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Old Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Faryal Shah's Avatar
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Default Essential tips for job & internship

How to Write a Cover Letter

“A cover letter allows you to personalize your resume when it is mailed to prospective employers in response to advertisements or to inquire about possible interviews.”

The letter's main purpose is to advertise your strengths and assets in a way that would interest employers in interviewing you. It is also useful in that it can save valuable time by enabling you to visit only the most promising prospects or helping you avoid places where there is no interest in you as a prospective employee.

To attract the reader's ATTENTION, the cover letter must look good and be easy to read. Use of quality 8 1/2" X 11" paper, correct English, spelling, spacing, paragraphing, margins and above all, flawless typing is a must. Address it to a particular person by name, making sure that the spelling and title of the individual are correct. The person addressed should hold an influential position in the company. A good cover letter is not too long, so try to limit yours to only part of a single page.

The first paragraph should arouse the reader's INTEREST. This can be done by stating some particular knowledge you have of the reader's business, by a comment on some "timely" issue relating to the company's operation or by an impersonal statement of some outstanding fact relating to your ability that would probably appeal to the employer.

The body of the cover letter should make the employer DESIRE to interview you by explaining what you can do for his/her company. Put yourself in the employer's position as you write and present facts that will both be interesting and accurately describe your assets and qualifications. Your prospective employer will be interested in your ability to make and/or save money, to conserve time, to effectively assume and discharge responsibility and to produce results more rapidly and economically than anyone else. Do not stress your bad points, such as lack of experience or unemployment.

The last paragraph should request ACTION. Ask directly for an interview stating specific times and dates when you will call to arrange an interview. In all circumstances be courteous but use a direct approach.
The letter should end with the formal salutation, "Sincerely yours." Below the salutation, type your name and then add your signature. Remember the use of AIDA (ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, ACTION) will result in a cover letter that is both pleasing to read and effective.



Cover Letter Outline

Your Address
City, State, Zip
Date
(Ms. or Mr.) Personnel Manager
Name of Company
Company Address
City, State, Zip
Dear (Ms. or Mr.) Hiring:
Your opening paragraph should arouse interest on the part of the reader. Tell the employer why you are writing the letter. Do not say in the first paragraph that you are looking for a job. Give information to show your specific interest in the company.

Your middle paragraphs should create desire. Give details of your background that will show the reader why one should consider you as a candidate. Be as specific as possible about the kind of a job you want. Don't make the reader try to guess what you would be interested in.

Refer the reader to your general qualifications on your enclosed resume or other material. Use as much space as you need to tell your story but keep it brief and to the point.

In your closing paragraph you ask for action. Ask for an appointment suggesting a time when you will contact the individual. You may now list your dates of availability.

Sincerely yours,

[Your Signature]

Type your name here



Sample Cover Letter

349-Jahnagir Street
Lahore, Pak. 54500
January 19, 2005
Dr. Muhammad Ahmad
Punjab University
P.O. Box 746
Lahore, Pak. 54500

Dear Dr. Ahmad:

I am presently a Cooperative Education student in the Punjab University Hellay College of Commerce. I have had experiences in programming in Pascal, FORTRAN, "C" language and am familiar with the DEC-VAX System. As a native of Pakistan, I know that my language skills would prove useful to your company. I would be most interested in obtaining a cooperative education assignment with Punjab University for the summer and fall 2005.

I am currently completing a course in computer electronics and am working on a project revising a system for radio communications. Additionally, I am working at a local Radio Shack franchise selling electronic equipment. As you can see, my course work and experience would be appropriate in your environment.

My resume is enclosed for your review and consideration. I will telephone you during the week of June 3rd to discuss the possibility of setting up an interview. I will be available for full-time cooperative education employment from June 25, 2005 through December 31, 2005.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely yours,

[Signature]

Naeem Saleem.






Your Guide to Resume Writing


This guide on resume writing covers the following topics

1. What is a resume?
2. How to prepare an effective resume?
3. Resume Checkup
4. Sample Resume
5. Using your online degrees


What is a resume?
Resumes are what people use to get jobs, right?

Wrong!

A resume is a one or two page summary of your education, skills, accomplishments, and experience. Your resume's purpose is to get your foot in the door. A resume does its job successfully if it does not exclude you from consideration.

To prepare a successful resume, you need to know how to review, summarize, and present your experiences and achievements on one page. Unless you have considerable experience, you don't need two pages. Outline your achievements briefly and concisely.

Your resume is your ticket to an interview where you can sell yourself!


How to Prepare an Effective Resume

1. Resume Essentials
Before you write, take time to do a self-assessment on paper. Outline your skills and abilities as well as your work experience and extracurricular activities. This will make it easier to prepare a thorough resume.

2. The Content of Your Resume
Name, address, telephone, e-mail address, web site address
All your contact information should go at the top of your resume.

Avoid nicknames.

Use a permanent address. Use your parents' address, a friend's address, or the address you plan to use after graduation.

Use a permanent telephone number and include the area code. If you have an answering machine, record a neutral greeting.

Add your e-mail address. Many employers will find it useful. (Note: Choose an e-mail address that sounds professional.)

Include your web site address only if the web page reflects your professional ambitions.

Objective or Summary
An objective tells potential employers the sort of work you're hoping to do.

Be specific about the job you want. For example: To obtain an entry-level position within a financial institution requiring strong analytical and organizational skills.

Tailor your objective to each employer you target/every job you seek.

Education
New graduates without a lot of work experience should list their educational information first. Alumni can list it after the work experience section.

Your most recent educational information is listed first.

Include your degree (A.S., B.S., B.A., etc.), major, institution attended, minor/concentration.

Add your grade point average (GPA) if it is higher than 3.0.

Mention academic honors.

Work Experience
Briefly give the employer an overview of work that has taught you skills. Use action words to describe your job duties. Include your work experience in reverse chronological order—that is, put your last job first and work backward to your first, relevant job. Include:

Title of position,
Name of organization
Location of work (town, state)
Dates of employment
Describe your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific skills and achievements.

Other information
A staff member at your career services office can advise you on other information to add to your resume. You may want to add:

Key or special skills or competencies.
Leadership experience in volunteer organizations.
Participation in sports.

References
Ask people if they are willing to serve as references before you give their names to a potential employer.
Do not include your reference information on your resume. You may note at the bottom of your resume: "References furnished on request."

3. Resume Checkup
You've written your resume. It's time to have it reviewed and critiqued by a career counselor. You can also take the following steps to ensure quality:

Content:

Run a spell check on your computer before anyone sees your resume.
Get a friend (an English major would do nicely) to do a grammar review.
Ask another friend to proofread. The more people who see your resume, the more likely that misspelled words and awkward phrases will be seen (and corrected).

Design:
These tips will make your resume easier to read and/or scan into an employer's data base.

• Use white or off-white paper.
• Use 8-1/2- x 11-inch paper.
• Print on one side of the paper.
• Use a font size of 10 to 14 points.
• Use nondecorative typefaces.
• Choose one typeface and stick to it.
• Avoid italics, script, and underlined words.
• Do not use horizontal or vertical lines, graphics, or shading.
• Do not fold or staple your resume.
• If you must mail your resume, put it in a large envelope.


Sample Resume


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  #2  
Old Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Faryal Shah's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
 
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Default

How to Search a Job?


Perhaps the biggest key to a successful job search is realizing that looking for a job is a full-time task. The more you know about yourself, what you have to contribute to an employer, and the type of work you are looking for before you search job listings, the more directed, and successful, your job search will be. So, where do you begin?

Get to Know Yourself.

It might sound silly, but sitting down and really thinking about what you like and what you are good at can save you a lot of time and effort. It will also help you apply for a job that you will be successful at and enjoy.
What do you like? Sit down and list all of the things you like. Do you like to be on a computer? Do you like to read or write? Do you like to talk to people? Do you like working with numbers? How about working with children or animals? Besides just listing activities, also list the types of environments you like to be in. Do you like being someplace where there is always something going on, or do you prefer to be somewhere quiet? Do you like getting up in the morning or staying up late at night? Once you have a sizable list completed, move on to the next step.
What are you good at? First, list any special degrees or certifications that you have - including a high school or college diploma or GED certificate or any technical certifications. List everything from CPR to computer programming certifications. Next, list activities - such as typing, repair work, or cleaning that you are good at. Don't just stop at "work-related activities" - think about your hobbies and interests. Also list any personality characteristics you have that might be helpful in certain types of jobs. For instance, do you interact well with people? Can you make decisions under pressure? Are you good with children? Can you work by yourself and stay motivated?

Know What You Have to Contribute to an Employer.

Take a moment to list all of the things you can contribute to a job - list your employment experience and the tasks you performed at those jobs. List any "character" skills you have - such as a positive attitude, a willingness to learn new things, being on time, and your ability to work independently or as a team player. Think about the type of job you want and what types of things might be required for that job. If you were hiring someone to fill that position, what would you be looking for? Then list those skills or experiences, if you have them. This helps you understand which types of jobs you could contribute the most to.

Know What Type of Job You Want.

You might think this step is "too easy" and skip over it - however, you might be surprised at the answers. Make three columns on a separate page: "required" "preferred" and "nice, but not necessary." Then write the components of your perfect job, from the type of people you work with, the type of schedule you would like to have, to what you would like to be doing. Don't forget the types of benefits or wages you desire. Then list the components in the columns on the page. If you must work a certain schedule, put that down in your "required" column. If you would rather not work weekends, but you might if it meant getting the job, put that in your "preferred" column and so forth.
Keep this list handy as you search for jobs. Compare the job descriptions, the schedule, and the work environment to the things on your list. Of course, no job will match everything on your list, but determining which positions match most closely to what you would like to do will help you know which job openings you should respond to.

Talk to People.

In business terms, this is called "networking." Make sure that everyone you know knows you are looking for a job - and what kind of job you are looking for. Talk with your family, friends, neighbors, and associates in any volunteer or community groups you are involved in. Ask them to keep an ear open for any job possibilities.
One of the best networking tools is to keep in contact with one or two people from previous jobs. They know what type of worker you are, so they are in the best position to recommend you to someone who is hiring, or let you know of job opportunities that would interest you. It is a proven fact that people hire people they know first, - before they even look at resumes from people who responded to a "Help Wanted" ad. Employers will seek to hire someone recommended as their second choice. The more people in your network, the more chances you have of finding out about a position you might not have heard about, and the more chances you have of getting a personal recommendation.

Use More Than One Resource.

When you have figured out what kind of job you want, it's time to actually start looking for a job. Don't get stuck using just one resource to search for a job. Companies often choose only one or two outlets to publicize their job openings to minimize expenses. Look at all available options such as online job boards, weekly employment newspapers, your local daily and weekly newspapers, and job fairs.
Take some time to visit stores, restaurants, businesses, or hospitals that you are interested in working for. Many times businesses only advertise their open positions in their physical location. When you visit an establishment to inquire about employment opportunities, dress as if you were going to a job interview. Many times your impromptu visit might lead to an impromptu job interview and you should leave them with a good impression.

Apply Selectively.

Once you have gathered all of your options, start comparing the job descriptions and requirements to your list of "required," "preferred," and "nice, but not necessary" columns. Your job search will be much more successful if you narrow down your choices to those jobs for which you have the skills and experience requested. You also want to make sure that the jobs you are applying for are jobs that you would want to have.
It is also important to apply to each job individually - don't just send out mass applications or resumes. Make sure you take the time to follow the specific directions for applying given in each job announcement. Many times employers won't even look at an application or resume if it is improperly submitted.

Be Positive.

Waiting to hear about a potential job can be nerve-wracking. Remain upbeat and positive and continue to keep your eye open for other possible positions while you wait. Continually working to improve your skills, education, and experience is also a good idea while you are waiting. Whether it's a night class or a volunteer opportunity, taking every advantage to improve your chances of getting the job you want is always worthwhile.






Ten Steps to a Successful Career Change



Interested in a new career? If so, it is important to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options and to choose a career that will be satifying for you.

1. Evaluate your current job satisfaction. Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes. Which aspects of your current job do you like/dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work your company culture or the people with whom you work?

2. Assess your interests, values and skills through self help resources like the exercises in What Color is Your Parachute. Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills.

3. Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by discussing your core values/skills with friends, family, networking contacts and counselors. Visit career libraries and use online resources like those found in the Career Advice section of the Job Search website.

4. Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in depth research.

5. Read as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those arenas for informational interviews.

6. Shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first hand. Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days job shadowing people who have jobs that interest you. Your college Career Office is a good place to find alumni volunteers who are willing to host job shadowers.

7. Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest e.g. if you are thinking of publishing as a career, try editing the PTA newsletter. If you're interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter.

8. Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field. Consider taking an evening course at a local college. Spend some time at one day or weekend seminars. Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.

9. Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change e.g. offer to write a grant proposal if grant writing is valued in your new field. If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can.

10. Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have e.g. If you are a store manger for a large retail chain and have grown tired of the evening and weekend hours consider a move to corporate recruiting within the retail industry. Or if you are a programmer who doesn't want to program, consider technical sales or project management.






regards

faryal shah
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