DECENT speaking skills are very important for success on the professional front, but writing skills are even more so. Spoken words can be forgotten over a period of time, whereas written words are on the record. The written materials that you send while applying for new jobs can be preserved. The letters and emails can survive for decades, so you have to be really careful before you hit the send button. You must have a good grasp over language to communicate properly through written mediums.
There is no doubt that the language is constantly evolving, but that does not make grammar unimportant. Good grammar adds to your credibility.
Cover letters that you sent with your resume at the time of applying for new jobs do matter. You have to ensure that the cover letter is completely error free, in terms of grammar and spelling. You should use the right set of words. You must avoid boilerplate like, “Enclosed please find resume.” Common email abbreviations like using “rgds” for “regards”, or using “u” for “you” are strictly not allowed. Professional emails or letters must never have phrases like, “Thks 4 ur gr8 help.” Even text messages should be made of full words.
How to write a cover letter!
The bigger companies usually do not have the time to go through a larger cover letter. Their focus is basically on the resume. So a short and formal cover letter, which has been carefully proofread, is the best option. The cover letter can start with a clear mention of the job that you are seeking, followed by a succinct summary of your educational qualifications, experience and achievements.
In case, you have a mutual contact with the person to whom you are applying for the new job, it is a good idea to begin the cover letter with a mention of the mutual contact. This kind of strategy will ensure that your application gets a bit of extra attention. Your cover letter should make you stand out as being professional, but you should avoid being too formal. Today we live in a democratic and liberal world, so people generally avoid using language that is too flowery and formal.
You have to assume that the people too whom you are applying for job will be quite busy. In order to avoid wasting their time, you have to keep the cover letter and rest of the application as brief as possible. Use words sparingly, cut out flowery prose, and avoid long, meandering sentences. Needless jargon has to be avoided. You have to pay special attention to names, genders, etc. It can be quite embarrassing, if you end up spelling Mr. Kapoor, as Ms Kapoor.
Create compelling resume
On the web you will find lot of websites that offer tips on ways of creating the kind of resume that can get you the job. Majority of the jobs that you come across will request you to send a resume. While you don’t need to reinvent the wheel while creating a resume, you have to be a bit creative. So you can use the web-based tools to create a resume that will stand out. You have to be careful about choosing the right font and colour.
It is important that your resume should not sound clichéd. You don’t want to sound like every other job applicant. So it is advisable to avoid overused terms like motivated, innovative, dynamic, etc. Then there are certain phrases that everyone tends to use in their resume – e.g. detail oriented, team player, excellent communication skills. Avoid these. Terms like “references available upon request” are implied statements, waste space, and do not need to be on your resume. Terms like “think out of the box” have become so common that they tend to bore the hiring managers. Just forget the box and start thinking.
For getting a job, your experience counts as much as your educational qualification. Even if you are a fresher applying for your first job, you can cite the experiences that you have had as an intern or while participating in extra-curricular activities. You have to learn to spin your past experiences in such a way that they start seeming relevant to the job that you are applying for. If your current job is much different from the one you want, think about anything and everything you’ve done at your current job that’s out of the ordinary.
It is not a good idea to swamp people with emails. You should be writing only when you have something important to say. The subject line in email is of great importance. You should choose a subject line that fully encapsulates what your email is all about. Also, you should avoid sending one word emails like “Thanks.” If you want to thank anyone in your professional sphere, it is better to compose a precisely articulated email.
It is possible that the email that you have received has also been marked to few more people. But you should not hit the “Reply All” button unless you are sure that the information that you are giving out is relevant for everyone.
If you are leaving a current job for joining a new job, it is important that you should not burn all bridges with your current company. You want to leave your current company on good terms. You never know when you may encounter a colleague again or need to call that company for information or a favour. Burning bridges is something that you would rather avoid.