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Archive for January, 2010

Blog Comment

Ashley Renfroe

Original comment:

These were really good tips! I completely agree about how a cover letter needs to be concise and get the point across. After all, a hopeful employee only has a little time to catch the attention of that employer.

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Sometimes things don’t have to be said at all…

Body language and nonverbal communication are a huge part when it comes to interacting with others. Talking is only a fraction of the conversation, listening is also very important. It is so much easier to understand the message that the sender is sending in person rather than on the phone, email, or text message. It happens when people are in a disagreement, where in person they could be standing with arms crossed or fists clenched. Or when people are expressing words of gratitude, they could be reaching out to hold hands with very forward body language. Certain gestures likes these are unfeasible when the conversation is email, phone, or text. While the phone helps to hear the tone of voice and emotions, it doesn’t allow the people to read each others faces or body.

According to the Changing Minds site, “Nonverbal communication has a significant effect on what is communicated.” It comes to people so naturally to wear their emotions, feelings, or intentions on their sleeves. We use our heads to motion a direction or tilt in confusion. One thing I found interesting about the Changing Minds site is that nonverbal communication can even be generated by the material items possessed by the person, be it their clothing, car, items on their desk at work. It is so easy to go through the motions of the day and experience hundreds of different types of nonverbal language and body language. In a communication study done by Alfred Mehrabian, in which they studied people listening to certain words in different tones. The study concluded the formula that communication is 7% verbal, 38 % vocal (tone of voice), and 55% facial (i.e. the body language).

People experience so much nonverbal communication and body language comes from relationships. According to Helping Guide, “Nonverbal communication cues can play five roles: repetition, contradiction, substitution, contemplating, accenting.” For example, when a boss complements one of their employees on a job well done, the extra nonverbal communication comes in the form of a pat on the back. A good way for a person to really work to read nonverbal cues is in the beginning of a relationship when getting to know someone. When first meeting someone, that person who is interested will want to pick up on their regular gestures and expressions, trying to understand their normality.

Nonverbal communication cues can definitely help when a person is lying. According to Mind Tools, there are many typical signs when a person lies, such as, “Eyes maintain little or no contact, or there may be rapid eye movement, hands or fingers are in front of the mouth when speaking, body may be physically turned away, breathing rate increases, complexion changes, perspiration increases, and a change in voice.” Little signs like these start to show when a person who is trying to lie becomes uneasy in their speech.

A good, first hand example of nonverbal cues was a little disagreement I had with my boyfriend this afternoon. When we first began talking, our motions were at ease. However, when the argument escalated my arms became tense, kind of like a way of defense. Also, we readjusted the way we were sitting to be angled away and further apart. When he got frustrated, I could hear him let out deep breathes, and could see him roll his eyes. When we reconciled the argument, both of us let the stiffness in our composure subdue. Something like this is not what people normally think about unless looking at it from the outside or looking back on a situation.

The Basics of a Cover Letter

When it comes to a resume, a cover letter is an essential part of the ensemble. It is the first piece of the pie that any company seeking to hire will be reading. Writing a cover letter, a hopeful employee needs to be professional. A resume should help persuade the employer to further read the entire resume, and hopefully get you an interview for whatever job.

According to a helpful Virginia Tech website, it is aimed to help students about to graduate better prepare their resumes. The resume needs to call attention to the purpose in which it is being sent. First of all there are two different types of cover letters: those of application and those of inquiry. The website has several example resume links for each type. Application is applying for a definite open position, and inquiry is asking if there is a possible job position that could be applied for. There are also differences between a hard copy resume and email. According to the Virginia Tech website, “The main difference between e-mail and hard copy correspondence is format: your signature block (address, etc.) goes below your name in e-mail, while it goes at the top of the page on hard copy. Of course you won’t have a handwritten signature on e-mail, but don’t forget this on hard copy.”

It is important that your cover letter is specific to the position in which you are applying. The cover letter then, should stress the skills and experience that relate to the position you are seeking.

Thanks to About.com: JobSearch, they have given many templates for different types of cover letters. Check them out here, at Cover Letter Samples. The many links of the site can cater to your particular needs of the type of cover letter necessary. The cover letter is such an important part of the package because it is like making the first impression. You need to be knowledgeable about the certain type of cover letter needed, or the employer may just send your resume into the “reject” pile. Especially in the job market these days with not many college students being hired right after graduation, it is good to show that you know the requirements. About.com says, “Keeping in mind that your letter should express a high level of interest and knowledge about the job you are interested in.”

To get some good ideas going on starting your own cover letter for that important job opportunity, check out theCover Letter site, which provides free resume templates for many types of different jobs.  They are even willing to add those job cover letters that are not listed on their site! So helpful.

When it comes time to apply for the job, make sure that the cover letter gets as much time and effort as the resume. Obviously implying that all the details are in the resume is not that enticing for the employer. Just like the hook line of a story in the news, the cover letter needs to “hook” that employer’s interest in what you have to offer.

Need more help? Check out this video

All About Me :) Beginning 2010

Well, I’ve had this blog for about a year now, so I’m sure there is already an “about me” blog or two along the lines. This is my second time taking a course with Mrs. Nixon, and I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy this one as well. I am a junior public relations major at Georgia Southern. I am also a fashion merchandising minor. I belong to a sorority, and am also a member of PRSSA. So far, I have a fairly light schedule this semester. After last semesters load of classes, I think that taking only thirteen hours is totally worth it. I really enjoy being a public relations major. My goal with that degree and my minor is to work for a major fashion magazine, and hopefully have that be in New York. I would like for it to be soon after I graduate from Southern, just to be able to keep up with the fast-paced environment. I have a big passion for the fashion industry and really hope to get my foot in the door with whatever internship I could manage to land in the next year.

Other than being a student, I love reading, watching movies, exercising, being outdoors, spending time with my family and friends, and now being a new dog owner. Over the Christmas break, I rescued my first dog. She is a two-year old mutt named Chloe, and she officially owns me. I am adjusting to the schedule of owning a dog, and I will tell you it is a full-time job. But, she melts my heart and I could not have asked for a better dog. I highly recommend rescuing or adopting from the animal shelter.

As for the start of the new decade, I am hoping for a few things. I want to try and curb the procrastination, especially since I am taking my major courses. I also would like to read more for fun, because I have a full stack of books to go through. I am ready for another good semester, and hope that I will be able to do as well as the last.