4 Steps to Writing a Cover Letter That Gets You the Job

Putting together a winning resume is the first step in grabbing the attention of a potential new employer, but the other key component in setting yourself apart from the competition is a cover letter that gets results.

Now, some of you might be thinking, “A cover letter? What is this, 1977?” And you’d be partially correct. Gone are the days of mailing resumes on off-white, high cotton content paper and including a type written cover letter, but the concept of an introduction tailored specifically to a certain company and/or position highlighting how your exact skills are a great match for the job should not be underestimated.

In a world of digital communications, setting yourself apart in some meaningful way can only help you in your job search by adding color and life to what has often come to be a bland and faceless process.

So, whether your cover letter is actually typed on paper, included as part of an online application, emailed, or communicated in some other way, it’s still important.

The 4 Step Cover Letter Strategy:

Step 1: Your target audience.

Spend some time researching who the actual decision maker is and address your cover letter to that individual person. While you can’t always determine who that is, the fact of the matter is that if you can send an application/resume and cover letter to someone specific, it will have a much greater impact and definitely get noticed.

Step 2: Content of your cover letter.

How does your experience and personal skill set mesh with the needs of the company and the deliverables of the job, as outlined in the job description? Look at all of this from the hiring manager’s viewpoint. Put yourself in that person’s shoes. If you were making the hire, why are you the one for the job? What makes you the one who will return the greatest bang for the buck? Be specific and include examples from your past experience that would be important in this new role.

Step 3: Ask for an interview.

The sole function of your resume and the cover letter is to garner enough interest to secure a face to face meeting. The old adage in sales is, “Never sell on the phone,” which is to mean that you want to set an appointment and get in front of your prospect before you start selling. The same holds true when looking for a job. Your cover letter needs to include a call to action, so be sure to state that you’d like an interview, because most people don’t.

Step 4: Follow up.

In conjunction with point 3 above, you need to follow up on the submittal of your application/resume and cover letter. Pick up the phone and make a call. When you get a live person on the other end, ask for an interview. You would be amazed at how many people take the time to carefully craft their resume and a cover letter, send it out, but never follow up. In a competitive marketplace, the person that actually ends up getting the job is often the one who expressed the greatest interest. Always remember that fortune favors the bold. Always take the time to follow up and follow through.

Having a strong cover letter strategy, a well written resume, and a plan for approaching your job search will eventually land you the job you want, but if you want some extra help along the way, contact the professionals at STS Staffing.

For more helpful tips on your job hunt, read our blog, “The 3 Most Important Soft Skills for Your Job Search.”

How to Choose a Staffing Agency for Hiring Temporary Employees

The use of temporary employees, or contingent personnel, to fill in or augment a company’s full time staff is more widely practiced and accepted than ever before.  

Considering recent statistics that show unemployment across the United States is at the lowest level in many years, savvy business owners and managers are turning to staffing firms to assist in sourcing, screening, and placing qualified people to meet current and future business objectives.

If you’ve been working with staffing firms and hiring temporary employees for any length of time, you probably have established your own set of criteria as an employer in what you look for when hiring temporary employees. But for those of you new to the game, here are a couple quick pointers on how to choose a staffing agency.

 

  • Apples & Oranges.  

Is the staffing firm you’re working with experienced and adept at finding the exact skill sets you require? If you need a project manager for your software implementation but the staffing firm you are working with only has a track record of hiring and placing administrative assistants, then you may be in for a long and frustrating experience. Always determine that you are working with someone with demonstrated expertise in providing what you need, and that they can do so in a timely manner.

 

  • The Devil is in the Details.  

What sort of screening process does the staffing firm you’re working with have in place? Take the time to inquire about the exact process that goes into vetting candidates before being placed on a job. Once you understand the process, and are OK with what you are hearing, then determine what is important to you in meeting your company’s staffing need.

Are employer references checked to verify recent work history? What about educational verification? Do you want or need a background check or drug screen completed? If so, to what level? Should this mirror your internal company policies? There are many more questions to ponder, but the point is this: Define what you need to know about all candidates placed at your company and make certain these needs mesh with what your staffing firm can and does provide.

If you need 500 people to fold boxes in your warehouse during peak production times, is reference checking, background checks or drug screening even important? You must decide. If, on the other hand, you’ll need someone to work on a long-term project in your corporate headquarters and they’ll have access to your facility and sensitive information, then a full vetting of that candidate is a prudent move.

To assist in sorting through the questions above, and providing some good answers, feel free to contact us here at STS Staffing. After 26 years in business, we’ve worked with all types of organizations, of all sizes, and have met their needs with high levels of satisfaction. Learn more about our process on our website.

Reasons Why You Should Consider a Seasonal Job for the Holidays

With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror and Christmas quickly approaching, this is an ideal time to look into earning extra cash through a seasonal job.

During this time of year, many businesses need extra help to get them through the holiday rush. Consider all the possibilities available to gain short-term employment:

  1. Retail stores (clerks, sales associates, warehouse helpers, shipping/receiving, gift wrapping)
  2. Christmas tree lots
  3. Snow shoveling & removal
  4. Delivery driver and/or driver’s helper
  5. Restaurant staff (hosts, servers, bartenders, bussers, dishwashers, catering, cooks)
  6. Hospitality (hotels, resorts, ski areas, holiday events, janitorial work)

There are many reasons why you should consider a seasonal job for the holidays. Not only can you earn additional money for gifts, but you can also receive discounts from retailers as a full-time, or even part-time, seasonal employee. It’s truly a win-win.

Other advantages come in the form of new work experiences and networking with supervisors and other employees to expand your circle of contacts and influence. Serving others during the holiday season always tends to bring out the true spirit of Christmas as well!

For more information about seasonal part-time and full-time jobs during the holidays, feel free to contact your nearest STS Staffing location to see what type of work fits your skills, background, and schedule.

3 Advantages of Temporary Employment and Contract Work

Over the 26 years that STS Staffing & Temporary Services has been in business, we’ve seen a shift in how temporary (or contract) work is viewed in the business community and wider world. Often maligned in the past as a refuge for the “unemployable” who lack any meaningful skills, job seekers are now seeing the many advantages of temporary employment.

In our modern economy, employees are more apt to see themselves as independent contractors or individual contributors — even when they work a full-time job.

Employers are also embracing the idea of “contingent labor,” as it’s something that provides maximum flexibility and control of personnel costs. Temporary help from staffing firms eliminates many overhead costs for businesses and allows employers to adjust the quantity and type of staff they want during peak production times.

From an employee standpoint, the ability to work as a temporary employee, or independent contractor, is advantageous for many reasons:  

  1. Your staffing firm has standing relationships with many companies, giving you many different opportunities and valuable experiences. This can be crucial in developing skills, gaining experience, and growing your network of contacts.
  2. Your staffing firm generally knows of available positions that aren’t actively advertised to the general public. The firm can get your foot in the door with good organizations that need help.
  3. Over 30% of all STS Staffing temporary assignments have the potential for a long-term, direct hire relationship with the client company. Working with a staffing firm can be a great way to get hired into a position that offers greater pay and benefits. While we can’t guarantee anyone will be hired as a permanent employee, or when, we have seen it happen often enough to feel confident in promoting this scenario as a true advantage of contract work.

In addition, the lure of mobility that temporary work offers is quite appealing to many employees.

For more information on how STS Staffing & Temporary Services can assist you in your job search, please contact one of our recruiters at your nearest STS branch location.

 

Fall is here! Sign up for STS’s Seasonal Jobs.

Never mind that today will top 90 degree’s with July-like humidity outside, it’s officially the first day of Fall.  Regardless, we’re happy that it’s football season and we will see a change in the weather soon.  As the temperature’s drop along with the leaves on the tree’s, it’s a sure sign that STS Staffing will be gearing up for many new Seasonal job opportunities.  If you are looking for some supplemental income for school, or have time available during the day or evenings to work, STS Staffing can most likely help put some extra cash in your pocket.  Positions in retail, warehouse, assembly, and even outdoor services like snow shoveling will be available.  Contact your local STS Staffing office today and speak to a recruiter about available positions and upcoming needs.  As they say – ‘Winter is coming’.

Find all the STS Staffing Office locations and contact information at: www.stsstaffing.com

 

Bringing Dynamic Clients and Employees Together

STS Staffing has just updated its’ website to be more user friendly and offer more usable content to the client company’s, employees, and job seekers we have the pleasure to serve each day. See the site at: www.stsstaffing.com This is ‘Blog #1’ for the new site and we hope you’ll continue to read as we craft new blogs on topics relating to staffing and the employment market, or whatever enters our fertile minds on a given day. By way of introduction, STS Staffing is based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul and we’ve been in business continually since 1992. We’ve seen many changes in temporary staffing after 26 years in business, but as much as we’ve kept up with the technological advancements over that time, the core tenets of our business have not changed. We still believe that business is about developing mutually beneficial business relationships with both our clients and temporary employees. Beyond the Twin Cities in MN, STS also has branch office locations in Phoenix, AZ, Reno, NV, and Las Vegas, NV. While each branch location has a personality all its’ own and serves a varied niche, the overall STS core principles of integrity, hard-work, and ‘going the extra mile’ are at the root of every business unit we operate. We invite you to experience the STS difference if you’re looking for temporary work and are in need of highly qualified temporary workers. We’ve expanded operations to support staffing projects nationwide, so our reach goes beyond just our regional office locations.