How to Write the Best Cover Letter Salutation for IT Pros

man writing the best cover letter salutationOften overlooked, salutations are important in letters. They carry not only a sender’s courtesy and professionalism but set the tone for the letter, too. Sad to say not every letter sender, even job hunters, can write great greetings. In information technology, this practice is sometimes true because the field has no formal titles for its professionals and casual greetings are common. Hence, most Information Technology or IT pros and neophytes still struggle in writing their best cover letter salutation.

Job aspirants who want to return to the workforce after a hiatus may find this issue crucial. They may have forgotten the rules or are unaware of the correct way to write a cover letter. Further, many consider writing one an extra burden since preparing a resume is already tough.

So, how will you work on your cover letter greeting line then? How can you show respect and familiarity in your salutation? Apply the following tips.

How to Make the Best Cover Letter Salutation

As important as your resume, a cover letter is your job search communication tool that serves as your first point of contact with a potential boss. Likewise, give it importance and enough attention to avoid risking your hiring chances.

Below are tips on how to address a cover letter with a name such as the hiring manager’s or the contact person’s.

1. Avoid casual salutations. The phrases “Hi there” or “Hey dude” are both informal. Your cover letter is a business correspondence; thus, it must follow standard requirements that fit a business setting. Remember that the best cover letter salutation presents formality and nixes slangs.

2. Always use “Dear.” No other word can best serve showing your respect than the word “dear.” Hence, it has become the most common word used to express greetings in a letter. In addition, using “Dear” makes your tone more formal and more proper in most circumstances. This practice is true when you’re writing a potential employer. Yet, you can ditch it if you know the recipient well.

3. Use a personal title. Place the recipient’s personal title in the salutation right before the name and/or surname. Mr., Ms., and Dr. are common titles. As much as possible, avoid addressing women as “Mrs.” although they’re married because this can be offensive. Likewise, abbreviate personal titles.

4. Figure out what surname to use. It’s important to know your contact’s last name to make sure you don’t confuse it with the first name. Further, not all surnames appear last in a person’s full name when written. In other cultures, often Eastern, surnames come first.

How important then is the family name? You can address the letter without the recruiter’s first name such as “Dear Mr. Zuckerberg.” It still looks formal even without the addressee’s first name, right?

What if the addressee’s gender is unknown or, the name gives you no clue?

5. Cite the full name sans the personal title. Often, names that sound gender neutral are confusing. Taylor, Chris, Chu, Li, Kelly, Shannon, Madison, Terry, and Tony can be male or female names. Place “Dear” plus the full name (e.g., Dear Chris Montgomery) to avoid error.

What about making a cover letter greeting to unknown person? In detail, when in-depth research hasn’t help, and your letter’s recipient is vague, then:

6. Use a generic salutation. In case you don’t have or can’t find out the name of the recruiter, use a generic greeting line instead. With this rule, you can place the recipient’s professional title instead. Write “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Human Resources Professional,” both not gender-specific.

One more thing, don’t presume that the recipient is a “Sir” or a “Madam”, a common mistake among professionals in fields such as IT.

General Rules to Follow

Aside from the rules stated above, you can follow other guidelines. Whether you’re an IT pro or a job seeker in another field, applying the basic rules is useful.

What other stuff must you keep in mind when writing a cover letter?

1. Remember the capitalization rules. Capitalize the first letter of your salutation (Dear) and nouns. These include personal title, professional title, and the recipient’s full name.

2. Use proper punctuation. End your salutation with a colon, a standard for formal business letters. Commas are for social business purposes and are less formal.

3. Ditch “To whom it may concern.”  This common phrase, which shows vagueness, is already obsolete. Further, it may denote laziness, disinterest, and inattention to detail.

To have an outstanding letter, customize it. In particular, research the hiring manager’s name. Do this and you’ll earn a good reputation as someone willing to take the extra step.

4. Spell the addressee’s name correctly. To show you’re familiar with the hiring manager or recipient, spell his/her name properly. Errors are disappointing and may ruin your chances for the job.

Follow these tips and you’d come up with the best cover letter salutation for your application tool. Look for a list of salutation examples online to guide you in writing one yourself.

For more job search tips and resources, browse the Resume 4 Dummies’ website. Our main page features resume samples on an array of fields, with the latest samples for IT jobs. It shares tips for job hopefuls with unusual cases, too.

Sources: www.thebalance.com www.monster.com insights.dice.com www.instructionalsolutions.com www.pongoresume.com www.businessinsider.com money.usnews.com
How to Write the Best Cover Letter Salutation for IT Pros

7 Job Interview Turnoffs Every Job Hunter Must Avoid

Are you aware your habits may sway an interviewer from taking you as the ideal applicant on the big day? Check this list of job interview turnoffs you must avoid and heed our tips on how to impress the recruiter and win that job.

1. Cellphone Use

job interview turnoffs 1: using phone while being interviewed A candidate walking in with a cellphone in his/her hand and checking it throughout the interview is a big turnoff for recruiters. If you need to check your cellphone, inform the interviewer ahead of time. You can tell him/her why you’re checking it.  

2. Negative Comments on Former Job/Boss

giving negative comments

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the common job interview turnoffs applicants commit is speaking ill of their former or current jobs/bosses. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, you’ll always look rude in the eyes of the interviewer when you make such comments. They will assume you’ll do the same to them, too.


3. Arriving Late/Too Early

arriving late or early

Understand that to ace an interview, you should arrive on time. While coming late is impolite, arriving earlier than ten minutes before the interview is likewise a big no-no. It shows you have plenty of spare time and you’re desperate for the job. Thus, show the interviewer your time is precious by coming on time, not too early but neither too late.


4. Poor Handshake

open handshake

Since first impressions often start with the three-second handshake, recruiters place high importance on how well a candidate does it. A few examples of a poor handshake include:
        • Queen's - a handshake from the fingertips suggesting hesitation to engage and superiority
        • Dead fish - a limp handshake showing weakness and disinterest
        • Terminator - an intense handshake implying overt aggression and doubtful sincerity.

5. Asking the Wrong Questions at the Wrong Time


You may only ask questions on salary, work benefits, and holidays/vacations if the manager has hired you for the job. Car salespersons don’t ask for your credit report before they let you test drive a car, right? The same principle goes for a job interview. Recruiters may have second thoughts on your suitability to and competency in the job if you pop these too early.


6. Talking Vaguely

talking vaguuely is one of job interview turnoffs

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Recruiters want to know what you attained in your former job. If your answers are too vague, it will be hard for them to assess if you’re the right man for the job or not. Notice how these statements from two applicants differ:

First Applicant: “I know many things on online marketing.” Second Applicant: “In my last role, I spearheaded our online marketing team and was in charge of increasing our social media engagement by 60 percent. I did it by devising a…


7. Excessive/Lack of Eye Contact

awkward eye contact

Both extremes can make the recruiter react in a negative way. In the same way, excessive eye contact can wear out the interviewer while a lack of it makes you disinterested and unreliable. To avoid this problem, practice making eye contact with a friend before the big day.

Managers have seen how job hunters with a great resume fail an interview. If you don’t want to join them, heed these tips and avoid job interview turnoffs.

Read more of our interview tips to help you ace the toughest part of your job hunt game, and land the job of your dreams!

Sources: www.thevoiceofjobseekers.com www.money.usnews.com www.themuse.com
7 Job Interview Turnoffs Every Job Hunter Must Avoid

When and How Should a Job Seeker Hire a Resume Writing Service?

female applicant hires a resume writing service on timeWhether you’re a new graduate searching for your first job or someone who plans to change careers, you need a well-written resume that highlights your strengths and accomplishments. Sad to say, though, not everyone can write an application tool. Hence, many job hopefuls today hire a resume writing service.

A resume writing service firm employs skilled writers adept at various industry standards that enable them to create an excellent job application tool for clients. Resume writing companies offer several services to their clients. These include:

  • Writing resumes, curricula vitae; LinkedIn profiles; cover, follow-up, and thank-you letters; and other tools;
  • Editing job application tools; and
  • Submitting application papers to potential employers.

When to Hire a Resume Writing Service

Now that you’ve learned how a resume writing service helps job seekers, it’s time to know if you need one.

  • Do employers invite you for an interview? Maybe you can write your own resume that’s why hiring a writing service is not a choice for you. Yet for someone who has the skills and still struggles to get an interview, hiring a resume writing service will be a perfect investment.
  • Is it hard for you to speak about yourself? If it’s hard for you to share details on yourself, much less write them on paper, you might need an expert to help you through the course. Don’t be ashamed in hiring one's help to complete your application document. If writing about yourself is tough, then don't think twice about hiring a writing service to do the task for you.
  • Can you write your resume? If you’re an accountant and dollars and cents are your game, a resume writer can solve your problem. He or she can tell what you need to include in your resume and put everything together.
  • Do you have the time to write your resume? If you’re too busy to write your job tool, a resume writing service might be ideal for you.
  • Can you afford it? As a new graduate, you may not have plenty of extra cash to hire the services of a resume writer. It can cost around $100 or higher.

How to Find the Best Writing Service

When searching for the best writing service, check first its writers’ profiles and contact its support team to ask for details on their qualifications. Hire one with an experience in the industry you’re targeting. Most writing firms feature sample resumes on their websites to show the work quality of their writers; thus, inspect them before you place your order.

Price is another issue you should consider. Resumes vary in cost among writing companies, but you can get a well-written tool for $100.

Last, communicate with your writer as much as possible. Resume writing firms conduct phone interviews before they work on your order; hence, make sure you give them enough details and tell them what you expect.

Have you hired a resume writing service? How was the experience? If you haven’t hired one yet, what’s your idea on getting one? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section. For more career tips and interesting blogs, visit this page.

Sources: www.businessinsider.com www.huffingtonpost.com www.linkedin.com www.salary.com www.freegreatpicture.com<?em> (photo source)
When and How Should a Job Seeker Hire a Resume Writing Service?

6 Easy Steps to Becoming Confident for an Interview

attire: job interview preparation tipsBeing anxious during a job interview is normal, but part of performing well is not letting your angst show. Your goal is to make the best first impression. You should appear confident to the interviewer(s). If you show you lack confidence, they may not consider you as a serious candidate for the job.

Never let your nerves get the best of you! Here are six easy job interview preparation tips to building your confidence for the big day.

Step #1: Seek information on the company.

One great way to be confident during an interview is by knowing important facts on the company you wish to join and the job post it offers. Show that you are familiar with the firm’s future goals for the position it offers and you will be impressive.

Step #2: Prepare and rehearse your answers.

Read our article Top Questions to Anticipate During a Job Interview and rehearse answering the standard interview questions aloud. This can help you become relaxed and confident during the actual talk.

Step #3: Practice power posing.

“Power posing”, or standing in a posture of confidence even when you don’t feel confident, affects your brain’s testosterone and cortisol levels that makes you confident. Spend a few minutes spreading your arms and walking tall to build a sense of assurance.

Step #4: Do breathing exercises.

The evening before the interview, sit in a dim room and practice 7/11 breathing. Breathe in bit by bit to the count of seven, and then breathe out gently to the count of 11. Continue with this rhythm of in-breaths and out-breaths until your breathing becomes more relaxed and steady.

Step #5: Choose the right clothes to wear.

Wear something comfortable. Discomfort with your outfit may suggest you lack confidence answering the interview questions. Read Grooming and Beauty Tips That are Job Interview Appropriate.

Step #6: Know everything in your resume.

Get a sticky note and sum up the notable skills in your resume. If you have MS Excel as your technical acumen, make sure you refresh on formulas and recall the last time you used Excel to complete a task.

The job interview allows you to show your personality and prove you are a good fit for the team. Have confidence in yourself and believe you are capable of landing this job.

Browse through our pages for resume samples and more job interview tips.

Image courtesy of Sweet Ice Cream Photography at StockSnap.io

6 Easy Steps to Becoming Confident for an Interview

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Acing Your Job Application with a Powerful Resume

Powerful ResumeHave just finished school? Currently laid off or have just decided to get back on your career track? Whatever your reason might be for seeking a new job, you’re not alone. Recent studies indicate that job hunters are now more engaged on seeking for better careers. The flourishing economy has opened doors for new jobs and better career opportunities.

However, no matter how prolific the job vacancies may be, the competition is still tough. As such, job seekers should be more persistent and determined in their job search. Furthermore, a competitive edge must be secured in order to increase an applicant’s chance of obtaining an interview.

So how do you get a better edge against other applicants? Initially, a powerful resume is your first weapon in ensuring that you get your foot in that door.Creating a powerful resume should not be a drag. With the right knowledge and idea, you’ll be able to create resume that gathers results. Here’s how:

Ensure that you know "what" you want

Initially, you need to have an idea on what job and company you’ve wanted to be in. A lot of applicants usually have the slightest idea on what task or job that they wanted to be in. That’s where the problem arises.

Since applicants have a vague idea on what position they are pursuing, they tend to create a generic resume that focuses on a number of positions. As such, this type of document barely gathers any attention or interest.

Focus your resume on one position

The worst that you can do is to create a resume that fits all types of job. Since a generic resume will likely encompass a number of areas and is not that field-specific, it will barely highlight the skills and competencies targeted to that particular position.

Moreover, your resume will have lower resume database visibility since it is very unlikely that it will contain a set of keywords relevant to your target field.

Include keywords and field-specific skills in your resume

Apart from giving hiring managers idea that you have the certain “know-how” in the field, you are also increasing the visibility of your resume in the company’s resume database. Remember that thenumber of companies using resume database in filing and sorting resumes are increasing. As such, your resume needs to cater to that need.

Proofread your resume

There’s no better way of ensuring the accuracy of your document than proofreading. Check your resume for any grammatical lapses or typographical errors. Further, you also need to keep an eye on the format and structure that you give to your resume.

Acing Your Job Application with a Powerful Resume

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