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As the application process moves more solidly online, the application pool becomes more competitive, noisy, and faceless. If first impressions are warm, charming, or memorable, they must be so through your words.
While your résumé markets your skills, qualities, and experiences like a tailored menu, the cover letter follows a less distinct code of production. It leaves space for you to make a memorable mark, infuse some personality, and forge some kind of personal connection as well as round out your applicable experiences — but it also offers a lot of ways to mess it all up. In other words, the cover letter can make or break your application.
And while you might be able to transfer hours of labor over your résumé to many jobs with a little tweaking, the same cannot be said for your cover letter, which will likely require a mini — but heart-wrenching — overhaul for each new job posting.
If you want expert advice and guidance on how to create the kind of cover letter that gets pulled to the top of the pile and makes the rest of the stack look bad, you might want to invest a little time into a cheap online course. Some are taught by HR veterans and professors who can tailor your application to perform well with résumé screening software, and most require less of your personal time than three pages of Google tips and pulling hair.
Below are five courses that will help you excel in writing cover letters: A course that walks you through every early step in applying for jobs
The Ultimate Job Search Course covers each step of finding and applying. First, you’ll identify your career values and goals and what you’re really looking for in a new position, Then, you’ll identify the right companies and jobs, use your network to get job leads and “ins” with target companies, create a tailored résumé and creative cover letter, and create a strategy for applying to and tracking job applications. This is a good option if you’re looking for breadth rather than intensive depth.
You can also check out a list of courses for each step in the hiring process.
A course that covers tips on how to respond to an advertisement plus a review of your draft letter
This course breaks down the basics of cover letter writing and actually offers a review of your draft letter. You’ll get tips on how to respond to a job advertisement, advice on writing style and editing, and lessons on common pitfalls to avoid. It provides a breakdown for each logical portion of the letter: header, body, and footer.
A course that helps you avoid mistakes that will get you screened out
Learn what mistakes to avoid in your cover letter, résumé, interviews, references, offer letter, start date, and more from a teacher with 20 years of experience in recruiting. You’ll have a checklist to work off of each step of the way, consciously reminding you of the “don’ts” so you’re better able to avoid common pitfalls that might otherwise trip you up. While other courses offer advice to apply to your process, this one helps you identify the more definite list of what absolutely not to do.
9 online courses that’ll help prepare you for every step of the job search – from tailoring your cover letters to negotiating salaries8 of the best-selling dark spot correctors and acne scar treatments that Amazon customers swear byI use Coursera to take all the fun classes I never got to take in college, like the history of modern art — they’re completely free and I can work at my own pace
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