Archive for the ‘Business Correspondence’ Category

Top Ten Rules for Effective Netiquette

by Laura Merrill, Manager of Cooperative Education

Emailing friends and strangers can be a fast and loose way to keep in touch, but when you use email on the job—or to find a job– you need to follow the rules of the road. Email etiquette, otherwise known as “netiquette,” adds professionalism and impact to your messaging, without sacrificing speed and efficiency. Here are 10 guidelines to remember when keystroking for your employer.

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Electronic Marketing: Using E-Resumes and E-Cover Letters

By Eileen Davis, Director of Career Counseling

Just as you can’t conduct a thorough job search without using electronic tools such as e-mail, job boards, and company web sites, you won’t be fully prepared for the search without text versions of your resume and cover letter. You’ll still need a nicely formatted “print” version of your resume for career fairs, interviews, and other face-to-face meetings. But the formatting that makes printed resumes eye-appealing can be an obstacle to the 80% of employers who place resumes into searchable databases. In addition, some employers won’t open e-mail attachments because of concerns about computer viruses. To make sure your documents can be “read” electronically in databases, job-boards, and e-mail, create text (or ASCII) versions of both your resume and cover letter.  

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Minding Your Pleases and Thank Yous, Part I

by Laura Merrill, Manager of Cooperative Education

While we were all taught to say please and thank you as little children, many of us have forgotten these very important social graces in adulthood, especially when it comes to the job search. But effectively remembering both of these sentiments is vital to landing the job.

Killer Cover Letters
Everyone knows the importance of a good resume, but are you aware of how vital the cover letter is? Your resume can be somewhat cold—kind of like a product brochure. But a cover letter lets you personalize your resume and highlight the skills you would bring to the job for which you’re applying. Also, the cover letter—like your resume—should be customized for each job opportunity. There are a variety of cover letter formats to keep in mind, including invited, uninvited or cold-contact, referral, and job match cover letters. You can read more about these online at http://www.deed.state.mn.us/cjs/letters.htm.

There are several components of a cover letter that you should keep in mind. Whenever possible, address your cover letter to a specific person. If you’re responding to a newspaper ad and this information isn’t provided, address the letter to the appropriate hiring manager using generic terms like “Office Manager” or “Director of Marketing and Public Relations.” Never use the salutation “To Whom It May Concern.”

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Minding Your Pleases and Thank Yous, Part II

by Laura Merrill, Manager of Cooperative Education

A Note of Thanks
Now this is a dying art form. While many polls conducted by vault.com indicate employers prefer and are impressed by applicants who thank them after an interview (or social meeting or golf outing), many applicants don’t bother sending them. If you want to have an edge over your competition, don’t be that applicant!

Let me tell you why you should write a thank-you note: Your potential employer will be glad you did. But there’s more to it than that. What if you screw up on part of your interview? No problem. Write a thank-you letter that reinvents you on the point of contention. For example, if you’re interviewer was concerned that you did a lot of job hopping, let them know in your thank-you letter that you’ve kept in touch with previous employers and are still on good terms with them.

Why else? You can prove to your potential boss that you were paying attention in the interview by highlighting things they indicated were most important in this job. You can make the first impression a lasting one. Finally, with a crisp, well-written thank-you note sent within 24 hours of your interview, you can show the employer you are both gracious and professional.

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