Driving Your Career Starts *Now* The Newsletter
April 2014


Welcome to Driving Your Career Starts NOW - The Newsletter, showing you how you can manage your career!

Be in charge of your career - don't wait for someone else to do it for you. Your career funds your life, so no parking allowed: drive it now!

- Joanne Meehl, aka The Job Search Queen - Celebrating 11 years as a your career choice and job search coach

  • Design-A-Job: You're in charge
  • Cover emails (a.k.a. cover letters) - Yes, do them
  • VIDEO webinars coming soon!

  • Design-A-Job: You're in charge

    Candidates rightfully look for jobs they can fit into. They compare requirements to their own achievements. They look for job tasks they can handle and excel at. They see if the corporate culture is one in which they'd be able to live.

    But have you thought about doing the opposite: "designing" the perfect job for you, then seeing who out there actually has it? (or who will create it for you?) It's a subtle but powerful difference in approach. By using this method, YOU are setting the standards for your next job, not someone else.

    How to design that ideal job? Start by jotting down some parameters around tasks you'd most like to carry out, the skills and assets you most want to use (and develop), the people you want to work with, the environment in which you'd most like to work, the kind of management that makes your flourish. You'll come up with a profile of sorts.

    Then, go to your network to ask about companies or organizations that fit that profile. Use LinkedIn and Google, as well as company review sites like Glassdoor.com (keep the gripers in perspective, though).

    You have permission to start with what YOU want! Then as you network, you'll learn "what the world will let you have". Doing it this way makes your search less stressful, and will get you closer to your goal -- one you deserve.

    Cover emails (a.k.a. cover letters) - Yes, do them

    "Don't bother with cover letters", many job search advisors say. These comments come from those who've heard recruiters and others on the hiring side say, "I never read them."

    I maintain that those who never read them have good reason: usually they are a wandering rehash of the resume! "I've done this, I've done that, blah blah blah."

    No wonder they go unread.

    But what if your cover email (or what you paste into their online form's "comment" field/cover letter field) GRABS the reader and it says "I have what you need!" Obviously, you'd be using another chance to sell yourself.

    Over the years, my clients have used my format (see below) and have heard comments from hiring managers and others that it was the letter that got them to pause and look at their resume.

    This real sample from an Operations Manager below grabs the reader. It follows the intent of a good cover "letter" in these ways:
    1. It says where you learned of the opening
    2. It says why you want to work for THEM,
    3. It's about THEM and it says how you understand their problem (why they're hiring),
    4. It shows how YOU match the job,
    5. and it calls for action.
    (all names and other info have been changed)

    What it doesn't do: It doesn't restate what's in your resume. That is THE #1 mistake people make. And it's the #1 reason they don't get read.

    And it's not in Word. As much as I used to love inserting a very attractive table in the middle of a Word doc then pasting that into the email, today's text-based email systems can't handle tables.

    A note of caution: if the recipient doesn't read them no matter how fantastic it reads, there's little you can do. But the recipient who expects to see one, you won't disappoint. And if you adapt this format, you'll definitely get their attention.

    In response to your Web site posting for the position of Senior Store Operations Manager, my resume is attached for your review. I am very interested in this position because I love doing this work and would bring my history of success to the job.

    Central North Company has an excellent reputation in the industry as well as being a multi-channel supplier for a wide variety of customers. Your strength, stability and focused model are in line with my values, and are the reason I am pursuing this position.

    As the economy strengthens, I would imagine that new projects are quickly increasing for your organization. My success in jumping into a project and getting it to move forward now would help you get these projects completed, something I've consistently done before. In specific:

    [Here, the candidate matches their appropriate qualifications to this company's requirements:]

    - Bachelors Degree in business, marketing or management - I have a Bachelors Degree in Marketing and am a Certified Professional Project Manager (CPPM).
    - 3 - 5 years of related retail and/or merchandising experience - More than 5 years of achievements in retail operations at ABC stores.
    - Strong organization, analytical and administrative skills - I am highly organized and analytical which is proven in my defining a process that efficiently opened over 58 new store locations for ABC Stores.
    - Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing - Excellent communication skills to all levels of an organization. For example, I led all communications sent out to the field and the management of our company intranet.
    - Enthusiastic and positive nature - I thrive on a fast paced environment and am a wizard at adapting to and finding solutions for constantly changing surroundings.

    I would enjoy speaking directly with you about this position and my potential contributions. I can be reached at 612-555-5555 or [email address].

    Thank you.
    Jane Doe

    [Phone number]
    [Email address]
    [LinkedIn address]

    VIDEO webinars coming soon!
    Movie camera image

    I'm now doing video webinars, a great way to get you info about your career and job search. The first is April 17th, 10am - 11am.

    Topic: Avoiding the Resume Black Hole - Getting Seen By Applicant Tracking Systems.

    You'll get my no-nonsense, information-packed session that will increase your chances of getting your resume into these systems that 80% of North American companies use.

    If you received this email directly from us, you're already on the mailing list to get notices about the video webinars and how to register.

    Stay tuned!

    When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there. -- Zig Ziglar


    Tip of the Month:
    Add terms, add keywords, repeat. In both your resume and in your LinkedIn profile, repeat, repeat, repeat your keywords. Each of these tools is a database, not a term paper. Help the technology that's looking at them, find you.

    Check it out:

    Joanne's YouTube channel - Click here to see Joanne's helpful videos!

    First step: Book yourself for a Career Consult with the Queen

    Face2Face, April 3rd: *Interview Questions: The Dreaded and the Unusual*

    Joanne's "Driving Your Career Starts Now" BLOG

    Follow Joanne on Twitter

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