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A Positive Spin
Just like all those advertizements you see on TV, there is a fine art to putting a positive spin on a situation to get people interested. As a stay-at-home Mom returning to the workforce, you have plenty of experience and credentials. You just need to present your qualifications in a favorable light. So don't sit back and dream of what might have been, get up and make things happen!
This article walks you through a sample cover letter, so that even if you are time poor in the extreme, you can simply read, add your details, and hit print and you're ready to go.
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Letter Writing Basics
There are few basics to pay attention to with cover letters:
- Do a little digging and try to discover the name and contact information of the person who will be reading the letter. You will have a better chance of it being read when you can send it to a direct person.
- Check the details are correct, and that you have signed your letter in blue or black ink.
- Check the date, and that it has printed in the date format you want (if you just press Enter after the date it may change format).
- Check the spelling of the name of the person to whom you are sending your letter, and that you are clear on whether they are a "Miss, Ms., Mrs., Dr., or Mr."
- Do some research if you are addressing a letter to someone from a cultural background different to your own, as some cultural groups use a different ordering for family and given names.
- Even if you are applying for a job online, a cover letter is still necessary most of the time. Double check the email address to make sure the spelling is correct and the correct person is receiving the letter.
Spell check your work and read it through carefully
Don't put all your information in your letter and then repeat it later in your resume - your letter is like the first line of a sales pitch and should have just enough to get your reader interested in reading more.
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Sample Cover Letter -- The Pitch!
So here's a sample pitch to try:
Leave several blank lines of white space
Dear Mr. Bloggs,
I am excited by the opportunity to submit my resume to you for consideration. The position I wish to apply for is (insert name of position and position number if relevant), as advertized in / on (insert name of newspaper or website where you found the advertisement, along with the date of publication).
As a stay at home mom returning to the workforce, I feel I can offer a great deal to your company. While I have not had recent work experience, I have ensured that my skills have remained up to date. I have attended training sessions in (insert name of some training you have done in recent years), and am very interested in continuing to develop my skills in this area. I am a competent user of digital technologies, and am able to operate systems and programs such as Word, Excel, Outlook and Photoshop (insert names of other or different computer programs as relevant to your situation).
Some employers are reluctant to offer positions to those who have been out of the workforce for some years, but I am encouraged by your company's positive attitude and ability to see the future benefits of employing people in my situation. I can assure you that my own positive approach to life and work, together with my ability to quickly master new skills and my desire to reach my goals will be a good match for your company.
I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my application further with you once you have considered my attached resume. I can be contacted on (insert phone number) to arrange an interview time.
Yours sincerely (if you know the name of the person, or yours faithfully if you don't),
Leave white space above and below your signature
Type your full name and sign above it.
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Don't Overdo Things
Remember that the purpose of a cover letter is to sell yourself as well as provide information some information you think is relevant to the position. The cover letter is also a place where you can clarify or expand upon items listed in your resume (although it should simply repeat what is already in the resume). It is important to cover the basics and avoid overdoing things or making lavish promises that you simply can't keep. Use plain paper and a letter sized envelope if applying by mail. When applying online, use an email and attachment with a simple subject line such as 'Application from...for position of...'
Don't go overboard with colored paper, bright headings or fancy fonts. Go for a simple, professional look and back yourself all the way. Good luck!