Collaborating For Success


Being the Lone Wolf is quite the romantic notion; standing aloof from the pack, going it on your own, forging your own path. Why you can almost hear the whispers from one pack member to pup as they look up at you standing there on the rugged horizon, only to turn for one last furtive glance and then slip off into the wilderness.

It does have its appeal doesn’t it? There are all kinds of famous quotes as well, encouraging you to make your own way, take the road less traveled, etc. While this can have huge rewards, there’s a lot of tough going choosing to do everything for yourself and not taking advantage of what others who have gone ahead of you have learned.

To be sure, there are many times in life when learning to do things for yourself in isolation from others is a good thing. The gains you can make from trial and error, even outright failure can be valuable lessons for life-long success to come. Equally true however, is that learning from others and taking advantage of their knowledge and expertise can save you a lot of time, effort, frustration and ultimately help you get what you want or where you want to be quicker.

The wisest of us I suppose can differentiate the times and issues in our lives where going it alone or seeking support and advice from others would be in our best interests. I don’t imagine there’s a single person who does absolutely everything entirely for themselves anymore in modern society. I mean you might do your own shopping, but you just buy the groceries; you don’t grow the vegetables and fruit or can the produce contained within. You might learn how to change your own tires and fix your own brakes, but you might turn to someone else to build your home, make your furniture or fly you to your vacation destination. We all rely on others in many respects.

When it comes to figuring out what to do employment/career-wise, I’d certainly agree that this is largely a personal thing. Sure others can give you insights into the jobs they’ve held in the past or present; the benefits and challenges of each. In the end however, each of us often decides for ourselves what we do; choosing to do things which make use of our skills and abilities while bringing us some level of satisfaction or happiness. When we don’t enjoy things anymore, we often move on and find something else that suits us better for a time.

As children, we often do what we’re told when we’re very young and the elders we listen to keep us safe, ease our way with their advice and guidance. We sometimes ignore that advice thinking we know better, and pay for it too with skinned knees, wet feet, hurt feelings etc. Still, as we grow we test our limits, we challenge what we’re told we shouldn’t do, we keep pushing boundaries to learn what we’re capable of doing on our own. If we do a really good job as parents, we give our children the skills and confidence to embark on their life journey with confidence; letting them lead their own lives and the cycle continues.

So where does the collaborating for success come into play?

As I said earlier, there are times when it’s wise to seek the advice and support of others; it’s in our own best interests. When we reach out to others with the intent of benefitting from their skills and experience, we either choose to have things done for us, or we can choose to be taught so we can do these things on our own down the road. Getting our brakes fixed is something some of us will pay someone else to do every few years, or we might learn to do these ourselves. It depends on what we perceive as the benefit in acquiring that knowledge.

This is no different from considering working with someone to help us decide on a career path, create a résumé and/or apply for work. We can make our own resume as best we can, and we might just be successful. If not, we might enlist the help of someone with that skill and ability, choosing to either have them do it for us, or collaborate with us in its creation, and in the process, learn so that we can in the future do this for ourselves.

Really this choice is ours to make alone. A lot of the time, we might try first on our own to get hired. If we are successful, we feel good about our ability to have done so, and we add another skill to our inventory. If however success doesn’t materialize and we grow frustrated, we have the option of seeking out others to aid us with their ability; just like the Brake Specialist.

The only situation that would seem to not make a lot of sense is when we try unsuccessfully and continue indefinitely; knowing help is available to get what we want. It’s like trying to create a lightbulb from scratch when we could buy one easily. Why would you do that?

Frustrated with your job search? Tired of being the lone wolf? Collaboration might be exactly what you need to get unstuck and move forward towards your goals.

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Before Submiting Your Resume


Writing a résumé would seem to be something most people should be able to do on their own; which is precisely why so many people often take to doing it themselves. I mean, it doesn’t seem overly complicated requiring the services of a professional. It’s just something that many people feel they have the skills to do; it is after all just words on paper, and who knows a person better than themselves?

And to be fair, when one professional can’t agree with another about what to add, what to leave off, the layout and the formatting, one’s left wondering if the one they’d make themselves might not just work as well. While the best advice I have to offer is to enlist the help of a professional who will work with you face-to-face, there will always be those who insist on doing it for themselves and saving time and money into the bargain. (What they believe is the case at any rate.)

Over the weekend I had some time and went looking online for the help of a résumé writing service, not because I would actually employ their services mind, but to see what was on offer. This is what I do in part for a living myself, but I thought it might be interesting to see what services are out there. I started looking on Kijiji;  where I know  some people begin their search for such help.

It didn’t take long actually. Here was an ad which seemed to say a lot of the right things. It promised quick results, whether a person wanted a résumé, a cover letter or both. It mentioned three times in the ad that the writers are all English; which immediately made me suspicious. It was just an odd thing to add in an ad that is written in English to begin with. As I read on, the choice of words started to fit together less and less appropriately. It started sounding more and more like the writer spoke and wrote English as their second language.

The ad advises people to send them a deposit to get started, plus their old resume or all the things they’ve done in the past if they don’t have one. Then the service will send them a picture of the completed resume, and once the balance is paid, the completed document(s) will be sent; satisfaction guaranteed. They claim to have, “lot of happiness from others.” See what I mean? One can just imagine an entire resume with this rather crude sentence structure. The price? $40 per resume.

I also went looking at a few job search websites; seeking jobs that I’m not qualified or interested in applying to personally. I wanted to see what guidelines or expectations employers had in the resumes they expected to receive. One ad asked for applicants to include their hobbies and interests outside of work; something typically left off resumes these days. Another ad instructed applicants to apply directly via LinkedIn; so without a profile on that platform, don’t bother to apply. A third ad requested that applicants should clearly state why they want the job they are applying to at the top of the résumé.

So the advice I give you is before submitting your résumé, read the ad wherever you find it and carefully look for anything specific the employer requests. Failing to add or drop things as the case may be, could end up terminating your chances of success before you even send your application. Of course there are other guidelines to look for; send an accompanying cover letter or don’t, include a job reference number if one is provided, and instructions on whether resumes can be faxed, emailed, hand-delivered or mailed. Does anyone actually mail resumes anymore?

Employer’s websites often give specific instructions on the right font style and size they expect, the size of paper, number of pages permitted and whether they want every job you’ve ever done or just the relevant bits. I imagine at least some of the people reading this piece are still mass producing their single resume and distributing it to many employers in the hope that something sticks. By the way, stop doing this; it’s annoying and it doesn’t work effectively most of the time. Or continue to do this as you wish; sure, you might get lucky.

The bottom line of my message is that before you start a résumé – whether you do it yourself or you enlist the help of someone else, read the post and see if the employer has left you some guidance with respect to their expectations. You would be wise to go and read the employers website too if they have one. A lot of the time you can find information on their submission guidelines there; it’s like a reward for those job seekers who bother to check out the employer and separates these from those who don’t see the value in doing so. Resumes that don’t follow the employer’s expectations may be immediately trashed because after all, if the applicant can’t be bothered to even check out the employer’s publicly posted webpage, how invested are they going to be doing work for the company when they don’t invest in doing work for themselves?

Go at this résumé thing any way you like of course; it’s your future after all. Please don’t think you get what you pay for; not in this case.

How Long To Wait To Job Search?


Okay, so you’ve found yourself out of work. After your previous job, you figure a break is in order; you know, that transition from what you were doing to what you’ll do in the next job. So how much time exactly is right before getting on with looking for a job?

Attitude is everything here; yes attitude will decide what you do and how long you give yourself to get into the job hunting mode. You may be the kind of person who figures that the best thing to do is get right back in the hunt immediately. You know yourself better than anyone, and you can’t afford to lie about and rest because the stress of being out of work will gnaw at you constantly, making your ‘break’ time an ongoing worry. You won’t treat yourself to rest and relaxation, won’t spend money on entertainment, a trip or personal indulgences because you’re concerned about exhausting your resources. It would be different of course if you knew definitively that your unemployment will last a specific time period, but you don’t have this information.

Then too, you could be the type that figures life is short and therefore taking a break from work is what life is really all about. So you’ll indulge guilt-free; after all, Life owes you. Jobs will be there for the taking when you decide to get one, but in the meantime, it’s ‘me’ time; guilt-free and bring it on baby!

Or, has your experience been that the job you’ve most recently had ended so terribly that you need some down time to recover your dignity, self-worth; self-esteem? Maybe it ended with your termination, a shouting match, allegations made against you, you had a bad boss or a toxic work environment. Your break is really a mental health recovery period.

You see there are all kinds of different ways we justify the short, moderate or long periods of time that elapse between our former jobs and looking for the next one.

There are some things you need to be aware of however. Whether these things change your decision to get back immediately or further put off looking for work is entirely up to you – of course – but make sure you are at least aware of these factors:

  1. Your competition increases. New graduates emerge from Universities and Colleges with up-to-date practices and education, and they’re hungry. Your experience is your edge, so conventional wisdom says the longer you let your experience lag, the less your experience works in your favour.
  2. Employers prefer consistent work history. Gaps on a résumé raise questions for employers. If you’ve got gaps, expect to be asked why they exist and what you’ve done with your time. If you’ve improved yourself via courses and upgrading education that’s one thing; but if you’ve played video games and sat around staring at your belly button, that’s another.
  3. Mental Health healing. If you did have a really bad break from your last job, maybe – just maybe – getting a job outside your career would be best for your mental recovery. Seriously, work will keep you connected to people, your poor experiences of the past will be replaced by your present activity; you’ll fill in a gap on the résumé and you’ll get new references. When you do apply for work back in your field, “Why are you leaving your present job” will refer to the job you have in the short-term, not the job prior to that you’re fretting over now.
  4. Time erodes things. Your references, experience and accomplishments fade with time. That shiny letter of reference that’s two weeks old means a lot now but it won’t mean as much 7 months from now if you wait that long to get back in the job search mode. “What have you done lately?”
  5. Less baggage; fewer problems. While being out of work is a problem, you haven’t yet the stress and anxiety of having a prolonged job search, rejection from employers, depression etc. These negatives can and often do take seed in the lives of people who find it harder to get work than they previously imagined. Sometimes getting back at it can ward off social isolation, increasing fears associated with financial problems that come with no incoming resources.

Now, lest you think I’m really recommending you jump right back into the job search as a blanket statement for everyone, let me assure you I’m not. No, a period of time to process what’s happened to you is a good thing. You may need time to decompress if the job you left was one fraught with pressure and negativity.  How much time is the issue. What’s right for you might be different from what I’d do myself.

Even if you don’t actually apply, keeping up on the market and job openings is healthy and a good idea. You’d hate to learn that seldom-advertised opening came and went while you were almost ready but just taking a few more days to clean the garage.

Finally, it’s a good idea to stay connected to others. Call it networking okay, but really it’s about the interpersonal skills, the connectivity to others. Lately I’ve heard of many self-described ‘normal’ people who develop social anxieties, leading to serious isolation issues and a fear of even going out their door.

Take time…but not forever.

Debriefing 3 Interviews With 3 Outcomes


At 54 she’s got a lot of experience to offer; both Life and employment. It’s become extremely frustrating however over the last year to keep up the positive self-esteem. Oh for a while the image projecting out can be convincing, but the exhausted life savings, the move from living on her own to moving back in with her daughter, the sting of having to apply for assistance to provide money to live on; it’s just all been too, too much.

She and I have worked together, along with 10 other job seekers, since April 23rd, right from 9:00a.m. sharp each day through to 2:30p.m. We’ve covered resumes, cover letters, thank you notes and rejection letters; we’ve had mock interviews, talked about using the STAR interview format, looked at specific hard to answer questions that might arise – why we’ve even talked about how to predict with great accuracy the questions that will be poised.

Throughout the time together, I’ve asked her and everyone else to be positive; sure go ahead and have your moments of disappointment and acknowledge your frustration, but come back to the positive person you are more often than not, and come back as soon as possible. Yesterday at the close of the day, this was a big challenge for her; it wasn’t as easy to do as it had been earlier.

Now it started well enough this week; I mean after only working together for 5 days, she’d landed 3 interviews spanning Monday and Tuesday of this week. The first one was admittedly for a volunteer administrative role and the last 2 for paid employment, both in dental offices.

When everyone was gone at day’s end, she lingered and told me the outcomes of each, feeling so let down and disappointed, angry and frustrated as she spoke. The volunteer role she’d applied for wanted her in fact; they could make use of her every Tuesday for 8 hours.

The first of the employment interviews lasted all of 10 minutes; interviewed by a very young, bubbly woman who seemed to have clones of herself working around her. While she asked questions related to the job that were relevant, it seemed no matter the answers provided, at 54 the applicant just wasn’t a good fit. That wasn’t said outright I learned, but it was strongly inferred as, what else might, ‘not a good fit’ refer to?

The 3rd interview? Well imagine this situation wasn’t hers but yours. You’ve just had a 10 minute interview and you’re surprised and disappointed. You pull yourself together as best you can and after driving to the next appointment with your best face on, this interview is over after just 3 minutes! The Dentist determined her expected wages started at $22 p/hr and he was only able to start at $18. Game over; job lost. She was in a word, overqualified. He told her that even if she took the $18, he’d expect she’d keep looking and leave him soon and he wanted a long-term employee. She was honest in return and said that yes, she’d take the job if offered but keep looking.

If you read my blogs on a regular basis, you’ll hear me often say that you should get yourself connected with a supportive professional, and this is a good example of why. 3 bad experiences actually have positives to be drawn, and these can often be seen by having 3rd person objectivity.

First of all, the volunteer job is 2018 experience, a possible reference, provides purpose and relevant, current training in the environment she’s seeking. By telling the organization she accepts, but will continue to job search and if/when full-time employment is offered she’ll leave, she’s got a lot to gain while giving of herself and benefitting the organization. Win-win.

The issue of age at the 2nd interview? Not easily overcome I grant, but she needs a strategy to deal with this in an interview, and ironically, Age is the topic for today’s class; be someone too young to be taken seriously or too old to be of value; (not how I see it but how people themselves interpret these issues).

The 3rd job? Turns out there was more. The Dentist was impressed with her background and ability to not just work out front at Reception but also her qualifications to take x-rays and work in the back assisting in procedures; something he finds hard to find on a fill-in basis. So he suggested she think about self-employment; contracting herself out to offices. He had 3 offices in 3 cities and could use her on that basis in all 3.

Word gets around within an industry. Do well, and this Dentist would surely pass on his find to other Dentists; why he even asked her if she’d be willing to have him teach her in one area she knows she needs some brief upgrading. To get to the farthest of the 3 offices he runs, he offered to pay her more too.

After our talk, she left feeling better – much better – yesterday afternoon and in a few hours, we’ll be discussing the issue of age and how to address it; which she’ll find helpful too.

You see there are positives to be drawn from every experience; things to learn, to frame differently and to derive benefits from. Not every interview has to end with the job offer you’d hoped for at the outset in order for it to be a positive outcome. Is she employable? ABSOLUTELY!

 

Job Search Stress? This Is Normal; To A Degree


Looking for a job and feeling stressed often go together. In fact, any time you work towards getting something you don’t have at the moment typically puts you in a state of stress; both body and mind.

Buying  a house, expecting a child, looking for a place for your aging parent(s) to move where they’ll get ongoing care; even buying your first car – these things can often bring with them varying degrees of stress and anxiety. You’ll note that each could be a positive thing I’ve listed; just like getting a job. Each requires some effort to first get and then adjust to.

Now looking for work requires effort as well; mental energy to start. Questions such as where to work, what kind of work to choose, the level of income required when looking, then self-assessing your current skills, education and experience compared to what the job ads say the employers are expecting. One main reason this process of looking for a job induces stress is because we are forced to engage in doing things we typically don’t put much thought into when we are already working somewhere.

While employed, we don’t think much about our résumé and writing cover letters. Nor do we worry about performing well in job interviews, making cold calls, applying for then being rejected again and again. For even when we have a job and go looking for another one to replace it, the stress can be quite different because we have a job at present. Hence we might not have the same level of stress wondering how we’ll pay bills, pay for transportation to job search or put food on the table. For the time being we’ve got income rolling in, so we can also job search for something better at a more relaxed pace.

Conversely, the out-of-work person quite often has increasing stress levels. A prolonged job search can be extremely stressful as savings get depleted, hope fades, stamina drains, confidence drops, desperation sets in and thoughts of, ‘will I ever work again?” take up residence.

If you’ve felt – or more importantly I know – if you FEEL these things now – you’re experiencing a normal reaction to the situation in which you find yourself. While it might be normal however, it’s not a good idea to spend any more time than necessary in this state. Some people do though, and by choice; here’s why…

Imagine you’re on a roller coaster. You start with the exhilaration and expectations of what it will be. When you’re on it, the highs and lows come as you figured, but soon you feel trapped and can’t get off. Every so often you plateau out and momentarily feel more in control. Given the highs and lows, that momentary control feels preferable to more highs and lows. To feel less of the lows, you start avoiding the pleasurable highs, only because the lows are following those highs with predictable regularity. Eventually you might then be okay – not happy mind but definitely okay – with plateauing out lower than you thought you’d ever do when you first got on.

Job searching can be similar. You begin with high expectations and the possibilities are enticing; a better job, more income, something new to learn and experience. There’s the high of applications and interviews, and the lows of being ignored completely or passed over and rejected. You reapply yourself,  redouble your efforts only to find the expected results are materializing. The odd day comes when you do little to nothing job search wise. Then you recommit your energy and soon find you’ve applied to 30, 50 or more jobs all unsuccessfully. Confused, disillusioned, disappointed and frustrated, you pack it in and coast…

The thing about this analogy of the roller coaster is that in the real world the ride stops and you get off. You know when you get on the ride is only of a certain duration and then it’s over. When you take your seat on the Job Search Rollercoaster, you don’t know how long the ride will be nor do you know the cost of the ride financially and mentally, nor can you see ahead to view all the ups and downs, curves, loops and plateaus.

Let me remind you why you got on this ride in the first place; to have something better than what you had. If you find yourself screaming, “Please! I want to get off!” to some apparently absent amusement operator, let me point out the person with the ride controls is you. You can experience this journey alone or when it’s slowing down, you can ask others to hop onboard and help you gain some measure of control by explaining how the ride works.

It’s true! Whether you work with a government paid Job Coach, Employment Counsellor or pay for one privately, or even ask someone to mentor you, there’s helpful people all around you just for the asking. Riding the rails can be exciting for some, grow tiresome quickly for others, and cause pain and discomfort for many who’ve been on much too long. Like so many things in life, sharing the experience instead of going it alone can be helpful and in this case, cut the length of time you spend figuring things out for yourself.

So, while the stress of job searching is normal, be cautious of the length of time you spend searching alone; there’s a lot at stake.

What A True Resume ‘Expert’ Does


Many people will turn to someone else to write their résumé for them. Like so many things in life, you’ll either have a positive or disappointing outcome, in this case depending on who you get the help from and how they go about completing the résumé.

I suppose to be honest, it starts with your own level of commitment. Do you want the résumé just done for you, or do you want to be fully involved in the creation of the résumé and in so doing, pick up the skills you now lack so that you can do it for yourself in the future?

Now you might be the kind of person who really isn’t interested in learning how to do one. No, you might be quite happy to pay someone to do it and then pop ’round in a few days to pick it up.  Maybe your logic is that once it gets you a job, you don’t plan on having to write another one for years so why bother to learn how to do one?

I believe the most effective resumes; the ones that actually result in getting you through to the interview stage of the hiring process, are the ones where you sit side-by-side the person working with you to create the document. The major advantage is that the two of you can have an ongoing question and answer session, and the more the Resume Writer learns about you with the information you give, the stronger the résumé becomes. Why? Essentially they learn through those questions, information you haven’t provided otherwise, and it’s this information that they weave into the entire document.

I am reminded of this reality every time I run a group resume workshop, and then sit down personally with each attendee a day or two later. Many of those in attendance go ahead on their own prior to our personal meeting and do their best to incorporate the layout suggested to them, as well as targeting it to a specific job. When I’m sitting with them alone however, there’s a gap between what they’ve picked up in the group and what they pick up working together that gets bridged in the end. So many people comment on how they, ‘get it’ working together, because they can see the process first-hand as I craft it with them.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about highly educated people with doctorates and degrees or people yet to finish their high school education, the experience is richer when done working together. One thing about those questions and answers is that they morph, evolve, change and pop up as the process goes along. So it’s not like you could be given a list of questions to answer in advance and then just send the answers with your rough employment history and expect a winning resume. There are however, some Resume Experts out there who will gladly take your money and do this exact process. You end up having paid for something that looks great to the eye and you’re happy; until you realize the resulting interview invitation doesn’t materialize more often than not.

If you invest your time in sitting down with an expert to learn how to do it for yourself, with practice you get better. You don’t want or expect to be writing resumes for long of course, because your goal is to get an interview that leads to a job offer quicker and not longer. Then yes, you don’t usually plan on having to write another résumé for some time, perhaps years.

The thing is though, a real professional Resume Writer will craft a résumé for a single job posting. So before you pay them, if they tell you their plan is to give you 5, 10, 20 copies etc. of the resume so you can use it to apply to many jobs, this should be your sign to find someone else to work with. As I’ve said time and time again, no single resume should be used to apply to more than one job – even when the job title is identical. The details of the job – what you’ll actually do, the qualifications required etc. will vary slightly from one to the next, and so too should your resume.

We live in a world however where many often just want to pay someone to do things for them. There will always be these people and there will always be people willing to take their money. There are times when you want to pay an expert. If you’re having a window installed in what is now a brick wall of your home, call an expert in. You don’t have the skills and once that window goes in, you may never have another put in so pay up and be happy.

It’s highly probable however that you’ll be looking for employment again after getting your next job, or even more probable, you’ll be looking for employment after you send this résumé for the job you are applying to while waiting for a result. So it seems to me that if you pay for this kind of service, you should pick up skills necessary to do it for yourself in the future.

You won’t become an Resume Expert yourself just because you sit with one. Respect their work, respect the person. You can pick up a lot however that will serve you well on your journey.

Writing A Cover Letter


No the cover letter is not dead; nor has it fallen out of practice. Yes you will come across job postings that ask that you only include a résumé, but don’t take these directives as justification for not writing one as your usual practice when applying for a job. Put in the effort required and include a cover letter as the rule.

The first thing to look for in a job posting is whether there is a job number to quote in your cover letter. Typically an ad will instruct you to put this in the subject line of an email when applying, and likewise it’s good practice to put this at the beginning of your cover letter and underlined for prominence. This courtesy just ensures your application gets to the right hiring people for the job in question as it may be just one of many they will interview for.

The question now comes up as to whom the letter should be addressed. ‘To whom it may concern’ might be your standard opening, but I strongly discourage this generic opening. We have social media, company websites and of course the phone; do some digging and get the name, proper spelling and job title of the person you want your cover letter and resume to end up with. Sure some employers go out of their way to hide this information from job seekers, but do your best. If this information can be tracked down with a phone call or a visit to their website, applicants who address their letter to the person in question stand out from the pack right off the top.

Now, how to begin? Well, let’s put ourselves in the place of the reader of your mail. “Who is writing me and what do they want?” Two obvious questions. Your name at the top and bottom of the letter will explain the who, so your opening line should get right to your motive for contacting them. You do after all, want the résumé and cover letter you submit to lead to a job interview, correct? Right; so ask for one.

It is with genuine enthusiasm that I request an interview for the position of _______.

Oddly enough some people think this is too aggressive. Well, it’s not; it’s assertive yes, and it respects the time of the people who read the cover letter, right from the Receptionist, Human Resources staff and the specific Hiring Supervisor. Everyone who reads your opening knows what you’re after. Please don’t dance around what you want and dither about just hinting at what you want. Too often I see people write things like,

Please find my attached resume. I believe I have the qualifications you are looking for and I would appreciate the chance to meet and discuss how we can benefit each other

There’s just so many things wrong in a paragraph like the one above. The language is passive and weak, and if you can’t just come out and tell them what you’re after, that’s an issue. After all, you do want an interview don’t you? Of course you do!

So what’s wrong with that opening? Okay, first off, why are you asking them to find your résumé? Did you hide it? Do you have the qualifications or don’t you? If you do, then saying, “I have the qualifications you are looking for” is the right thing to say instead of inserting the word, ‘believe’ which literally means you’re not sure you have the qualifications needed, but you think you do. While we’re at it, substitute the word, ‘opportunity’ for the word, ‘chance’. This is an opportunity – for both you and the company. ‘Chance’ sounds risky, and you don’t want to sound like a risk at all. Finally, while it’s true that both you and the company will mutually benefit each other if/when hired, in your opening greeting, you should concentrate on what you’ll do for the company and not speak about what you’ll get out of things.

Okay so you’ve asked for the interview right up front. Now move to their needs and how your combination of skills, education, experience and attitude fit their needs. Research you’ve done will clue you in about what to speak to. Without some digging, you’re just guessing.

Your cover letter should include words from the posting but not just be a rehashing of what’s in the resume itself. Consider speaking to your motivation here, possibly stating why you’re entering the workforce, returning to your field of choice, you’ve just relocated to the area, etc. but whatever you speak to, don’t place yourself as a charity case; it’s not about what they can do for you but rather how your background qualifies you uniquely. Sell and market yourself to their needs.

When you do close off your cover letter, reiterate your request for an interview.

As stated in the opening, I am requesting an in-person interview to best demonstrate my strong candidacy for this opportunity.

Anyone skimming your cover letter can’t miss your intention. Assuming they know why you’re writing and that’s it’s obvious or a given would be a mistake. If you haven’t the courage to simply state what it is you want, how will you perform if they actually hire you?

When you close off, stand out. Drop the, ‘sincerely’ and ‘yours truly’.

With enthusiasm,

Enthusiasm after all is the number one trait employers want.