Re: getting that first job

Subject: Re: getting that first job
From: Tracy Boyington <trlyboyi -at- GENESIS -dot- ODVTE -dot- STATE -dot- OK -dot- US>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 1996 13:38:29 +0000

Karen Otto wrote:
> Your cover letter is the first document your user sees. You have to
> get their attention first. Think about this document as a sort of
> marketing document. It needs to be short and to the point. It also
> needs to make them want to read more (that is, your resume).

> How do you get their attention? Think about their ad. Right there,
> they say what is most important to them. Make a cover letter that
> answers those issues.

Unfortunately, many people have no idea just how important this
is. We just finished the long and painful task of hiring somebody,
and one of the longest and most painful parts was going through the
resumes. At least half of the applicants had absolutely no relevant
education or experience. Or if they did, we couldn't tell, because it
wasn't on the resume or cover letter.

For example... the position is an instructional development specialist.
One applicant had a year of post-college experience in something
entirely unrelated... let's say fashion design (trust me, it was very
unrelated). So far as I could tell, that was the only job this person
ever had. And on the resume, the career objective was to find a position
in fashion design. So why on earth would you apply for our job? This
person might have had tons of experience that was actually related,
but was simply too lazy/naive/ignorant to tailor the resume to the

And on the other end of the spectrum -- people who put everything
they've ever done on a resume. Chances are I'm not interested in the
fact that you were a lifeguard during the summer of 1964.

I'm afraid this won't help our unemployed Tarheel, because
she seems to get interviews but not offers. But I wanted to get it
off my chest anyway. Thanks, I feel better now. :-)


Tracy Boyington trlyboyi -at- genesis -dot- odvte -dot- state -dot- ok -dot- us
Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

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