Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the September 30, 2002 issue of QuintZine.
A job-search letter technique that can be effective during tough times is what Marky Stein, calls a “Q” or qualifications letter. “This document is a short letter that compares your qualifications with the employer’s requirements for the job,” writes Stein on the Career Journal portion of WSJ.com. “It’s brief and concise enough to catch the reader’s eye with highly relevant material within those first crucial seconds. When you compose a Q letter, list only those qualifications that you meet or exceed. Requirements that you don’t meet or exceed may be omitted from the letter. Q letters can be especially effective for qualified candidates who haven’t succeeded with traditional direct-mail methods,” notes Stein in her article, Strategies for Beating The Job-Search Odds.
The article provides a link to a sample “Q letter,” though frankly, we like ours better
- Very appropriate: 26 percent
- Somewhat appropriate: 52 percent
- Somewhat inappropriate: 14 percent
- Very inappropriate: 8 percent
“Sending an e-mail immediately following a job interview demonstrates initiative, but candidates should follow up with a traditional, more formal letter,” advises Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies (Hungry Minds, Inc.).
Writing a thank-you message can also give job seekers a leg up on the competition: In a related survey question, 86 percent of executives polled said they consider a post-interview thank you helpful when evaluating candidates. But only 39 percent of job applicants actually follow through with this simple courtesy, according to executives polled.
- Cut down on sentences that begin with “I” and adopt a “you” perspective. Note how ad copy is liberally sprinkled with “you.” Your cover letter, after all, is an advertisement for your resume.
- Use your cover letter to convey enthusiasm for the job you’re applying for. Enthusiasm sells.
- Using a proactive closer in your letter, in which you state that you’ll follow up to schedule an interview will set you apart from the crowd with its determination and confidence.
- Instead of just relating what you did in your jobs, tell what the outcomes are. Impress employers by telling them what positive things happened as a result of what you did.
Review all our Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips.