Customize cover letters during job search

They should be addressed specifically to the employer using people’s names rather than their job titles

Getting an interview is critical to getting the job you are seeking. However, that is hard when dozens of people are chasing the same position.

In order to get there, your resume and cover letter need to be the best they can be. That is why it is so important to review them and make sure they are spot on. As career counsellors at the Hope WorkBC Centre, we get to see a lot of resumes. Many have spelling mistakes and inconsistent formatting. Job seekers have the idea that they need to get out their resume to as many people as possible while spending less time developing a high quality document that is going to represent them well. Resumes need to be interesting because they represent you. Are you proud of the document that you are handing out? Is each resume you hand out customized to the position you are seeking? Cover letters also need to be customized to the employer, using people’s names rather than “HR Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern.” It is a good idea to show your resume and cover letter to a professional. And here in B.C. there is no cost to that at WorkBC Centres. These centres are designed to help job seekers be more effective more quickly. If you are still seeking work after a year, it’s likely that you have lost your enthusiasm and need to take a new approach.

Building a network and researching places where you would like to work are also highly effective ways of getting an interview. WorkBC staff can also talk you through an effective job search so that you can snag more interviews. They can also help you with mock interviews so that you are practiced and ready to win your new position.

Peter Bailey is a certified employment counsellor and director at Free Rein Associates.

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