METRO PLUS

Go get them!

YOUNG PEOPLE all across the country are in the throes of exam fever.

For those who are in the final year of their student life, there is added tension and it is soaring along with the summer temperature. Not only are you worried about the grades; you are also sweating at the prospect of job hunting looming ahead of you.

But you all have heard, "god helps those who help themselves".

So let us see what are the things you should be doing to set yourself up for success.

An assumption has been made here, which is, you worked your brains off and you are happy the way you tackled the exams, even that one subject that you were always weak in.

You are pretty sure about getting good to excellent grades. Now, the prospective employer and the company come into picture.

Your first contact with a prospective employer is usually through an application for employment.

Quite often the method of application is either in the pre-printed form and/or a covering letter along with your resume.

This piece of paper is all that the prospective employer has on which they decide their interest in you!

The weight of this fact should make you stop in your track right now and realise the importance of the cover letter and a powerful resume.

The resume is a selling tool that outlines your skills, education and experiences that will induce the employer to reach for that phone to call you!

It has only one specific purpose: to win an opportunity for interview.

Think of it as an advertisement of "you" - the product.

It should stimulate enough interest so that an employer can see, at a glance, whether it should end up in "to be considered" pile or "reject" pile. This is the first hurdle.

Your resume should establish you as a professional person with high standards and excellent writing skills.

An attractive resume is clear, well organised, well written, well designed, and of the highest professional grades of printing and paper.

As to the covering letter, one always accompanies a resume.

Do not get lazy and go for a generic cover letter. You must tailor-make it to the specific company and the specific position.

Before you are dismayed at the thought of working on individual cover letters - here is the good news: this piece of paper gives you another chance to emphasise what you have to contribute to the company you want to work for.

The question of "is this person valuable to us" will have to be answered in the covering letter in your own words.

Your resume will also answer that question but in a more rigid format.

What makes a good covering letter? No spelling or typing errors.

Address it to the person who can hire you. Be sure the name is spelt correctly and the title is correct. A touch of formality is good.

Follow proper business writing procedures and format.

Write it in your own words so that it sounds like you - not like something out of a book. Employers are looking for knowledge, enthusiasm, focus, and of course form, style and content.

Avoid grammatical mistakes. Show that you know something about the company and the industry. This is where your research comes in.

However, don't go overboard - just make it clear that you didn't pick this company out of the phone book.

You know who they are, what they do and you have chosen them.

Use terms and phrases that are meaningful to the employer.

By concentrating on these two crucial steps you have won half the battle, which is, getting that call for the interview.

Once you have that, go, get them!

CHITRA DANGER

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