews, the hiring manager might want to give you a sudden test because they want to see how prepared you are. Therefore, you should always be ready and prepare yourself for it. As best as possible, try to find out what the test will be about.

Learn the company’s background and history – This is the very last and crucial thing you should always keep in mind before pressing the ‘Apply’ button. Lack of information can cost you your job application. Recruiter might think that you are not serious with the application or you just want to test yourself. So better to prepare rather than regret later.

Read also: Maximize Your Job Search with Matrix Decision

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Finishing your study and graduating from university can be both exciting and daunting. Now that you have gained necessary skills and knowledge at school, it is time to implement the theories into practices in the workforce. During your study, you might have good GPA, actively participate in student organisations, and achieve recognition from the university for your contribution. However, the working world is different from school. With the burgeoning talent pools, you might find it more competitive and fiercer to land a job.

What should you do, then?

One of the easiest way to help you get out of the overwhelming job hunting is to keep moving and change your strategy. Searching for jobs via job platform or ads on newspapers is effective, but it might drain up your energy as you need to scroll through so many jobs and companies. Not to mention, not everything you find is the one you are actually looking for. However, a method called “matrix decision” can help you simplify your job search while still receiving the best result.

Using matrix isn’t something new. It is a decision making process people often use when making other decisions, such as deciding where school to go or evaluating which car to buy. It’s not a rocket science but doing what comes natural in a rigorous way can improve your career assessments. Matrix decision is useful when you have several choices of jobs and it can actually give a satisfactory result. There are more advantages you can get by using matrix, such as identifying new job opportunities faster while helping you think clearly and use time efficiently.

Without further ado, here are 3 easy steps you can do to create your own matrix decision.

Mainly, you should set objectives. Objectives will help you determine how successful your matrix will be. For example, you graduated with a BA degree in literature. After knowing your qualification, you should decide which objectives are the most important. There are five factors of objectives you should consider in your future career: field you want to take, role you want in the workplace, impact on your future such as salary or job status, personal growth, and what kind of organisation you want to work in.

Secondly, you decide from the most important to the less ones. At this point, you should be able to rate your decision either as high, low, or medium. To make your choice obvious, you can rate it from 1 to 5. To help you in making better decision, you can ask your friends or family members to share their thoughts and give suggestions to your career matrix because sometimes, close family or friends can see your quality better.

Remember, when rating your objectives, you should also be able to evaluate alternative against objectives. Your objectives are the primary concern in this decision. Therefore, judge how each alternative meets each category and think how it might affect your future. Also, consider what you might do if things do not work out. If possible, jot down the reasons of picking up certain job in each relevant box of matrix.

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Lastly, you can interpret the result. Your matrix structure is a stepping rock to lead you for a brighter career, but it is not the final answer. You must understand and figure out what it tells you. Matrix decision is as good as you want it to be and by using it, you’ll likely to know what job would be better and know what questions to ask in future career.

It is hard to decide what’s best for your future. But by assessing your career objectives and defining which are most important, you can make decisions with confidence as structured plan such as matrix decision can help you ease all your doubt in one place.

 Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

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Just like a resume, a cover letter is a weapon to “sell yourself” to the hiring managers. What differs between the two are the format and content. Resume is a brief description of your cover letter. In cover letter, you should write in detail about personal information and professional quality in order to attract recruiters to shortlist your job application.

Tim Windhof, an executive resume writer at Windhof Career Services in Columbus, Ohio, advices that your cover letter should address the following: how you learn about the opportunity, how your qualifications match the job requirements, your possible availability in the area and how you can be contacted. In brief, your cover letter must describe “why it should be you and not others”.

Take a look at the following tips on how to write an appealing cover letter for successful job search:

01 Choose wording that mirror the ad language  

Before writing a cover letter, you should review the job ads carefully and underline the main points. If your cover letter will be read by hiring managers, they are more likely to skim brief at first to see whether you are a good fit or not. You can increase your chance of getting shortlisted when your cover letter matches most requirements listed in the job ads.

Don’t embellish your qualifications if you don’t really meet the requirements. Only write down real information and present yourself in the best manner by describing as many qualities as you can. You never know which qualifications employers value most.

02 Pay attention to readability

This is important as a cover letter written in readable format will likely to win employer’s heart. In a cover letter, you should only use business letter format. This will make the recruiter to only focus on your content rather than on the writing style. Business letter format usually comes along with 1” – 1.5” margins, 12-point font, professional font, uniform alignment (justify).

03 Address it to specific person

Do your homework and find out who will be responsible to receive and check your job application. Calling or sending email to the contact person provided in the job ads can be an effective way to get such information. You can also ask questions or confirm certain information related to the job opportunity to the right source instead of wondering around.

If you are sending the cover letter via post mail, make sure to write both the employer’s and your address. It usually contains first and last name, street address, city, state zip, and postal code, phone and email for applicant.

Example:

Your Name

Address

City, State, ZIP code

Your phone number

Your email address

 

Date

 

Name of Hiring Manager

Name of Company or Organization

Street Address

City, State, Zip Code

On the other hand, if you send the cover letter via email, you can simply start by writing the hiring manager’s name. This is much better than writing with to whom it may concern. Yet, in a situation where you can’t find the name of the hiring manager or head of HRD, you can address your letter to “Dear Hiring Manager.” It’s a better choice than starting with Dear Sir/Madam.

04 Brief introduction

In this part, you should start with when and where you find the job opening. Make sure to specify job position that you want to apply, especially when the company post multiple job positions. Make it into a paragraph that contains two to four sentences.

05 Compelling content

To grab the hiring manager’s attention, you should start by writing your educational background, followed by your achievements such as related training or internships you have completed and work experiences. However, if you are a fresh graduate with no job or internship experience, you can emphasise other skills such as organisational, leadership, or even time management skill, etc.

You can write it in two to three paragraphs for the content. However, you should not be wordy or  spill too much information. Sometimes, giving too much information can hinder you from getting the job offer.

06 A-Okay closing

Always finish your cover letter by asking for an interview and reiterating how much you want to proceed to the next step of hiring process. Also, do not forget to always provide your phone number so the recruiter can contact you with ease.

07 Signature

Always give signature to either written or email cover letter. Use complimentary closing sentence such as best regards, regards, sincerely, yours respectfully, etc. In a written letter, just simply write your full name. Meanwhile in an email, always type your name followed by contact information.

Example:

Sincerely,

(your signature)

Your full name

Mobile: (66) 987-98787

Email: andie@andiejone.com

08 Proofread, proofread, and proofread

Lastly, you should give the right amount of time to proofread your work – in this case, your cover letter, maybe two or three times proofreading. Find out spelling or grammar errors that might lessen your chance from getting shortlisted. Again and again, cut out the flowery words as too much description or information will make your cover letter look unprofessional. As best as possible, keep your cover letter only in one page.

Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?