So I have several followers who are working on applying to jobs right now, and by far the most common concern is “what even is a cover letter??” Now, while this post is funny and accurate, it’s not super helpful if you’re looking for specifics. So I figured I should show you mine. Now, without further ado, allow me to provide to you:
~*~ The Cover Letter of Destiny ~*~
[Name] [Address Line 1] [Address Line 2, etc] [Phone] [email]
[Right Justified - Date] (This is just standard business letter stuff)
To Whom it May Concern, [Or Mr/Ms. Hiring Person’s name, if you can find it.]
I’m delighted to submit an application for the [Job you’re applying to] position at [Company/Institution/etc]. After reading the job description I’m certain
I would bring a solid combination of [Skill 1], analytical thinking [or whatever Skill 2 is], and communication skills [This is always my Skill 3] to this position. I’m particularly attracted to this position
because I believe it will utilize the skills I have gained through my industry [or research or whatever] experience, and allow me to apply those skills in new areas.
In my role with [Company] as a [Most Relevant Position Here], I managed a
project [to do some stuff - flesh out your most important/relevant job responsibilities here]. I
specifically focused on [a thing that is the most explicitly relevant to the job posting. In fact, I creatively copy/pasted some of the job posting into this sentence, that’s how relevant it is.]. I was also responsible for [A couple of things that maybe were mentioned in the job posting, or at least show increased responsibility over time]. This gave me the
opportunity to collaborate with a variety of different team members [to achieve a goal]. Through
these and other job duties, I have gained excellent listening skills and the
ability to carry out self-directed tasks in the context of a larger team. [i’m not joking. use this phrasing it’s so great just copy it idgaf]
In my current role as a [Current Title] with [Company], I have continued to build strong skills in project management [or whatever] as well as clear oral and written communication. [Maybe this sentence describes the types of communication (or whatever skill) you do.][This sentence describes briefly the less-relevant work you do]. [This sentence ties in your less-relevant job to the job you are seeking]. These experiences have prepared me well to
succeed in a role as [Name of Position you’re applying to].
Thank you for taking the time to review my materials and
consider my application. I am excited at the prospect of applying my skills to
a [Name or category of position] with [Company], and I feel that the knowledge and
skills I have gained through my experience will be a great benefit to the team.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions as I would welcome a chance
to discuss this opportunity more. [After all, they want to hire you after reading this]
[First Name Last Name]
I hope you find this helpful in your job search! Just remember to focus on skills you learned rather than specific experiences or titles you’ve had. Don’t be afraid of inflating it too far, either. There are real useful skills underlying every job task if you look hard & get creative with your phrasing.
Feel free to send me an ask if you want any specific advice on how to spin your education/work history into the job you want, or if you want a proofreader or cheerleader or whatever. Job hunting is a bad game designed by and for a certain type of person. It’s dehumanizing and horrible even at the best of times, so I’m more than happy to help anyone find a way to beat the system. <3 <3
10 Great Questions To Ask Your Interviewer. [Infographic]
Often job interviews can feel like an interrogation, but they’re meant to be a conversation between you and a potential employer. Many job seekers focus so hard answering interview questions that they forget they are there to ask questions, too.
Asking the right questions can offer you an opportunity to find out if this company and the position are a good match for you. It’s a good way to dig into the company culture and the day-to-day responsibilities. Also, asking the right questions is important because the questions you ask can confirm you are a qualified candidate for that position.
Trying to find a job as an autistic can be really hard. The interview process is basically a test of how well we can pass as neurotypical which isn’t always possible. The job search can be demoralizing, discouraging, and depressing. It can be easy to feel that there’s something wrong with you for not being able to get a job or for never making it past an interview.
So, to all the autistics who are job searching right now, you are wonderful. You shouldn’t have to pretend to be something you’re not to get a job. It’s a loss to each company who passes you over because you could be a great employee. While it may take time, a long time, one day you will find a job. One day you will make it past an interview.
Finally, your ability to work does not define you. It is a fallacy of capitalism that leads us to associate our value with our jobs. Whether or not you have a job, you are valid and worthy of love and respect.
First impressions are one of your most powerful assets as a job hunter! No matter your age, your ability to carry yourself and to speak confidently will be admired. Unfortunately, the 15-18 age range is notorious for not being “adult” enough, so it’s very important that you work to set yourself apart.
1. Phone calls: Get comfortable talking to strangers on the phone ASAP. I’ve worked in customer service for eight years (four of which were spent in a call center), a good phone voice can make all the difference. Most potential employers do not respond well to “like” and “um”, many won’t even meet with you if you have “young” phone voice.
2. Correspondence: There’s a lot of correspondence that happens before an actual job interview takes place. Be prompt and courteous in all your correspondence, and always check your emails/texts for grammatical or spelling errors before you send them.
3. Looking older: Is there something quick you can do to make yourself look older? Maybe putting your hair up in a bun, growing a mustache, wearing glasses, etc. If you have a very young looking face like me, wear obvious make up.
4. References: Accumulate an impressive list of professional references. Potential employers always ask for references, but I’ve had several employers only call one of my references. Here are some people who you can ask to be your reference:
Your old teacher
Your old guidance counselor
Your old co-worker
An old camp counselor
Someone who trained you at a job
A family friend who owns a respectable business
5. Arrive early: Arrive significantly early for your interview. I recommend arriving a half hour before your interview, because it will set a nice precedent for your timeliness. If there is a receptionist or people working in the area that you are waiting, be chatty and ask them questions about the job. Offices are gossipy, so the more favorable impressions you make- the better!
6. Follow up: After your interview, wait several hours and send a nice email thanking your potential employer for the opportunity to meet with them. If you don’t hear from them within a week of your interview, reach out with an email asking if there’s anything else they need from you. If you don’t get the job, be courteous in your response to them and say something like “Thank you for the opportunity, I hope you’ll consider me in the future”. If you do that, they will consider you in the future!
Hiii do you know anything I can do to attract a job? I've been applying like crazy but it's a year now and I'm using all the help I could get! Thank you x
Great question and I would be happy to help. A bunch of my friends joke around about me being able to find jobs in a snap. It is one of my “magic” powers.
Before we get to any magic, might I advise a couple of different routes you may not be considering? I always like to take a real world approach before handing out any spells. I am not an old lady by any means, but I have learned a thing or two, and I think I might be able to help. (Whether you like this type of advice is entirely up to you, but take it from me: the job market can be tough to navigate and sometimes it helps hearing this kind of advice from someone who has been down that road.)
1. Have you recently updated/revised your resume and cover letter? Seriously, sometimes people do not hire you based on the content in your cover letter. The wording could be off-putting, it could be too long (or too short), it could be not informative enough. Cultivating your cover letter and resume is like crafting a spell; it needs to be worded correctly, express who you are as an employee in a concise manner, and make you seem as hireable as possible. (You could also put a sigil on your cover letter and resume without anyone ever knowing using invisible ink or printing in white.) . A great website for formatting your cover letter and resume to make it look like THE BOMB DOT COM is CVMKR.
2. Have you applied for every available job, including the ones that you may think you are “above”? Listen, I have a BFA in Photographic Imagery; I didn’t exactly choose the most profitable and available field in the world. I loved every bit of time I spent in college learning about art (and other various topics) and I am incredibly proud of what I accomplished. I am still very passionate about my work, but the fact of the matter is that dream jobs are incredibly hard to come by. There were plenty of times I had to suck up my pride and apply at places I thought I was too good for. That includes fast food chains and restaurants, data entry, and even sales positions for companies I knew were absolute bullshit (the sales companies, not everything else.) It took me years of gaining experience, freelancing, working for next to absolutely nothing, and busting my ass to get to where I am today. So, if you haven’t gone down to McDonald’s or Walmart, you might want to lace up your boots and get to walking. Money is money anyway you slice it, even if it means working at a place you aren’t necessarily are proud of. I know that seems like tough love, but it is true.
My dad once told me, “You only get out of life what you put into it.” I put in hours upon hours of literal blood, sweat, and tears, sleepless nights, going hungry and almost being homeless, paying thousands upon thousands of dollars back to student loans, and I have only JUST gotten what I would consider to be a dream job. I believed in what I was doing every day. I got up even when I didn’t want to. You just have to keep trying, even when things seem grim.
3. There are quite a few spells involving careers and money. I am going to refer you to @urbanspellcraft and @flowing-to-the-ocean’s spells. I trust their work to help you along the way, but just know that magic can only take you so far. In the amount of time you would spend working during an average work day (8+ hours), you need searching and applying for jobs, calling employers for interviews, and going to temp agencies. If not, you won’t find a job. Take it from me, as someone who spent the better part of a decade struggling to find a career and finally–FINALLY–got her dream job. You can do it, you just have to try.
Keep track of where you apply, and to what positions.
If you’re replying to online job postings, take screenshots, save PDFs of the posting (in Chrome, you can do this from the Print dialog by switching the “destination” to “Save as PDF” instead of a printer), do whatever you have to in order to make sure that you know exactly what jobs you applied to and when. Make a damn spreadsheet if you have to.
I know it’s exhausting. Over a period in which I was jobless (save for sporadic freelance work) for about eight months, I was generally sending out several unique applications a day. It adds up and eventually it starts blurring together.
But sometimes larger companies will post multiple job ads for slightly different positions. If they call you back because you might be qualified for one or more of them, you don’t want to be the one sitting there with no idea what applications you sent in or what positions you’d previously indicated you were interested in. You also really don’t want to be the person who asks how the company got your information because you forgot about an email you sent a month earlier. This just makes you look careless, and no matter what the job is, that is not a point in your favor.
Also, “you don’t need to dress up” does not mean you should show up to an interview in a hoodie or t-shirt with visible stains/holes. “Don’t dress up” is interview speak for “dress nicely, but no need for a suit.” Yes, I know that’s stupid, but at least you can be comfortable.
If you’re desperate, try not to show it. I know that can be nearly impossible. However, if you seem to be blurting out whatever answers you think your possible employer wants to hear, they’ll pick up on that.
Know your own value. Know what skills you have. Seriously, you’re awesome, so walk in with as much confidence as you can muster. Even if you don’t have experience in the particular field, you probably are bringing something of value (otherwise, the prospective employer wouldn’t have bothered contacting you).
Things that are valuable in most (probably all) jobs and should be worked into your resume/cover letter somehow:
organizational skills (see above. also, you know how to organize your files so you can keep track of different projects)
people skills (presentation skills especially, but general charisma is also valuable)
writing skills (proofreading, drafting, editing, the whole shebang)
quick learning (you don’t know how to do it, but once someone explains it, you’ve got it)
independent thinking/learning (you don’t quite know how to do it, but five minutes of Googling later, you’ve got it)
independent work ability (you don’t need a supervisor breathing down your neck to get shit done)
collaborative work ability (you can work well with others)
basic computer skills (you know how to use MS Office Suite [everyone should be able to use MS Office imo] and any additional programs required for your field, such as Adobe Illustrator. You know how to send emails and communicate clearly in text. If someone asks you to zip some files or change your default program settings, you can do it easily or figure it out quickly)
Don’t be rude. Confidence is good. Dismissiveness or arrogance, not so much. If your interviewer is younger than you expected or surprises you in some other way, don’t double-take.
Keep up a positive attitude during the interview. If I interview someone and I don’t think they have exactly what I’m looking for, but they had a good attitude, asked thoughtful questions, or otherwise made a positive impression on me, I’ll check with our other departments and HR to see if they might be able to work for us in another capacity. Seriously – people skills are a huge help.
If your interviewer is female, don’t spend the whole interview staring at her chest. Seriously, I shouldn’t even have to say this.
Don’t take rejections personally – sometimes you just aren’t quite right for the position even if you did everything correctly. A rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable as a person.
Don’t base your self-worth on your state of employment. This is also a difficult one, especially in American culture since we put so much weight on the idea that you have to work in order to contribute anything valuable to society. You are more than just your job.
During your job search, remember to take time for yourself and do things you enjoy. Go for a walk. Draw a bit. Read something you like. Play a game for a little while. Pet your cat. Then dive back in.
You are worth it.
(Source: mostly direct experience. My current day job involves [among other things] conducting interviews and assisting with hire/fire decisions.)
So I'm trying to get my first job, and beyond having a stellar resume and cover letter, what can I do to up my chances of getting a follow up interview?
Great question! Here’s some general advice… if you have any specific questions please let me know and I’ll address them!
Resume + Cover Letter
1. Creating a resume. The first step to setting out on a job search is creating the perfect resume! Try to limit your resume to one page that is packed with well worded information about all you have to offer. You may want to create several different resumes that highlight your different skills. For example, I have an IT resume, a teaching resume, and a general resume. Here is a pretty thorough article on creating a resume.
2. Buff up your resume. Now that you’ve created your resume, go over it and exaggerate the fuck out of everything. Nobody is going to stick their neck out for you or going to talk you up. You need to be your own cheerleader. You need to create the most impressive version of yourself on paper as possible. Check it.
3. Keep it clean. First impressions matter! Your resume is going to be your potential employer’s first impression of you. You want that impression to be of someone who is organized, intelligent, and talented. Don’t clutter your resume or make it overly complicated.
4. Cover letter. Not all entry level jobs will require or even ask for a cover letter, but it’s good to have one prepared on the off chance that they do. Think of your cover letter as a teaser to your resume. You don’t want to reiterate it word for word, but you want to spark your potential employer’s interest. Check out this post on constructing the perfect cover letter. Remember- keep it brief, intelligent, and tantalizing.
1. Work on your interviewing skills. Your resume will get you through the door, but your personality is what will eventually win you a job. Extroverts have an easier time turning on the charm, but introverts may have to work harder to gain the same ease of conversation. I would recommend seeing some amateur theater or live music performances in your community. Go to a high school musical, see the college Drama Club’s new play. You want the chance to see different levels of confidence in people. Just by watching the performers you’ll be able to easily see who is comfortable being the center of attention and who is not. Let the mistakes or triumphs you see on stage influence the movements, eye contact, and tone of voice that you will use when addressing potential employers. Also, if you don’t want to actually go out, there are loads of community theater youtube videos.
2. Practice makes perfect. Come up with a list of questions that an employer might ask you, and ready your answers confidently. Have a friend “interview” you and have them rate you based on how you respond. If your friend is too positive about your performance, get another one to interview you. You want honesty, you want critiques! If you have no friends or relatives who are able to help you, record yourself answering questions using a webcam. Luckily, there are lots of posts about job interviews on the internet. This is a good one.
3. Talk yourself up. In the interview, you never want to even imply that there is an aspect of the job that you can’t handle. You don’t want to outright lie, but exaggerate your skill levels knowing that once you get in the door, you’ll be competent enough. Never say “I don’t know that skill” say “I’ve heard a lot about that skill, and I’m interested to learn more”.
4. Ask questions. After the interviewer has asked you all their questions about the prospective job, make sure to ask them several questions in return. The more, the better. Really, truly, honestly. Ask them so many goddamn questions that they feel like they’re being interviewed! These questions should be as specific as possible and should show your interest in the company. Tie in any tidbits of information that you picked up on during your interview, and reiterate important points. Remember, people love talking about their jobs. Use this to your advantage. Get your interviewer talking about the different aspects of what they like and dislike.
5. Follow up. Send a “thank you” email to your prospective employer directly after meeting them. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you, and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them soon. This will show that you have initiative and follow through. Employers love that shit.
Feel free to message me directly about any of this information! I literally got an incredible job by beefing up my resume and talking myself up.