What Do Hiring Managers Want to See in a Cover Letter?

I found this neat post about cover letters and their relevance today. It does a great job of outlining what you should include. The overall point is… RESEARCH!! Get inside the hiring manager’s head and ask yourself, what would they do they need to know about you, and in what context?

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Are Cover Letters a thing of the past?  If not, then what value do they add?  More importantly, what do Hiring Managers want to see in a cover letter?

To vote on the poll – scroll down.  Or read this article first, and then cast your vote to help candidates know what they need to provide.

For those who don’t see the need for a Cover Letter – their argument may be that the One Page Curriculum Vitae will sufficiently outline relevant experience, skills, and supporting achievements that resonate with the Hiring Manager of the role you are applying for.  And, that this in itself should provide evidence that you have researched the role before hitting the ‘Apply Now’ button.  To some degree I support this argument.  But the fact is – sometimes you will be asked to provide a cover letter.  (Note: In addition to the One Page CV…

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Mentoring: it’s personal

Mentoring. A funny concept, full of hope and opportunity and growth.
I’ve had many mentors over the years, for different purposes, all sprung from various circumstances.
My first, an old professor from University, recruited me to mark exam papers and sort projects. From the outside looking in, an effusive woman with more energy than a red-bull. And the inside? well, let me tell ya… she can organize like nobodys business. Seems that teaching 8 courses every semester must be one of those do or perish deals. I learned alllllll about colour coding and the value of personalized attendance/name cards. Sure it sounds simple, but the implementation is no Sunday morning. Detail oriented? Oh yes, I get that from her.
Moreover, she inspired my passion for diversity and inclusion. It was her brilliant mind that pushed me to consider that hey, I think this is what I want my career to revolve around. THIS sounds right. A priceless gift and to this day, I’m very thankful.
Want to know the ironic part? at the time, I didn’t have an understanding of what mentoring was; Not until a few years later when I looked back at my resume. Retrospect comes in handy.
Mentoring is more than learning tricks of the job. It’s about making personal connections, embracing new points of view, and adopting values to which you can aspire. A heady epiphany that was and you can bet that it took me awhile to realize.
Since then, I’ve established various relationships and goals. A few evolved and others fell by the wayside, yet somehow I’ve managed to maintain a steady track towards where I want to be. Mentoring, networking, learning, they all roll up into the same bag.
Recently, I’ve taken a networking approach to job hunting and it’s opened up my world in ways I hadn’t dreamed of considering.
I’ve been invited to events, attended interviews, and met people from all parts of the globe.
No, it hasn’t gotten me a job just yet but one thing I’ve learned and come to honestly appreciate is that the journey really is more important. Focusing on the “find work” part makes things tricky, so if you get anything out of my meager wisdom, let it be that you should network, regardless of your employment status. Always. Keep an open mind, invite change, and regret nothing.
In fact, since August when I was notified of my contract termination, I’ve seen so much that I am relieved to not have found a job immediately. At first I was afraid… I was petrified (Oh come now, what’s a blog without some corny pop culture reference!) but then I realized that its allowed me time to branch out, process experiences and discover what they mean to me. From that, I feel more confident than ever before, and I’ve found an identity which I wasn’t even aware needed to be unleashed. I know this all sounds like a wild child gone corporate, but I promise you my story is true. Really!
So where do I go from here?
Well, currently I’m part of my University Alumni association and am helping to organize an upcoming mentorship event. Challenging, but in a most exhilarating way!
Meanwhile, I’ve signed on as a mentee to a highly qualified and knowledgeable mentor, all arranged by the HRPA. This will be my first official mentor, with regularly scheduled meetings etc, so I’m very much looking forward to the experience.
Beyond that, who knows? Though I am sure it will be enlightening, and full of surprises.