Recently, I had a phone consultation with a client who was working multiple part-time jobs while searching for a single, better-paying job. The conversation went something like this:
Question: “Do I really need a cover letter?”
Answer: “Yes, if you want to make a good first impression,” I replied. “A cover letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself and express your interest in the position. In a cover letter, you can mention talking points that are not normally included in a resume.”
Question: “Can I create a generic cover letter?”
Answer: “Situation-specific cover letters get better results.”
Question: “What do you mean?”
Answer: “Cover letters are like t-shirts. One-size doesn’t fit all. Generic, templated letters give the prospective employer the wrong impression that you are sloppy or insincere. For optimal results, write a strong letter of interest.”
Question: “I’m overwhelmed. Where do I start?"
Answer: "Consider your audience."
Here are a few ideas for cold call letters:
Keep your cover letter concise and to the point.
Customize a lean cover letter focused on the employer’s needs.
At Written by a Pro, we offer cover letter and resume review services, professional writing services, and job search strategies to help you land your dream job fast!
Six leading job boards for healthcare professionals include:
Health Career Job Site
When you find a job opportunity that interests you, apply online, but don't stop there. Go online at LinkedIn.com and search for people who work inside the organization. Reach out to set up an informational interview to discover what it is like to work for the healthcare provider.
Another strategy is to use Google Maps to find healthcare providers within a 25-mile radius of where you live. Make a list of companies that interest you. Visit the company's website and apply directly.
One of our specialties is writing for people who work as healthcare executives and administrators, physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals as well as healthcare information technology professionals.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your career goals.
While job seekers could claim job search expenses on their 2017 income tax returns if they met certain restrictions imposed by the IRS, this is no longer an option. On December 22, 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which significantly impacts 2018 tax deductions related to job search expenses.
As detailed in the 2017 IRS Publication 529, job seekers could deduct things like moving expenses if they were relocating for a job transfer, the investment of working with a resume writer or a career coach, or the cost of transportation and lodging when traveling as part of their job search. These types of job search expenses were tax deductible in 2017 only if the total expenses exceeded two percent of the job seeker's adjusted gross income and the job seeker itemized deductions on his-or-her tax return.
All of this has changed. If you are looking for a new job in 2018 and beyond, you will not be allowed to deduct job search expenses on your tax return, even if the costs exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income and you file an itemized tax return.
You may also want to consider the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act when negotiating salary on your next job. With the new tax law, employees will no longer be able to deduct unreimbursed automobile expenses.
Be aware that unemployment benefits and disability payments are taxable income.
Good news. There is a silver lining to this dark cloud. The 2018 increase in standardized deductions and the 2-3% decrease in tax rate percentages in each of the seven tax brackets will help many Americans keep more of their hard earned money.
For detailed information, read the section-by-section summary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act issued by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, and read the 2018 IRS Publication 529 when it is released.
Note: This information is not intended to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult with your CPA or attorney for specific guidance.
Do you remember this hilarious scene from the 2013 movie The Internship where actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson sit in the children's section of a library and participate in a video interview to land internships at Google? No matter how many times I watch the clip, it still makes me laugh.
(Be patient. It takes a minute for the video to load onto the screen.)
Employers have raised the bar for telephone and video interviews. Are you prepared to answer questions regarding whether or not you are the right fit for the job and the employer's corporate culture?
700 employers were surveyed about the use of video in the recruiting process:
Email email@example.com with the subject line "Virtual Interview Guide" in the subject line.
We'll send you a free 12-page report with tips for acing your virtual interviews and a shopping list for high quality, low cost audio/video equipment to help you make a great first impression!
We thought you'd enjoy seeing the diverse list of employers Glassdoor featured in a recent article about companies that are looking for new hires. It's no surprise that healthcare, technology, and financial services companies are included in the top 20.
... or cut-and-paste this URL into your web browser:
Best of luck to you in your job search! If we can be of any assistance in developing your resume, cover letters, or LinkedIn profile, please give us a call at 912-656-6857.
The Written by a Pro Team
This Forbes article identifies 16 most valuable leadership skills for future career advancement with quotes from leading industry experts. We encourage you to choose one skill as your personal development goal for 2018. Happy New Year from the staff of Written by a Pro!
Career Thought Leaders newsletter of 7/27/2017 shared the following statistics every professional should understand about the importance of social media in today's job search:
"5 DATA POINTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL PROFILES (from JobVite and CareerBuilder):
- 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates
- 57% are less likely to interview a candidate they can't find online
- 54% have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles
- 92% of recruiters use social media in their outreach; 55% use Facebook, 87% use LinkedIn
- 67% who used social media to find their most recent job used Facebook"
If you need help creating an interview-winning LinkedIn profile, we would be happy to talk with you about our personalized writing services. Call 912-656-6857 to schedule your free 15-minute consultation.
Are you stuck in a dead end job? Do you want to change careers but are uncertain of which direction you should take?
These 12 steps will help you transform your career and land your dream job:
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, The Occupational Handbook. Retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh.
Sharing an article written by Pamela Skillings of BigInterview.com explaining how to leverage Twitter in your job search. https://biginterview.com/blog/2015/03/twitter-jobs.html
U.S. News Top 100 Jobs Report lists jobs in high demand.
Be sure to scroll to the end of the article to find best jobs by industry.
Cheers to your job search success!
Sharla Taylor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Career Enlightenment LinkedIn Writer (CCELW), experienced job search strategist, and published author. Sharla is the owner of Written by a Pro, a freelance writing and editing service. She approaches her business from a Christian perspective. Her favorite Scripture is Matthew 19:26 "with God all things are possible."
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Austin Farmer, graphic artist, is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where he majored in Industrial Design and minored in Architecture. Austin creates marketing materials for businesses and uses his artistic and musical talents to enhance the worship service at Savannah Christian Church. His favorite Scripture passage is Isaiah 12:2.