In Pursuit: Writing Cover Letters

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Cover letters can be difficult, and it’s hard to know where to start. But this is the time for you to display your personality and communication skills, as well demonstrate what skills you have that will benefit the company you want to work for.

Tailor every cover letter you write to the company you want to work for. Yes, this means having a ton of cover letters saved on your laptop, and editing every time you apply somewhere. But the extra effort is usually worth it. Plus, it’s always best to address someone in your letter, and a quick phone call can sometimes do the trick if you can’t find a person to address it to online.

Your cover letter doesn’t have to look boring. A splash of color, and minimal design can go a long way. Extra points if it matches your resume. Of course, this depends on what you’re applying for.

Use correct grammar, and check for any misspelled words. Writing skills are important, no matter what job you’re applying for. For god’s sake, use proper punctuation and grammar. Having someone else read it to catch mistakes isn’t a bad idea either.

Now is the time to show off what you can do. Especially if your resume doesn’t have a lot on it. Talk up everything you can – it’s hard when you’re first looking for internships, and don’t have much experience. So a cover letter is perfect for sparse resumes. Talk yourself up, but don’t outright brag. No one likes that.

Don’t be scared to show a little personality. You want to stand out, right? A cover letter is also a great time to do that. You don’t want to go overboard, but just remember that however you come across in your letter, you have to own it.

Don’t repeat what you have on your resume. Add things you didn’t have space for on your resume, don’t waste space by just repeating everything on your resume. You should be keeping it to one page, by the way.

Tell a story, but keep it to the point. Stand out by making your cover letter a little more colorful. Maybe the company you’re applying for had some impact on your life that you could talk about, or maybe talk about how you’ve imagined yourself working at this specific company for a long time. Just keep it short and sweet.

The best thing you can do, is be genuine and open. And have correct grammar. Always save your cover letters as PDFs, too. A great tool that has some cool templates for cover letters is Canva. If you’re looking for resume tips, check out my post here.

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13 Reasons Why I Am a Feminist

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I’ve been big on “girl power” since I was in elementary school, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I realized what feminism was, and that it was something I definitely wanted to be a part of.

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What Being a Writer is Like

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You don’t need a degree or even to be particularly good to be a writer. You just need to write.

Being a writer is like trying to row through dark, choppy waters to the glistening light on the shore. It’s basking in the indigo morning light while mourning doves sing, marveling at the sight outside of your window. It’s staying awake when you should be asleep, images moving in your mind like a movie reel.

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How Reading Changed My Life

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I was in the first grade when I realized my love for reading. My passion for reading grew even stronger when my cousin gave me her copy of the second Harry Potter book. Ever since then,  I’ve spent hours reading and trying to create my own stories.

Continue reading How Reading Changed My Life

Six Ways to Get Out of A Writing Slump

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In a recent post, I wrote about the “slump” I encountered earlier this summer with my writing and creativity. As a follow-up, I created a post detailing the six ways to become inspired, disciplined, and motivated again.

  1. If you’re looking for inspiration or ideas, go on Pinterest. Pinterest is a freakin’ goldmine. There are tons of images you can choose from if you need an idea, and I have several (secret) boards dedicated to the books I am writing or want to write. It’s a great way to visualize what your story might look like.
  2. Read. Sometimes you just need to focus on someone else’s work. Also, forcing yourself to sit down and focus yourself on something helps when you sit down later in front of your laptop or notebook.
  3. Focus on other aspects of your story or something else entirely different. If you’re attempting to write a book but you’re just not feeling it, try writing about a certain character’s backstory or build up other aspects of your story. Or write about something else that has nothing to do with your story. Look at different styles to change it up a bit, such as poetry, unique perspectives, and descriptive scenes. This way you can flex your writing muscles and help break your boredom at the same time.
  4. Take a break. If you’ve been super focused on one project lately, you might be getting burned out. Sometimes taking a day or two to focus on other things in your life, things that don’t relate to writing, can help your mind recharge.
  5. Look up writing prompts. If you just need to get your creative juices flowing, look at writing prompts to get a head start. This will help you become disciplined again if you haven’t written for a while as well. There are thousands of different prompts out there to help you think of ideas and keep writing, even if you don’t feel like it.
  6. Write. Write a sentence, and another. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole page. Even if you feel like it’s your worst work ever, keep going. The best way to get out of writer slump? Power through it and keep writing.

The most important thing to remember is to never give up, and to not compare your writing with others’. Move at your own pace and focus on your own work. Worrying about what others doing will just take time away from you improving your writing.

From a Frustrated Writer

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I write all the time.

I keep a journal, I’m in the process of writing my second book, I’m a journalism major, and I work on my school newspaper.

There are always the usual frustrations of no one seeming to care about words anymore. Books and newspapers go unread. People are turning more to technology and children rather play on their tablets than read a book. Many people don’t realize that words and communication are some of the most important things in the world. Everyone should have good writing and reading skills. While math skills are important also, if you can’t read the problem then you can’t solve it.

The one question writers are almost always asking themselves is: how can I make my words grab people’s attention?

Writers write because they want their voices to be heard in a different and uninterrupted way. While most of my writing stays private, what I do post online or in print is usually ignored- which isn’t a big surprise, but after awhile it starts to make you feel like you’re doing something wrong.

I’ve questioned my skills so many times and even wondered if this is what I’m supposed to do. While I usually refute these doubts, it still continues to sit in the back of my mind.

Of course, regardless of how many people are reading my work or dislike it, this won’t stop me from writing. I don’t purely write to reach an audience but to settle my soul and fears, to calm myself down, and just because I need to.

Lately I’ve found myself in a sort of writing slump. Every time I pick up a pen or start typing, I’m constantly cringing. Trying not to compare yourself to others can be one of the hardest things to avoid doing. I’ve been jumping back and forth between projects, unable to concentrate on one for very long or able to keep a consistent writing schedule.

To all of the other frustrated writers who find themselves staring at a blank piece of paper, or lines of badly strung words, you are definitely not alone.

The best thing to do is to just plow on and keep beating away the voice who says “stop”. The only way to get out of a writing slump is to keep going.

Just remember what Jody Ellen Malpas said, “you must write for yourself and not what you think people want to read.”