First E-Book

I am the proud, new author of my first published book. I appreciate anyone willing to read it and offer feedback.By The Age of Fifty

Thank you,

Stephen

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Cover Letter Continued

My last post began a discussion about how to write a Cover Letter. The purpose of the Cover Letter is to get you and interview. Now I am going to go a little deeper and and more specific with some suggestions. Every where you turn on the internet you can find differing views. I am taking the best of that information and presenting it here.
To start, you want a salutation that is simple and non-specific. Don’t assume the gender of the reader. Nothing can turn a prospective employer off quicker than assuming the person is a man or woman. 
Your salutation should be formal, using an opening such as “Dear”. If the person you are addressing is a doctor, address them as Dr. So-and-So. They will appreciate the respect and it is the proper, professional way to address a doctor. 
If you are able to learn who is reading your cover letter, you can Open with “Dear (Mr. or Ms.) So-and-So” Don’t skip the opening salutation altogether. Remember, this is the first impression. You want it to be formal and professional. 
If, as may happen, you find out the name of the person reading your resume but the gender is unclear, use the full name. If the family name (last name) is unclear, you can go with “Dear Hiring Manager” it is still formal if somewhat less direct than a name. If all else fails, you can omit the salutation entirely and go straight to the first line.
Your first paragraph, as mentioned in my previous post, should express your basic qualifications and that fact you want this position. The cover letter is a delicate balance of you and the company. 
You should proceed to address the company’s needs. Let them know you are aware how large the company is and where they operate. This shows you have done some research. Discuss how your qualifications uniquely make you suited for this position. 
If the company is in need of someone with several years’ of experience in operations management, show you have that experience. Try not to make the letter all about you. Balance it with your skills and the company’s needs without coming across as boasting.
Without going into a short story about your life, write something to show your personality. If you volunteer, this might be a good place to offer that information. 
Your cover letter should be no more than one page.
Write a new letter for each position you are applying for. You want the employer to know you are speaking to them specifically, not a crowd. Remember, you are not standing on a stage. You want that person to see you as someone who blends with the culture at the company. 
Closing the Cover Letter should also be done in a specific manner. The closing is just that, a closing. It is the last part of your only first impression. You want it to make a statement, all on its own. You want to tell the employer, one last time, you have confidence that you are the best fit for this position and this company. Today is the day and now is the time!
Use phrases like “I am excited. . .” or ” I will call on . . .” or “I am ready to start as soon as. . .” . The employer needs to feel your enthusiasm and know it is genuine. 

This is how you write a Cover Letter

You are hunting for that perfect job. You know it’s out there and BAM, there it is. Your dream job just showed up in your inbox. Indeed did what they promised. They send you weekly notifications for your job interests.

Now, the trick is finding the best way to get a call from the HR folks. That is the key to getting an interview. If your Cover Letter and Resume get the attention of the HR Rep who calls you, you can get in for the interview.

There are differing thoughts on the subject. Some will say a Cover Letter is not necessary and some application sites don’t ask for one. I suggest you write one for every job and every resume.

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There are also different types of Cover Letters. One is specific to the job opening you wish to fill. Another is written to a company in hopes they have a position for you. A third is one used in more of a networking fashion. You  have to use the one best suited for your needs.

If you are fresh out of college and really want to work for “XYZ company”, you may want to send out a cover letter to the company asking if they have a position open.

LinkedIn can be a great way to send networking Cover Letters. You can send an in-mail to every one of your contacts asking if they know of any openings. You  can also target job types or companies with targeted searches.

You want to express why you want to work at this company. How your personality and experience will blend well with the atmosphere and the METL. You want to make the person(s) reading your Cover Letter see you as a part of the team.

There are a few keys to consider when writing your Cover Letter. These may vary in importance or appearance, depending on who you ask.

First, make sure your contact information is top and center. Without this, the HR rep will not be able to call you for an interview. All you effort and time will be wasted. Don’t start with “Sir” or “Hiring Manager”. Make it gender neutral or gender inclusive. A simple “Hello” may be sufficient.

Your first paragraph should be dedicated to briefly describing your qualifications and a call to action. More specifically, your first paragraph  needs to have a call to action. This can be a subtle statement like “I am very qualified for this position and would make a great new addition to your team.”

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You can also mention the name of someone who works for the company, if you know someone. Don’t lie, but use their name in a positive manner. “So-and-So told me you are looking for someone with my qualifications.” if that person never said that, please don’t put words in their mouth.

Through the next paragraph or two, tell why you would be a great fit for the company and the position. Keep it short. Long paragraphs tend  to loose readers. Long sentences have the same effect.

In your final paragraph, thank the reader for third time. End on a positive note. This is a sales pitch, you want the “customer” saying “yes” to your query, your request.”I look forward to seeing you” is succinct and gets the point across.

Good lock your your job search. My next entry will be a more in-depth look at Cover Letters.

 

 

 

Making money online, is it easy?

I just finished a 15,000 word e-book on passive income streams you can generate online. I have known for some time that it is entirely possible to make money online though I would never have considered any of it as passive income.

Anyone who has ever done a keyword search has come across the multi-level marketing programs abundant on the internet. None of them sells a product. they all sell you the opportunity to sell the opportunity. Before you dive into one of those headfirst, I suggest you ask yourself a question or two. Would you sell this product to your mom? Would you be willing to share the idea with your co-workers or best friend? If the answer is no, then you probably don’t want to go down that road.

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Many of the online opportunities make too much sense to be true. Use common sense when checking them out. If it sounds too good to be true, then guess what… yeah, you guessed right. Maybe steer clear of those sites.

If you have to put up a bunch of money for a down load that asks for more money, stop right there, you are about to be taken for a ride. Never, never, never dump good money after bad into a website that keeps offering more of the same and gives you none it what you pay for. As a matter of fact, you should write bad reviews and post them wherever you can.

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There are legitimate ways to make money online. I write e-books in my spare time. It isn’t going to make me rich but I love to write and this gives me the opportunity to do that for pay. You can do all sorts of stuff online like write your own e-books and sell them on other websites. You can write a blog and who knows, in time you could make money.

If you want to make an online income and put out very little effort, stay tuned, I will be reviewing options in the coming weeks with new blog entries.

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Not Another Black Friday!!!

Every year for some time we have been celebrating the incoming holiday shopping season with what’s been termed “Black Friday” it is increasingly disgusting. First, I am going to go out on a limb and bet most shoppers have no idea what the name implies. There have been a few.

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First, in Philadelphia where it originated, it caused huge traffic jams; not so good huh? Police did not like the fact it tied up so much of their time. It was definitely something negative. Today, the tradition of bad traffic, especially near shopping malls, continues in force.

I was in St Louis Saturday 11/25/17. It was Black Friday. I am not a Black Friday shopper. Actually you couldn’t pay me to shop on that day. I do not like crowds or traffic. We just went there to drop my step-son off. The simple act of driving into the parking lot, allowing him out of the car, and leaving was nightmarish. It took entirely too long and I am not a patient man when traffic is involved.

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Something else consumers may not know is another reason the the term “black.” Traditionally, accountants use two colors in their “books.” Red is for debits or monies owed, black is for profits. There is a reason some prices are too low that day.

First, don’t think for a minute the store is not making money. The profit margin my not bu huge but it is there. The marketers are not trying just to sell that item folks. They want you to come in and buy that item but more importantly, they want you in to buy other items. This is reasonable, of course. That is what drives our economy.

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As for the other reason its called Black Friday, it goes back to the accountants. Ideally, most retailers make the lion’s share of their profits during the holidays. Usually Christmas is the biggest time for profitability. Black Friday, therefore, is conceptually the best day for sales and making a profit.

Now, there is nothing in the world wrong with a store having great sales to get shoppers in the door. Its a wonderful thing to go buy an item fifty percent off. The problem is all the other stuff that goes along with that discount.

By Friday night I read about two or three shootings. WOW! One was over a parking space. What has our world turned into that we will shoot someone over a parking space. The outrage over limited availability of sale items is not limited to the U.S., it is seen even as far away as South Africa. There is no racial divide. Probably the only real separation between someone willing to fight for a toy or a parking spot is maturity level. One could suggest there are socioeconomic factors, but that would assume only one economic class of people goes shopping on Black Friday and gets into fights. I would venture to bet the violence spreads across economic lines.

As grown men and women, those willing to shoot someone over a parking spot or a toy robot should be ashamed of themselves. I suggest those people are animals. This is the reason I will not go stand in line at 4AM or midnight to wait for a store to open, ever.

 

 

Lost Again

As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot” John Lennon

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So you find yourself in a pickle while trying to install a garbage disposal. You would think it’s a fairly straight forward process. After all, plumbing is not rocket science right? Guys, do not fret, we have all been in that situation. You get about knee deep when you find you don’t know how to do the next step. You tossed the instruction because you are a man; you don’t need no stinkin’ directions, right?

I have spent countless hours driving around an unfamiliar town or city trying to find an address. I knew if I kept going I would find it, I just needed a little more time. No, I was NOT going to stop and ask directions. Besides, it has been my experience when you do ask for directions, you either get the local version (which may as well be in Greek) or you get someone who lives in a neighboring town. Guess who also does not know how to find what you are looking for. Yeah, the convenience store clerk from another town or the guy who doesn’t speak English very well.

How many arguments have you had with your wife because you refused to ask for help? At 51 I still get flack when I do this sort of thing. If it’s been a while she will go back to an event from the past and dig in to remind me I am not really the superman I think I am just because my name starts with an S.

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This is reflective of a chapter in the book I am writing. As a man, I believe I am especially qualified to poke fun at men and I chose a book in which to poke that fun.

Next time you find yourself running around like a chicken with your head cut off, think about what you are doing. Don’t try to be a hero. Look at it like this, if you have a wife or kids with you, there is a good possibility by getting it done without breaking something or getting lost you will be the hero you seek to be. You don’t have to tell them you need help, save face and go in to the store by yourself, buy a coke and come out and continue driving. You managed to get directions and get everybody something to drink all without letting on you were lost.

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I suppose you could just bow your head, tuck your tail between your legs and shuffle into the store after the embarrassing moment when you finally broke down and said you are lost. In the words of Zsa Zsa Gabor “Macho does not prove mucho.” Don’t waste your effort and time doing it wrong sirs. What does a man gain by being stubborn?