Writing your way to a summer job

Tuesday, May 22, 2012    

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WITH summer fast approaching, there is the inherent need to become closer to independence in the form of securing a summer job. For various reasons, each year one ventures out equipped with their cover letter and résumé, hoping to attract the attention of a prospective employer.

However, before one even makes it through the door, they are crippled by critical mistakes in these documents and are left on the receiving end of a decline letter.

With this in mind, TEENage will, for the next two weeks, be helping you along the journey of writing impressive cover letters and résumés and how to dress the part.

This week, we'll be focusing on tips for writing a stellar cover letter and résumé. The cover letter is a short inside view of your personality and work ethic with the résumé embellishing the claims made. The first critical tip is that there must be consistency between the documents to reduce confusion or doubt in the employer's mind.

From a structural point of view, one should write these documents with the clear understanding that they are in competition with others for the same position. With this in mind, your cover letter should be concise and convincing and be written in a tone of confidence.

This is achieved by stating the general and specific qualities that make you the best person for the job and playing up any extra skills that you believe gives you a competitive edge.

Ensure that your cover letter is properly addressed and, where possible, show initiative by ascertaining the name of the Human Resources Manager for the specific organisation you are seeking employment. With special attention placed on grammar and diction, ensure that the letter reads well and allows for a quick grasp of who you are as a person.

Most importantly, be honest. Integrity is the best asset one can bring to the table as a prospective employee.

Your résumé should include any charities or organisations you are currently, or have been, a part of. This gives a strong indication of your ability to work with others, go above and beyond the call of duty and, more importantly, it gives insight about your work ethic.

Also, be sure to exclude any failures from your resume, but if asked in the interview, be honest and emphasise the fact that you have turned these weaknesses into strengths.

From an aesthetic perspective, the use of white paper and a clear format is strongly advised, even though you are trying to stand out. This will be done by creating a clear platform for emphasising your good traits.

TEENage would like to encourage you to live up to the expectations created by your cover letter and résumé. Do not make any outlandish claims that if later tested will become a crack in your wall of integrity. Ensure that the speech is clear and affirmative with the intention of leaving no doubt in the employer's mind that you are the best person for the job.

Do not allow your social media networks to paint a negative image of you, resulting in instant disinterest in what you have to offer.

Finally, TEENage would like to wish you all the best in your job pursuits and remind you to be proactive, professional and prompt.



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