Today I’m honored to have a guest post from my friend Danny Rubin, the creator and writer of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice “hidden” in the day’s top stories. Thanks Danny for gracing all us Groan Ups with your sage advice today!
#1. It’s spelled definitely, not definately.
Yes, it sounds like an ‘a,’ but the fact remains: the word is spelled with an ‘i.’
While on the subject of writing, here are several other words we should expunge.
- Amazing (since we use it for every scenario, it’s lost all meaning)
- Ridiculous (replace with words like ‘unbelievable’ or ‘incredible’)
- Very (can always remove ‘very’ before the adjective; adds very little to the sentenceIn order (don’t need ‘in order’ as in ‘I wrote this sentence in order to prove a point’)
- That (the greatest space-filler of them all; the classic word that you almost never need)
#2. A cover letter should add color and personality. It should not summarize your resume.
Want to really impress an HR manager? Start your cover letter with a story that showcases your personality and – above all – relates directly to the job you want.
Scenario: you apply to be a middle school teacher as your second job out of college (remember, you are 25). You want to prove you can handle a classroom of rambunctious 13 year olds.
You kick off the cover letter like so:
“The sirens were deafening, and I could tell the kids were scared.
Right then, I knew what I had to do: make sure all the children were ushered to a sturdy part of the school in an orderly fashion. We had little time, and I needed to act fast.
I had never experienced a tornado firsthand, but I had the proper training and knew if I stayed calm, we would all get through it safely.”
You immediately begin with a unique story. It’s dramatic, demonstrates courage under fire and shows – not tells – why you have what it takes.
#3. You are never too busy to write a thank-you note.
Looking to take your game to the next level?
Send a thank-you note to a friend or co-worker just because they did something really great for you. If you feel inspired, write it by hand or toss in a Starbucks gift card. Because the gesture is random, it will make a person’s day.
#4. Don’t step into an interview room without research on the company and questions for the employer.
Before you walk into the job interview, ask yourself: am I ready?
Until you have solid intel on the employer and meaningful questions prepared, you are not.
What are meaningful questions for an employer who works in, say, marketing?
- “I read your bio and noticed you started your career in marketing with Ringling Brothers circus. What was that like?”
- “I keep reading about how ‘big data’ is the future of marketing. What’s your thought on how media firms should take advantage of all the new information out there?”
- What do clients find most valuable today? What services are they most interested in?”
The goal is to turn an interview into a conversation. Prove you are an equal and ready to ‘talk shop’ about the business.
#5. Under-promise. Over-deliver.
In the business world, anyone can talk a big game. Don’t set the bar too high by guaranteeing mind-blowing work.
It’s far better to surprise people with a terrific end-product they did not expect.
Then they will say, “You really went above and beyond.” Well, you only went ‘above and beyond’ because you didn’t promise the world from the get-go.
There was too much
ridiculously amazing incredible advice for one blog post, so if you want the complete “25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25” list visit News To Live By and download a FREE copy of the entire ebook!
Danny Rubin is the creator and writer of News To Live By. Don’t simply read the news; use it to get better. Follow Danny on Twitter @newstoliveby.