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September Greetings from the Hill

Considering a job change sometime in the near future? Read on for advice about job searching while employed, as well as quick tips for strengthening cover letters. Schedule a meeting with an Alumni Career Advisor if we can assist you in your career journey.

New to Alumni Career Services? Take a moment to review the (free!) lifelong services available to AS&E and SMFA alumni.

Explore Career Resources for Alumni

FAQ of the Month

I'm trying to improve my cover letters. Any quick tips?

Fortunately, a cover letter refresh doesn't have to mean an overhaul . If you haven't reviewed your writing in a while, it's a good idea to take 15-20 minutes to revisit a cover letter and think about ways to strengthen future documents, such as:

Grab your reader from the first line. If you typically begin with “I’m writing to apply for [name of position] that I found in [source],” consider changing it up for something that conveys your excitement and why you’d be a great fit for the job. You can also mention any personal connections with the employer in your first sentence or two.

Customize, customize, customize. While it’s tempting to create templates and then recycle them, think about whether your words will resonate with a particular reader. Will the person be able to tell that your letter is meant for this job, this organization? If you can easily swap one employer name for another, you probably haven’t done enough to tailor the text. If you aren't applying for jobs right now, flag the places in your document where you'll want to customize text later.

Go beyond spell check. Your letter is a reflection of your writing abilities, so you’ll want to show that you know how to write clearly, concisely, and without errors. Read your letter aloud, listen for any awkward phrasing, and don’t be afraid to retool sections that aren’t working.

How to Write a Cover Letter

5 Opening Lines That Are Straight Up Killing Your Cover Letter

Spotlight on ... Job Searching While Employed

Many job seekers express concern that conducting a stealthy search for a new position will be challenging while they're still employed. We agree, and it's important to tread carefully. After all, what if your colleagues find out you're looking around and then you don't end up leaving? Umm ... awkward! Even if your workplace is supportive of your next career move, reflect on your job search strategy before diving in. Here are some tips:

 

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