Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cover Letters: Why They're Important and How to Use Yours to Make an Impression by Hallie Crawford

Cover Letters: Why They’re Important and How to Use Yours to Make an Impression
By: Hallie Crawford

Once you’ve written a polished resume that’s sure to impress potential employers, you should focus on your cover letter. Too many people underestimate the importance of this vital component to their resume. Be sure to take full advantage of the opportunity the cover letter presents to really sell yourself to potential employers.

Four Tips on Getting Your Cover Letter Noticed

(1) Be specific and demonstrate knowledge.

Employers read many resumes and cover letters, especially for prime positions. Yours should specifically address the position you hope to land an interview for, and explain how your skills and experience qualify you for that job. Don't send "mass mail," all-purpose types of resumes and cover letters - these will probably end up in the recycle bin.

(2) Address the letter to the person who will be reading it.

Avoid "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom it May Concern" whenever possible. Even better, show that you are familiar with the company. Reference a recent merger, new product line, or other noteworthy event as evidence that you know about the company, follow its success, and would be a valuable part of their team.

(3) Play up the positives; downplay the negatives.
Let's say you are a recent college graduate without a lot of job experience. Describe how your activities and experiences in school helped prepare you for your career. Or, suppose you have time gaps in your employment. I encourage clients to not call great attention to this; if you focus on it and make it into an issue, it will become an issue for them. However, if you feel you do need to explain the time gap up front, use your cover letter to describe why there are gaps, and put a positive spin on it if possible (i.e., "Between March 2006 and August 2006 I traveled abroad and studied Spanish...").

(4) Neatness and professionalism counts.

Proper punctuation, grammar, and spelling are important in a professional cover letter. Print your resume and cover letter on matching, plain stationery or parchment paper if you have it. Sure you may have a fondness for cats, but a potential employer may find your cute feline letterhead "a bit too casual" for the workplace! I suggest hiring a professional resume writer to help you with your cover letter. There is a reason they are the experts in their field – they know what they’re doing. A professional resume writer will know how to present you in the best light for the position you are seeking. (For recommended resume writers, feel free to visit my blog in the About the Author section below.)

Don’t miss out on the opportunity the cover letter provides you with to stand out from the crowd of other applicants. A resume is useless to an employer if he or she can't figure out what type of job you’re looking for. A dynamic cover letter will explain what you seek, highlight why you are perfect for the job, and bring personality and voice to your resume.

Copyright 2006 Hallie Crawford, Authentically Speaking. All rights reserved.

Article by:

Want free tips, tools and expert advice on finding a career you’re passionate about? Visit Certified Career Coach Hallie Crawford. Sign up for Hallie's monthly e-newsletter, Creating Your Own Path, right now: Bookmark her career tips blog at for recommendations on resume writers, online career tests and more career resources.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Turkey Spaghetti Recipe - Low Fat Cooking

Turkey Spaghetti - Turkey Meat Sauce for Spaghetti

1 lb ground turkey
1 large (28 oz.) can diced or cut tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
pepper to taste
nonstick cooking spray

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over high heat.
Add ground turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Drain fat.
Stir in canned tomatoes, and spices. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer covered about 15 minutes. Remove cover and simmer another 15 minutes.

Tip: For creamier sauce, put sauce in a food processor or blender before serving.
Cook pasta according to package directions, and serve turkey meat sauce over cooked spaghetti. Serves 6

Serving size: 5 oz turkey meat sauce and 9 oz cooked pasta

Each serving provides:

Calories: 330
Total fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 60 mg
Sodium: 280 mg

Source: Stay Young at Heart, the NHLBI, and the NIH

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - What Is It?

Answer is in comments

Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Holiday - February 12

Monday, February 12 is the 5th annual Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Holiday at This is a holiday to celebrate the freedom and innovation of mom entrepreneurs.

The holiday started in February 2003 as a fun way to get publicity for the event and a home business book, 'I Love My Life: A Mom's Guide to Working from Home'.

Ways that you can celebrate and win cool stuff!

* Get publicity by sending in a press release to your local newspaper.

* Wear your bathrobe all day on Monday, February 12 to show your entrepreneurial pride.

* Enter the contest at to win one of several great prizes including one of 3 luxury bathrobes from Prizes will be awarded on Monday, February 19.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Today is Spouse's Day - Who Loves You Baby!

According to the Holidays for website, today is Spouse's Day! I want to take this time to thank my best friend, protector, main provider and supporter, for being the best spouse. My guy has seen me through some rough times, regarding to my health. He encouraged me to look for a work at home customer service position when I realized I wouldn't be working outside the home. This guy works a full time and a part time job so that our family can have shelter, food, medical and clothes.

Thank you dogboy for being my spouse.

Love you always, Rona

4 Housekeeping Tips to Help the Homemaker by O Quinn

A clean and organized home doesn’t have to take up all of your time. Follow these four top tips to help you keep things on track.

1. Keep a family messaging area. A place where messages can be taken and left. Where all mail is sorted and assigned. Have this place near the phone and include a memo pad and pens and pencils. Post a magnetic wipe off board with a cork section for posting notes. A calendar listing all family appointments and to do’s is a great idea also.

2. Don’t try and keep the home together by yourself. Train your children to help in cleaning and organizing chores and include your spouse. Share the load. And you get more flies with honey than with vinegar.

3. If there is a large job to tackle get the whole household involved. It might even be fun. Such as cleaning out the basement or attic. Painting a room.

4. Spread out your cleaning. Don’t wait until Saturday to try and clean the whole home. And don’t try to do all they laundry, vacuum and dusting at once. Break it up. Touch up the bathroom in a few minutes each day and spend 15 minutes once a week deep cleaning it. Organize a drawer a day instead of tackling all the drawers in your kitchen at once.

With just a little organization and planning you can have your homemaking more organized.

Article by:

Visit O Quinn at her new blog Organized Homemaking Days

Monday, January 22, 2007

BerryMorins Bits and Tips Recommended Weekly Blog - I'm An Organizing Junkie

This Christian mom of three describes herself as an organizing junkie and you know what? She is! This is one of the blogs that I visit frequently, during the week. Mondays, you'll find the Menu Plan Monday. Participants post their weekly menu plans and provide a link to their blogs. Works for Me Wednesdays are organizing projects. Saturdays you'll find Solution Posts. And amongst all of this she still finds time to post photos of organization projects!

Please feel free to stop by Organizing Junkie's Blog and congratulations. You're BerryMorins Weekly Recommended Blog Pick!

Buick Invitational - January 22-28, 2007

The Buick Invitational starts on Monday, January 22 through January 28, at Torrey Pines Golf Course, in La Jolla. California. The tour will be featuring the top players on the PGA Tour, including Tiger Woods.

Many local public, private and charter schools sell tickets, as a fundraiser, through the Buick Invitational Charity Support Our Schools. Local U.S. Banks will also be selling the fundraiser tickets. Visit the website for more information.

Tickets are also available online .

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Today is National Hugging Day - Give Your Teen a Bear Hug

It's so easy to hug them when they're little but something just happens when they're teens. Don't let that stop you from giving them a hug once a day. It sure can go a long way.

p.s. We still get and give hugs to our 6' 3" 'Little One'. Happy Hugging Day!

Take a Listen to Heal Yourself Talk Radio Show

Rebecca White, Heal Yourself Talk Radio Host, speaks with Maureen Rosen, Cash Workbooks, about money management for your kids. Maureen explains budgets, savings and cash management for kids, teens and adults.

Visit Maureen's website for more information and products. You'll also see that she offers her products in Spanish.

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