Here’s How To Write A Great Entry-Level Cover Letter

While some may believe the practice of writing cover letters is outdated, many employers are still requesting them. And as if it’s not challenging enough to write a full page about yourself to a prospective employer, how in the world are you supposed to do it with little to no experience? Just because you may be newer to the workforce, doesn’t mean you can’t write a great cover letter. In fact, it could be just the thing to set you apart from the competition and help you land the job.

Express Your Interest In The Company & Position

First and foremost, a cover letter is an ideal place to share your passion and excitement about the job you are applying to. Yes, this does mean you need to customize each and every cover letter you submit! It also means you need to do your due diligence on the company.

What is it about this job listing that initially caught your eye? Explain in detail to the hiring manager why you’re here. Furthermore, when you began to look deeper into the organization, did you see anything that multiplied your interest? For example, maybe the company volunteers once a quarter at the local animal shelter, and that is something you are passionate about. Be sure to include a sentence about your shared values.

Draw On Your Background

Just because you don’t have a wealth of professional experience in this field does not mean that you don’t have relevant talking points in your background! Think about the skills and knowledge you’ve amassed over the years. You’ve probably learned valuable lessons from being involved in athletics or volunteer programs. Did you have an internship in college? Even if it wasn’t in the same field to which you are applying, you surely gained insights that will prove beneficial to your career.

Paint A Picture For the Hiring Manager

Last, but most importantly, paint a vivid picture of why you’re an excellent fit for this position. Allow the hiring manager to imagine you as part of their team. Explain how you would contribute; share the traits that you possess that will allow you to succeed in this role. The better they can picture you on their team, the more likely they’ll be to make you an offer!

Don’t let cover letters intimidate you. While they may seem excessive, they can actually be a great opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective company! Are you interested in more advice on how to establish and grow your career? Check out our Career Kickoff Series or subscribe to our newsletter to get brand new advice delivered straight to your inbox once a month!

The Millennial Interview Dress Code

The Millennial Interview Dress Code

Everyone knows that the way you dress for an interview determines a lot about how your future employer views you. In fact, managers form their opinions within the first 90 seconds of meeting you, so greet them with a smile, give them a solid handshake, and of course, dress for success. But first, it’s important to understand how the meaning behind ‘dress for success’ is changing with the millennial generation.

Unfortunately, 75% of managers think that millennials dress inappropriately for job interviews. But this doesn’t have to be you! Trends and styles may be evolving, but there are three dress code tips that you can always live by.

3 Dress Code Tips You Can Count On: 

1. Keep it Professional, Always

Interviews are a time for you to show off your professionalism, skills, and experience. The best rule of thumb to follow is to dress one step up from the company dress code. Check out their website and social media to try and find some pictures of the typical day-to-day style of the organization. For men: suits, ties, belts, and professional shoes are always a safe bet. For women: blazers, dress pants and skirts, heels/flats, and a nice blouse will always impress your potential employer, no matter the position!

2. Check your fit

Apparel that is too tight, too loose, or shows too much skin will lead to an unprofessional first impression. Women, remember if you’re wearing a skirt, it should be knee-length! And for men, don’t wear a suit that is too big. The interview should focus on if you’re a fit for the job, not if your clothes fit properly.

3. When in Doubt, Keep It Simple! 

Wear simple lines and neutral colors like black, navy, and gray if you want to err on the cautious side. Not only do they belong to the ultimate classic palette, neutrals are flattering on every skin tone. And after all, your outfit should not distract your future employer from the focus of the interview, YOU!

While these rules won’t ever steer you wrong, there does seem to be a little more flexibility. Millenials want to show off who they are through their clothes, which is a good thing, especially when you’re meeting someone for the first time! Yet, while you want to show your personality, it is important to keep it professional. Here are some interview dress code trends that you can incorporate to add a splash of fun to your professional look.

Exciting Millenial Dress Code Trends: 

Accent Pieces

Add a fun accent piece like a necklace, bracelet, watch, shoes, or crazy socks to show off your personality and style. These items are a totally acceptable way to have some fun with your interview fit. Accent pieces like a handbag or fun socks can be the ice breaker or talking point you need!

Bright Colors

Feeling bold? Add a hint of color to your outfit! A bright blouse with a neutral suit is a stylish eye-catcher. A fun pocket square will add a bit of interest to a classic suit.

Women: Jumpsuits and High-Waisted Dress Pants

Skirts are no longer the go-to piece for women in an interview. Show that you are on-trend by rocking a professional jumpsuit or some high wasted dress pants with a blouse or blazer.

Styles, trends, and culture are changing in the workplace, so make it a goal to aim for a combination of classy with a splash of personality by following these millennial dress code tips. And if you’re unsure of what to wear, stick to what is universally accepted! It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Just remember, your outfit choice alone will not land you your next job! It’s going to be your skills, personality, and experience that shine through to open career opportunities for you.