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Career Uncategorized

10 Small Business Ideas for College Students

August 27, 2020

Life in college may seem difficult as it demands your time and energy. However, college students can take advantage of some small business ideas that will provide additional income. This article will enlighten you about the small businesses that you can take up while in college.

1.    YouTube videos

Creating YouTube videos is a great business idea for any college student. On your free periods, you can record videos, edit them, and upload them on YouTube. This does not affect your academics once you have regular schedules you keep.

2.    Blogging

Blogging proves to be a great business opportunity for students in college. By creating a blog page and posting consistently, you get to attract more audience and traffic and, in turn, earn money.

3.    Social media influencing

You can set up social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, and grow the number of followers you have. With a very high number of followers, you can become a social media influencer and get paid by posting for brands or companies who want publicity.

4.    Photography

With a decent and portable DSLR camera, you can earn a lot in college. On weekends or during free hours, you can take shots at events and earn your money.

5.    Virtual assistance

Offering services to individuals or companies as a virtual assistant is a great business idea in college. You can assist brands to manage their emails or even to handle their social media accounts. You can also work as a virtual secretary by picking up calls and attending to prompt activities of the company.

6.    Tutoring

As an excellent student in college, you can take up tutoring other students on topics they need help with. You get paid in return for this as you help them pass their courses.

7.    Graphic designing

If you have any design skills, be sure you put them to use. By designing graphic contents, logos, banners, and the likes of fellow students or other clients, you develop ways to bring in extra cash.

8.   Business Startup

Most businesses out there conceived their ideas right from college. If you are looking to start up a business that will eventually be acquired by a bigger company like Google, Microsoft, or Facebook, having secure data rooms can help you out to estimate your intellectual property during M&A.

9.    Delivery services

A professor may need you to deliver his laundry to a dry cleaner while some other students may require food delivery within the campus or in the city. This business does not require much for you to start.

10. Freelance writing

You may not be interested in creating a blog page. As a freelance writer, you can offer writing services to students for their publications, projects, or assignments while you get paid for it.

Conclusion

These small business ideas will help you cater to your finances as a college student. As you start any of these businesses, you may be able to raise your tuition fees and even have extra cash for your savings. A fantastic thing about these ideas is that they do not in any way affect your academics and extracurricular activities in college.

Author’s Bio: Lori Wade is a writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from business to entrepreneurship and new technologies. If you are interested in M&A or virtual data room industry, you can find her on Twitter & LinkedIn or find her on other social media. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!

Career

6 Tips to Look Confident in a Remote Interview

August 12, 2020

Making a strong first impression can be the key to a successful interview, but it can be tricky when the interview happens remotely. Speaking to a camera instead of a real person can be awkward and if you don’t make an effort to project confidence, your interviewer might not get an accurate sense of who you are as a person and what you bring to the table as a potential employee.

Confidence is all in the presentation. Follow these tips to help look confident in your next remote interview:

1. Prep the Space Ahead of Time

When conducting an interview, you have to think about the image you present. In a remote interview, that image extends to the space around you, so be smart when choosing the location for your interview. Set up your webcam and microphone ahead of time so you can make sure everything is clearly visible and audible. Double-check the background from your interviewer’s perspective to be sure it is free from clutter and potential distractions.

2. Choose Your Outfit Wisely

The outfit you choose can be a reflection of your personality but, unfortunately, some things simply don’t translate well on video. Choose something simple but professional that fits well and makes you feel good. Try on the outfit the day before to make sure it’s clean and set it out so you’re ready to go on the day of your interview. Avoid the temptation to only dress from the waist up – you’ll regret it if you have to get up during the interview.

3. Mind Your Posture and Body Language

Strong body language communicates confidence, so be mindful of the image you’re presenting. Position your chair so your head and body fills the majority of the video screen and sit upright with your chest and chin up, your shoulders back. Keep your arms relaxed at your sides, not crossed in front of you, and do your best not to fidget. 

4. Make Eye Contact with the Camera

Making eye contact with your interviewer creates a connection and projects confidence on your part. In a remote interview, you won’t be able to look your interviewer directly in the eye, but you can create the illusion of eye contact by looking into the webcam. Place the camera directly above the center of your monitor and put a sticky note below it to remind you where to focus your attention.

5. Speak Slowly and Clearly

When communicating via webcam, you may need to speak more slowly than you would in person to make sure you’re coming through clearly. If you mumble, your interviewer may have to ask you to repeat yourself. Silence from the other end of the connection can be frazzling but don’t be afraid to ask for a moment to think if you need to before responding. If you struggle with performance anxiety, consider talking to your doctor about stress medications to help manage the physical symptoms.

6. Stay Focused and Don’t Ramble

It’s easy to get distracted when interviewing from home, but it’s important to stay focused and to project both energy and confidence. Smile or keep a neutral expression on your face, nodding when appropriate to show you’re paying attention. Keep your answers concise and try to avoid rambling.

It is perfectly natural to feel nervous during an interview, but if you let your anxiety take the reigns your interviewer may not get an accurate impression of you and your abilities. The stakes can be even higher in a remote interview, so follow these tips to take control. Make sure your confidence, personality, and qualifications shine through, so you become an applicant to remember. 

Career Uncategorized

Dorm Room to Board Room: Tips for Starting Your Own Business Post-Grad

June 23, 2020

How many stories have we heard about the success of dorm room startups that gained enough investors to grow and become industry giants? SnapChat, ModCloth, Reddit, and Facebook were all once a college student’s idea that eventually became national brands and widely-successful organizations.

Although it takes a great idea, constant networking, and a lot of hard work, the next story could be about your own business idea. Here are some tips on how you can take your business from the dorm room to the board room and find entrepreneurial success post-graduation.

Establish good finances

No matter how good your idea is, you’ll need money to hire employees, pay for production and marketing, and lease an office space. As a college student, you likely don’t have many financial resources to invest in the company yourself. However, you can rely on family and friend contributions, private investors, or SBA loans to gain starting capital that you will eventually payback. If you make regular payments to these lenders, you’ll build good credit and position your business for success. Just be sure you’re managing and organizing these new finances, so you don’t run into trouble. Consider using an online small business bank so you can access your money and track your business expenses no matter where you are, and hire an accountant to ensure you’re doing everything by the book. Proactivity with your business’s money will help you establish a secure enough financial position to grow your business into a powerful brand.

Learn to market

It’s not enough to have a good offering if you can’t interest customers in it. Work to finetune your marketing skills to engage your audience, and bring in business. If you weren’t a business or advertising major, consider taking an online marketing course to learn how to effectively leverage all avenues of your marketing– including social media, ads, and organic search. Then, put it into practice! Build out your organization’s digital footprint and brand recognition by writing content, publishing advertisements, and spreading the word to potential customers. This will not only result in increased sales but also stronger brand recognition and long-term success.

Network, network, network

Networking isn’t just important for securing a job or internship after college, it can also make or break your business. Oftentimes, who you know is one of the most impactful contributions you can bring to your organization as a business owner. Fortunately, you likely have exposure to many powerful people within your university network, whether it’s professors, the board, alumni, or even the students. Reach out to those on and off your campus for a brainstorming meeting, a marketing focus group, or an investing pitch to grow your network and develop interest in your organization.

Find a mentor

Similar to networking, it’s critical that you find a mentor as a post-grad business owner. Even if you have a million-dollar idea, as an inexperienced businessperson, you need access to established knowledge in the entrepreneurial world to guide your decisions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to business owners who inspire you either by email, phone or LinkedIn. Ask for advice on the market or niche you’re interested in, or how they decided to structure their business. This can open a dialogue that’s mutually beneficial, providing them with fresh perspectives, and you with hard-earned industry wisdom. 

It’s critical that you take these proactive steps to ensure the success of your organization. However, when starting your own business after graduation, it’s also important to enjoy the moment. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and excitement, but remember to take time to reflect on your progress and stay excited about the future of your business as you move beyond college.

Career Uncategorized

Considering Freelance: What Recent Grads Should Know

June 17, 2020

How healthy is freelancing in the US?

Freelancing is an area of the economy that is growing steadily year over year. According to the Freelancing in America Study for 2019 that was conducted by Edelman Intelligence for Upwork, there are more than 57 million Americans freelancing. This is over a third of the US workforce, up from 53 million just 6 years ago. The value of freelance work is almost a trillion US dollars, some 5% of GDP.

Of those that said they have undertaken freelance work, 28% consider themselves as full time freelancers up from 17% back in 2014. The most likely group to freelance are those in the younger age brackets, with 53% of 18-22 year olds doing freelance work and 40% of millennials.

So if you are about to graduate, should you be looking for a traditional and comfortable “job” or should you be looking to enter the freelancing market?

What should you be asking yourself before you freelance?

Recent graduates should not simply leap into freelancing, after all there are some real benefits to working with a company, such as health care and pensions. So what else should you be asking:

  • What are your long term career goals? If your long term goal is to one day be the CEO of a company, freelancing may not offer you the career progression you may need.
  • What are you looking to earn? Freelancers on average earn more per hour than non-freelancers, even for non-skilled workers. However, finding very high paying freelance gigs may be a little harder.
  • What is motivating you to work as a freelancer? Many freelancers take this style of work for the flexibility that it offers. So you need to consider your reasons with care.

What can freelancers earn?

Whether you are working in mobile website development or walking dogs, the salaries that you can earn through freelancing are often higher. The median salary for unskilled workers that freelance is $20 per hour, higher than the US median salary of $18.80. While for skilled freelancers the median is $28 an hour which is better than 70% of the workforce.

So what can you earn as a freelance mobile website designer or within another role? The following are few figures for expected web development salary and what you can aspire to earn within other areas of the freelance economy from The Balance:

  • Web development: $45 per hour
  • IT and programing: $49 per hour
  • Mobile developer: $50 per hour
  • ERP and CRM software developer: $60 per hour
  • Marketing and sales: $44 per hour
  • Design and product development: $45 per hour

What do you really need to know about freelancing before you start?

Before you jump straight out to earn your freelance developer salary there are a few areas that you need to consider before you get started:

  • Networking: most freelancers do not get their clients from online marketplaces. After previous clients, most freelancers working today get work through networking with friends and family which accounts for 38%, while others rely on professional contacts, 37%.
  • Building a portfolio: showing what you are capable of is vital no matter what area you are going to work within. Clients will want to know that you are going to be able to deliver what they are looking for.
  • Handling multiple projects: as a freelancer you will often find yourself in a situation where you will need to juggle multiple clients and projects. So learning soft skills such as time management and communication are vital to your future earning potential.

Is Freelancing right for you?

If you are looking for work with a huge amount of flexibility and the ability to pick and choose what projects you will work on, then freelancing could be for you. It offers an excellent salary no matter where your skills lay. However, it is not an area in which you will be able to relax and just expect work to come to you. You need to work hard on filling your pipeline to ensure a constant supply of work.

Career Uncategorized

5 Must-Know Resume Tips for College Students

June 17, 2020

For those in college or recently graduated, landing that first job can be a daunting experience. Many may be discouraged by their lack of experience, while others worry about problems in their academic record. If your greatest selling point is your education, how can you compete with other applicants?

Here are five must-know resume tips for college students and recent graduates about to enter the job market. 

1. Lead with education.

As you move up in your career, the work experience section of your resume will become more important and should be placed at the top. At this stage in your life, your educational experiences are your greatest strength. By placing them at the top, you can help make up for your limited work experience.

Keep in mind a few things though. Consider leaving out your GPA if it’s below 3.4. It’s not a requirement to include it. Also, because you are a college student with limited work experience, consider including more than just the name of your college and graduation date. Things like relevant coursework, group projects, and even clubs and organizations should all be considered.    

2. Include relevant experience instead of work experience.

Work does not necessarily have to be paid in order to have value. With this in mind, don’t think just because you have no paid work experience that this means there’s nothing for you to mention on your resume. The trick here is to think of the work experience section more as a practical experience section. 

This can involve much more than unpaid internships. Volunteer work can also be included to show the skills and experience you’ve accumulated. Think of opportunities where you had to take on important responsibilities. Were you an officer in those student organizations you joined? What projects did you work on? What events did you help facilitate? 

3. Write a custom cover letter for each job.

As important as resumes are, they alone will not get you an interview offer. Resumes work best when coupled with a cover letter customized to each job you apply for. While it may not seem worth the effort after spending so much time on your resume, one study by a nation-wide resume company, ResumeGo, illustrates that not including a cover letter can be a big mistake.

The results of that study found that applicants with cover letters carefully tailored to each job yielded just over 50% more interviews than those without. Interestingly, applications with generic, cookie-cutter cover letters fared only slightly better than applications with no cover letter. 

4. Take advantage of resume builders

The rookie mistake college students make is starting their resume writing process off with a blank Word document. Instead, there are resume builders online such as Kickresume and Resume Genius that can really make writing your resume a lot easier while also providing various prebuilt resume templates to work with and pick from.

5. Take advantage of your career counselors.

The career center exists…please, take advantage of what they have to offer! Career counselors are specially trained to help college students strengthen their resumes and prepare them for career success. 

Even if you might not have a strong connection with your assigned counselor, they will likely provide a far more extensive critique of your resume and job documents than any average Joe Smoe online or resume service. While getting advice online isn’t always the worst idea, know that as a student, you have access to far more reliable resources – so use them!

Even though the job application process can be intimidating, having a good resume is always the solid first step! These tips are sure to get your resume to stand out among the pack.

Student Life Uncategorized

The Best Jobs to Have While You’re in College

May 12, 2020

College is an exciting time of learning, growing, and experiencing your first taste of the “real world”. Unfortunately, a four-year public college can cost over $28,000 each year and a private institution averages over $32,000 a year. 

So, while your studies should be your top priority while you’re in school, it’s not uncommon for many college students to look for some type of employment to start paying off student loan debt, to open a savings account, or just to have some spending money and freedom. 

It’s been reported that about 40% of undergraduates work at least 30 hours a week while in college. That can burn you out quickly if you’re not careful. So, what are some of the best jobs for students, and how can you start preparing now for your future career? 

Finding a Part-Time Job

There are plenty of part-time job opportunities that won’t force you to take too much time away from your studies. Some of the highest-paying jobs are actually more “gig-based” like nannying/babysitting, dog walking, or tutoring. You can choose to take on these jobs as it works for your schedule, which means you won’t have to miss something important in school in order to work. 

If you want a more structured, hourly position that ensures a certain amount of pay each week, some of the best options for college students include the following: 

  • Bank teller
  • Barista
  • Cashier
  • Bookkeeper
  • Warehouse worker
  • Medical receptionist

There are even some temporary job opportunities if you’re having a slow semester or you need some extra cash. The U.S. Postal Service, for example, hires “casual workers” twice a year for 90 days during peak mail periods. 

Use different resources for finding a job including LinkedIn, your local newspapers, and job sites like Monster.com. You might think there aren’t any active part-time opportunities available, but they’re out there if you’re diligent in your search! You can even check out flyers or advertisements posted around campus for companies that might be hiring and looking specifically for college students. 

Starting Your Own Business

Do you want to bring in some money but you don’t want to work for someone else? College can be a great time to start your own business. Many college students who have skills in things like graphic design or writing take on freelance jobs. It’s a great way to make money on a per-gig basis, and it can also help to boost your resume and build your career while you’re still in school if you provide consistent work to reputable clients. 

The more you network and build your client base, the easier it will be for you to grow your business. You can even start a service-based business in your collegiate town, such as a cleaning company, a pet-sitting business, or landscaping. 

If you get enough regular clients, that can lead to positive marketing opportunities and people sharing strong reviews. When you graduate, you’ll already have established a strong business, and you may be able to expand it to different locations. 

Kickstarting Your Career

Most people go to college to learn more about the career path they have chosen, but there’s no rule that says you can’t kickstart that career in college. If you know what your passion is, you can make the transition to life after college easier on yourself by having a career-focused mind now. 

One great way to do that is to sign up for an internship. Internships allow you to work for whatever industry you’re interested in and get hands-on, real-world experience that you simply can’t get in a classroom. For example, if you want to go into the marketing field or work in developing content marketing strategies for companies, interning at a content marketing agency can help you to hone in on skills like social media, analytics/data, personalized content, and design, which you can use to boost your resume and land a job faster after you graduate. 

Internships are also a great way to make connections and network with people already in the business world. College grads often make the mistake of presenting themselves only online when they’re looking for jobs instead of going out into the world and networking with people. While searching for jobs online has its place, there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction for someone to think positively of you and to connect you with the right people. 

If you’re knee-deep in your studies but you also want to start making money, you have several options depending on how much you want to work. Whether you decide to be your own boss, work a part-time job, or intern somewhere that may clear a path for a brighter future, making money while you’re still in college can end up saving you a lot of extra financial stress once you graduate.

Career Uncategorized

4 Modern HR Tools Recruiters Are Using That Every Applicant Should Know About

April 10, 2020

As you begin your career search, preparing your resume, preparing for interviews, and choosing your professional attire will likely be the most important things on your mind. However, with new technology emerging in the human resources industry, a new set of requirements and preparations could arise for job applicants. Being prepared for what these changes may mean for you could help you land the job you want.

Here are five of the modern HR tools that recruiters are using nowadays that every applicant should know: 

Social Media

Social media is becoming a popular means of recruitment for companies of all sizes. There are a variety of ways in which a recruiter can benefit from using social media, such as:

  • Advertising open positions
  • Sourcing candidates
  • Highlighting company culture
  • Screening candidates 

You must use caution when posting online. Not only are companies looking to see what you are talking about or what you may be like, but they are often looking for any red flags that may stick out on your social profiles. A company could end up deciding not to hire a candidate solely based on something they found online

Talent Management Software

When considering the large number of applications that employers usually receive for any given position, they need to have a central processing system that can handle large sets of data. 

By using talent management software to process candidates appropriately, candidates are kept up to date with any hiring decisions as they’re made. This software also provides applicants with an easily accessible hub for gathering information and completing files in the hiring process. Once an applicant is hired, this software can be used for the entirety of the onboarding process and even throughout their tenure at the company. 

Resume Screening Tools

A resume screening tool automatically processes your resume to see if it is a potential match for the job description based on keywords the employer has chosen to screen for. Applicants with the best matches are then put into a smaller pool to be reviewed by the recruiter. Resumes that do not match the criteria, whether they are a fit or not, usually do not receive a second look. 

For employers, this can help limit the often-large selection of applications they receive, but for qualified candidates, it could cause them to miss out on seemingly perfect opportunities. Because of this, it’s important to tailor your resume for each position

Automated Background and Reference Checks

As automation technology continues to advance, more companies are finding ways to use it to increase efficiency across their business. In recruitment, this can be especially beneficial for running background checks and contacting references.  

Businesses can use this technology to automatically scan any registered databases and verified systems to see if your name appears alongside anything worrisome, such as criminal records or false social security numbers. 

For your references, automation ensures a smooth communicative process so the business can send them pre-populated questions they can answer and send back quickly. This can help prevent candidates from being held up in this portion of the hiring process. 

Video Conferencing for Interviews

In the modern world, work situations are becoming unique to each employee. With the introduction of video conferencing tools for interviewing purposes, more applicants can apply to positions of interest to them, no matter their location. 

This can be extremely beneficial for you as an applicant if you live in a different location than the position you are applying for and are looking to relocate or work remotely.

Because technology in recruiting has increased significantly over time, you must consider how prospective employers will view your application and interview. Enlist the help of professionals to ensure your application has the potential to stand out at the top of any employer’s list.

Health Uncategorized

The Doctor is Out: Non-Medical Career Paths in Healthcare

March 9, 2020

Maybe you’ve always thought about a career in medicine, but blood isn’t really your thing. Or maybe you’ve actually embarked on a career as a healthcare provider, but the road is long, and you’ve got to make ends meet while you chase your dreams. The good news is you have a lot of options for pursuing a career in the healthcare industry outside of the practice of medicine itself.

Think About What You Want

As you explore your options in the healthcare industry, you’ll want to consider not only what kind of work you want to do, but also what you need from your job. Before you accept a job, you need to ensure they offer a benefits package that serves you today as well as tomorrow, especially if you’re considering staying for the long haul. Ensuring that your prospective employers offer benefits, such as retirement and medical, dental, and vision insurance, can help protect you now and well into the future.

The Good Enough Job

If you’re not yet ready to settle into your forever job, you can still find great ways to make a solid living while you work toward your ultimate career goals. For example, if you’re a medical student looking to earn some income and garner some experience in the healthcare industry, there are a lot of great sites you can turn to. Major job boards like Indeed and Monster can help you tailor your job search to your particular requirements, while other sites like College Recruiter are dedicated specifically to helping undergraduate and graduate students connect with prospective employers.

Turning a Job into a Career

If you’re ready to start your career now instead of waiting on that advanced degree or those years of clinical training, you don’t have to abandon the healthcare industry to do it. There are endless options for stable, well-paying, and richly rewarding jobs in the healthcare industry. For instance, if computers, as well as healthcare, are at the top of your interests, then why not combine them by pursuing a career in Big Data and healthcare AI?

Or you may want to be a bit more hands-on while sparing yourself the rigors of med school. Studies show that careers in home health are among the most in-demand and fastest-growing in the US. Or, if you’re ready to commit yourself to a bit more time in school, you can build an exciting and very lucrative career with a Masters’s degree in health law and policy!

The Takeaway

Even if you feel a career in medicine isn’t for you, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your interest in the healthcare field. Whether you’re looking for a temporary job in the industry to make ends meet while you cultivate vital professional experience, or you’re hoping to launch your professional career, your options are virtually endless. The healthcare industry has something in it for just about everyone, from health AI and Big Data to home healthcare to health law. So do a little exploring to find the career path that’s tailor-made for you!

Career Uncategorized

Choosing a Profession After College

November 21, 2019

Despite the fact that you envisioned graduating from college and immediately finding the perfect career to bring you financial and personal success, perhaps the search for the job of your dreams isn’t going as well as you’d hoped. Rather than get discouraged, try a few strategies to uncover what your major makes you suitable for, what will challenge you and what might truly make you happy.

Conduct Interviews

Although you may have expected to be the one answering questions on job interviews after college, conduct some research yourself before choosing a profession to pursue. Consider various ways to network to hear about different opportunities and meet the actual employees who perform those duties. Ask if you can shadow staff members on the job or at least take the time to inquire about their tasks on a typical day, what the company culture is like, who they report to, what the biggest challenges and rewards are and if there are many opportunities for advancement, for example. The answers to your questions may be the tipping point on whether you’d care to follow up or not.

Follow a Passion

If you have an interest that you love researching or a hobby that you love participating in, consider ways you might be able to turn it into a career. If you don’t feel that you’d be able to find a financially-viable position in a field that you’d love, talk to a counselor from your school to see if there are any related jobs you may have overlooked. If you like decorating your home, for instance, you might enjoy working as a set decorator, retail store manager or a design coordinator. An interest in criminal justice, for example, might lead to court reporting Seattle, forensic science or background screening.

Experiment

When you’re unsure about committing to a career or obtaining the additional education to qualify you for a new job, consider the different types of apprenticeships that will enable you to work in an industry to see how much you enjoy it. In addition to gauging your interest level, the training will give you the added benefits of earning a salary, providing work experience, pairing you with a mentor and developing your skills should you decide to go into that field.

Take a Gap Year

Despite the fact that a “gap year” typically refers to taking time off between high school and college, you can also use the break after graduation to clear your head. Pass the time wisely by traveling, trying out a variety of part-time jobs, volunteering for various organizations or spending time with friends and family who work in different industries to give you some possible job ideas for the future. The time off may help you feel refreshed and instill you with a new sense of purpose and direction.

Don’t be alarmed if you’ve graduated from college and still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. Take the months after graduation to continue growing into the person you want to become and discover the career to bring you fulfillment and contentment.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

Career Uncategorized

8 Tips for Writing an Engaging Cover Letter

November 14, 2019

The average recruiter spends about 7 seconds looking at a resume. With such a time constraint, you might be tempted to leave out the cover letter altogether when applying for jobs. But before you do that, know that your cover letter is what helps recruiters see you as an actual person. And not just another faceless name in a pile of generic applications. 

That being said, writing cover letters can be daunting for even the best of us. So, to get you started, here are a few tips to help you write an engaging cover letter that draws in recruiters and gets you the coveted first interview

1. Know Who You’re Writing To

Cover letters that read like conversational letters are more likely to appeal to recruiters and hiring managers on a personal level. So make sure to directly address the person on the job ad in your cover letter. 

If a name isn’t mentioned, search for the HR or relevant department personnel’s profiles on LinkedIn or Twitter, and address the letter to them.  HR Departments in some companies can even tell you about the right person if you call in. However, when in doubt, writing ‘Dear HR Manager’ is always a safe option. 

2. Be Original from The Start

Avoid starting with something as generic, obvious and space-wasting as: ‘I am writing this letter in response to your ABC advertisement for XYZ position’. Instead, summarize who you are (and no, that doesn’t include mentioning your name) and why you would be the best fit for the position in the first 2 lines. For instance, it can start something like this: “As a fashion enthusiast graduating with a high CGPA in the field, I was excited to see your advertisement for Junior Designer”.    

3. Use Keywords as Clues

Job advertisements are quite descriptive and can be used to your advantage when writing the follow-up to your stellar introduction. Use the keywords in the job description to write a personalized and relevant description of your skills and experience. This helps the HR manager see that you’re a good fit, and also makes the main body easier to write and organize. 

4. Be Precise, Simple, and Consistent

Avoid going past the one-page limit. While it may seem too short, this will help freshen and streamline your cover letter, and keep it from becoming a repetition of your resume. Also, while it’s good to insert a few field-related terms, avoid peppering the letter with technical jargon. This will only confuse the HR personnel who reads it, hence leaving a bad impression.   

5. Be Skill Savvy

As a fresh graduate, you may not have enough work experience to base an entire cover letter around it. Instead, select 2-4 of your skills that are most relevant to the position. Then explain each in 2-3 sentences with an example from school, your previous internship, or volunteer work. This will keep your cover letter fresh, and distinctly different from your resume.  

6. What Can YOU Do for The Company?

Companies. don’t want to know how much you admire them. What they do want to know is how your particular skills can contribute towards their organization. Devote a major part of your letter to explaining how you can improve their current processes, and what challenges you can help them overcome. This is where your research skills will come in handy. 

Use the organization’s online presence to your advantage by exploring the company’s website, along with looking up journals, articles, and websites relevant to the company. This will help you understand what the company, particularly your intended department, needs and any potential problems you might be able to solve. 

7. Be Confident

A cover letter’s main purpose is to convince recruiters that you are a good fit for the company and department. This means replacing words like ‘feel’ and ‘believe’ with more assertive terms to communicate your confidence in your skills and experience. 

8. Have A CTA

Conclude your cover letter on a positive note by thanking the reader, and politely encouraging them to contact you for an interview. Exhibit your enthusiasm and keenness on getting to meet and discuss with them in person. If it’s a speculative application, consider adding a follow-up statement to let them know when you’ll call back to confirm receipt of your application. 

Writing cover letters gets easier with practice. Use the above tips, your personal experience, and judgment to write an engaging cover letter that is sure to catch the recruiters’ eyes. 

BIO: Amanda Jerelyn is a recruitment specialist and an authority on hiring management who is currently working as an Academic Advisor at King Essay. She is also a fashion enthusiast who spends her spare time designing leather products for her website premiumjackets.com.