thank you letters

Communication ~ Interview Killers & Winners

You need all the advantages you can get when you are going into an interview but there are mistakes that can kill the advantages. We will cover a few of these today.

First things first…do your research! You must know about the company and what the purpose and mission are before you can sell yourself to them. Go online and research everything you can find from their web site and from any news articles or press releases you can find. One of the questions that is often asked at an interview is “What do you know about our company?” If you can’t give them something substantial…it is an interview killer! If you can tell them something about their mission statement and goals and how you fit into those goals or why your own philosophy is in alignment with their mission statement…it is an interview win!

You must know exactly what you can do for the company. The company needs to know how you “fit” into their organization and it is up to you to tell them. You must know exactly where you can help them. If you have 10 years of experience in sales and consistently have rated number 1 or 2 on your sales team…tell the employer that you will bring those skills to their company to increase their bottom line. If you can give any type of accomplishments…it is always a win!

Know your strengths…if you are an organization wonder…let them know that. Unfortunately the question is often phrased as “Tell us some of your strengths and some of your weaknesses.” You must be able to state what your strengths are without hesitation, but without sounding arrogant. One of the reasons that I am such an excellent resume writer is my outlook on it…I am not necessarily a better writer than someone else but rather it is how I look at the challenge. I am an excellent resume writer because I see resume writing as a challenge that will strengthen my writing skills and I approach it as something that I want to be the best I can make it. I am sure there are better resume writers out there but I can offer that I will always take on the challenge and do my best. As for weaknesses, I generally advise clients to talk about something that they want and need to improve upon…and if they have already started with that improvement that is all the better. I personally get very frustrated while trying to work on my web site so I have reached out to a company that is going to help me learn more functions so it will be easier on me and I will be more efficient. These are interview wins because I know myself and what I can offer and I know areas that need improvement and I am trying to make those improvements happen.

Why did you leave your last job? This could be problematic if you had some trouble and were let go but at that point you simply need to be honest about what you learned from the situation…even if it wasn’t your fault. You never want to bad mouth a former employer because that is an absolute killer! You can however state that unfortunately there were changes within the company and personalities were not working out and being the “low person on the seniority list” you were the one who have to vacate the position…however what you learned was….maybe you learned that with a new change in management you were not allowed to be as involved with decisions and you should have taken a moment to watch the new manager and see and ask how they preferred you to involve yourself. Changes at a company can make staying an impossible in some situations but you must learn something in both staying and leaving. Maybe you simply could not work under the newly promoted person because your personalities did not gel…being upfront and stating that you knew the situation was coming where you would have to leave but prior to that time you tried to make it work and unfortunately it just couldn’t. Learning to watch and learn is not a bad thing so it can be a win in an interview. Trying to make something work is a win for you because you tried…just don’t say that you tried but the other person is a jerk and didn’t…simply state that there are the RARE instances where 2 personalities just can’t seem to work no matter how hard you tried.

Job hunting is hard work…it is the hardest job you will ever have but hang in there and keep trying until you find the right job for you.

See you next time…


PS…remember to send the thank you note immediately after the interview! One to each member of the panel.

Communication ~ Saying Thank you is a great idea

When it comes to communication there are so many ways to communicate and sometimes people just don’t know where to begin but in this post we are going to talk about where to end. I will go back to the beginning later but I was working with a client earlier and the client wanted to know why it is so important to say thank you to an employer after an interview. It is a courtesy that many people simply don’t do…so if you do…you stand out from the rest of the applicants. Thank you doesn’t have to be a formal letter if you are not the type of person to write formal letters. A thank you can be a simple note…the front of the card should be very simple with just the words Thank you on the front and then you write a short note inside that simply says…
I would like to thank you for your time and attention during the interview today and I am looking forward to the next step in the process and hopefully becoming part of your team.


sign your name

Yes it is that easy and it can be a great idea to leave it with the receptionist when you leave the interview so that when the interviewer is done for the day and very tired…they get a nice little thank you for all the hard work they did today.

Thank you for reading my blog…I appreciate your time.


Resume Communication and some smiles

The hiring event went well today. There weren’t  lots of employers, I think there were 6, but over 100 people came through in the couple of hours they were there and the clients and employers all seemed happy with the interactions.

Today I did a workshop that was interesting because it was on the phone that started off as a cover and thank you letter workshop but ended as both of those, a resume review  and a very happy person.

I taught the art of communicating 3 different ways because  first I covered cover letters then thank you letters which are similar but different and need to be written in a certain way and of course resumes are very different again. The person had their resume with them so it just wouldn’t have been nice to not review it because it was a different workshop. These 3 forms of communication are similar and different in how they are written and the person that I was working with not only got it as I explained it, but got excited about it too! I love to see it when a person that I meet realizes their potential. A very nice person with lots of things that they can do, many career options to explore and they now want to move ahead with excitement in their step. As a career coach that is what makes my day. It is the dawning in their eyes, on their face, and in their whole being that they can choose their path, their life path, and their career path.

Career coaching, employment coaching/assistance, resume help, interview practice, or how to stay motivated isn’t just what I do, but the making a difference, the altruism is who I am, and when I can see it change someone it makes my whole life better. Today is a great day.

Communication in a resume will determine whether you get the interview, but sometimes the cover letter will assist in that regard. Always remember to think work product when you produce anything because that is how an employer, and a career coach reviewing your work will see your work. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and even doing a bit of research to add a little extra to the letter can make a huge difference. If you look on a company website and determine that they will be expanding or they have X number of employees and you quote that in the letter by saying something like “As I was researching your company I noticed that you have 3 facilities in 2 cities with 250 employees and I am looking forward to learning more and becoming part of your team” or something that references that you did a bit of research, you are again ahead in the communication game. You didn’t only communicate to them, now you have the reciprocal part of communication…you have them listening! Getting an employer to listen is a skill on its’ own. I have no doubt that my client today can live her life on any scale they choose. It wasn’t a personal client from Career Create, it was from other website that I do but they are exactly the kind of client I would love to have anywhere I am working/coaching/facilitating or helping with any career endeavor.

I have also been assisting another specific client with resume variations and I am very excited because one of the resumes got him an interview either tomorrow or Friday at 10:00. He now has 2 variations that I assisted with but he also knows how to take the information and move it around, add and subtract, and tailor it to the specific job! If he knows how to do that…I have done my job and I have done it well.  He  submitted 3 resumes yesterday and I am very excited to see his successes because I am sure there will be plenty. Yes it is a great day! I think I need to learn how to do video seminars because it is really hard to do the phone workshops like this and the other one.

Keep watching the website and the blog for more information and tips. Did you know that the thank you send to an employer doesn’t have to be a formal letter; sometimes a short handwritten thank you is the way to go…more later on thank you notes and letters…keep watching!

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Colleague Statement
“Loretta is a highly experienced and productive professional in the field of Workforce Development, Job Readiness, Career Counseling, Workshop Facilitation, and Job Search Preparation. I have worked with her closely for over six years, and she has consistently been a valuable, key resource in the employment community. For three of those years, she was at Napa Valley College as a resource specialist in their career center... 
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