Business Requirements – What Is The Difference Between Good And Bad?

What is a ‘Good’ Requirement?

Many customers have asked us to give them examples of ‘good’ business requirements. Some of the braver have even asked for ‘bad’ requirements for comparison. Presumably the bravest by far are those who have presented us with samples of their requirements and requested an evaluation of the ‘quality’ of the requirements. After much hair pulling, brain thrashing, and pouring ashes on our heads, we have decided to approach this topic head-on (don’t even get me started with that ad!). Since the topic is, however rather humongous (i.e., too big to consider in a single article), we have decided to break it down.

‘Good’, Albeit Young and Immature Requirements

First off, we need to point out that the ‘goodness’ of a business requirement depends on where it is in its evolution. For convenience’s sake, we divide the requirements determination process into three major stages, ‘Capturing’, ‘Clarifying’, and ‘Confirming’.

Our basic philosophy is that business requirements may exist in the wilds of corporate America, we don’t know for sure. The reason we don’t know is that we can’t tell whether something is a requirement or not until we have captured them. What we as business analysts (a.k.a. those responsible for capturing business requirements) need to do first is plan the hunt. We need to study requirements in their natural habitat to try to learn as much about them as we can. Anything we can learn about their habits, their behaviors and their preferences will aid us in the upcoming hunt to ensure that we can snare as many of them as possible in the time allotted. ‘Capturing’ it is all about getting the requirement any which way you can – through interviewing, observation, analysis, blue-skying, brainstorming, brainwashing, butt-kicking, or whatever-works-for-you.

In this formative stage of its life, a ‘good’ requirement is a statement that:

  • starts with the words ‘I (or We, or Our Department, or My people, or a specific role) need (or don’t need or want or don’t want or should or should not or will or will not)’ OR it defines some dimension of a specific component of the future solution;
  • names a single component/feature/behavior/state that whoever has the authority in the business community to make the decision decides is an outcome of the project worth funding;
  • focuses on the business outcome, not the technology to be used; and
  • can be traced back to the individual with the authority to ‘own’ and ‘fund’ this requirement.

A Couple of Fine (IONSHO – in our not-so-humble opinion) Examples:

  1. Sales needs to be able to see which contracts will be expiring within the upcoming 90 days.
  2. I want the system to automatically calculate sales taxes based on relevant sales tax laws.
  3. The website visitor won’t need to click more than once to get to the order page from any other page on the site.
  4. We need to be able to respond to a code red incident anywhere on the planet within 24 hours.
  5. The sales tax will be localized by the zip code of the ship-to address.

On Clarifying Requirements

Requirements clarification is really all about making sure that more than one person (i.e., the author) fully understands what the requirement means. Requirements are, after all, a means of communication, so unless both the creator and the reader of the requirement agree on what it actually means, it can not call itself a clear requirement.

Just as a good for instance, let’s take the first requirement from the set above:

“Sales needs to be able to see which contracts will be expiring within the upcoming 90 days.”

Makes perfect sense to me, after all, I wrote it. What does it mean to the developers (whether they are sitting in a third world country or a cube next to me, whether or not they speak English as their native tongue, and whether or not they share a cultural background with me)? What kinds of questions could those developers have?

An Exercise in Clarity

As an exercise in your analytic abilities, you might at this point want to take two minutes to see how many questions you can think of that you would like answered to make sure that you understand my intent and not just your interpretation of my words. Whether you write them down or not, count them. In this case, quantity counts.

All right, here is my two-minute list:

  1. Who or what are “Sales”? What can they do? What will they do with whatever I give them?
  2. What does “to see” mean? Do they need the physical contracts or just a list?
  3. What constitutes a contract?
  4. What makes a contract “expire” and why do they care?
  5. Upcoming 90 days? Starting from when? Does this view change day-by-day or weekly or monthly or hourly or what?
  6. Come to think of it, what constitutes a day in this context, 24 hours (a day in a single location) or the global day (and is that 47 hours or how does that work, anyway)?

OK, those are the first 6 (or however many you want to count) questions that hit my feeble mind, but remember, I am the author! You can probably do much better because you look at the world from your perspective. All of this indicates that, although the requirement was clear to me when I wrote it, it may just have some subjectivity that needs to be resolved lest it lead us to develop the wrong solution.

When Does It Ever Stop?

Let’s consider what we just did. We took one sentence and created a bunch of questions that will lead to who knows how many more sentences, each of which will consist of terms that need clarification. Sounds like a classic example of analysis paralysis to me. How does it end, when do we finally know enough to stop dithering around and start developing the solution?

Great question! Actually, quite possibly THE question for business analysts everywhere. The most expensive answer is, of course, to build the solution and then see whether or not you understood the requirements correctly (which could have a negative impact on your chances for a career in business analysis).

The best answer our industry has come up with to date is the old Chinese quote, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. In other words, draw a diagram or create a prototype of what you think works and test your understanding of it. If you and your counterparts (Subject Matter Experts, a.k.a. SMEs on the one side and the developers on the other) are versed in modeling techniques, a good exercise is to have each side draw a quick diagram (process model, data model, swimlane diagram, whatever) of what they understand the requirement to mean and then compare models. Models are, however, not the only method available to you.

Why Do We Not Clarify?

“Why do many of us skip the clarification process”, you ask? (At least, I think that’s what I heard you say in my head.) For starters, many people don’t like to ask questions for fear of appearing ignorant. (That’s my line — questions don’t show ignorance, they show interest!). Secondly, figuring out what to ask is hard work. (Of course, not as hard as being President, but still.) Even though a question shows interest, some questions at least SOUND stupid, so how can you be sure that YOUR questions are not the stupid kind? O.K., how many of you picked up on the preposterous use of parenthesis in this paragraph to “clarify” what was meant? Did it clarify or confuse? Ahhh, the conundrums we create by craving clarity.

This thinking and that pesky deadline that is looming lead you down the rosy path of, “Well, the subject matter expert must mean this, since that is the only thing that makes sense to me”; and another promising project goes kerplunk. There is a better way, there has to be.

The Decomposition Dilemma

Decomposing requirements statements probably has as many different definitions as there are letters in the name of the technique, but our take on it is the simplest (really, it is, trust me). All you need to think about are two things.

People and systems both do things. In our parlance, we call these things functions, activities, or processes. In doing things, both people and systems consume resources (such as data) and they create new resources (including new data). The primary purpose of information technology is to help us do things cheaper, better, faster and remember what we did by keeping track of the related data. Well, since requirements are supposed to define a future information technology, maybe we should just focus what the system will DO and what it has to KNOW for starters to see where it leads us.

Functional and Informational Components

In its simple form, decomposing a requirement statement consists of asking three questions, starting with “What does the requirement state or imply that the system (or a person) will need to DO?” Since doing anything requires some form of action, we are looking for answers in the form of verbs and objects (i.e., “calculate sales tax”, “deposit check”). Since the verbs indicate the action, the objects are typically data (or something that we need to have data about).

Once we have a list of all of the things that the system or the users need to DO, the second question for each item on the list is, “What data does the system have to KNOW in order to do that?” Since data is a thing, now we are looking for nouns or noun phrases (i.e., “sales tax”, “amount due”, issuing bank”).

The third question is “Where does that data come from?” and the answer here can only be another function or somewhere outside the system (i.e., the bank, the customer, the IRS – sorry bout that last one, but it is a valid source as well as a pain in the anatomy)

And So It Goes

O.K., you started out with a simple sentence that defined a future feature, state, or behavior of a component of the business system and now you have a couple of long lists of things the system has to do and things it has to know. The only significant question left standing is whether you know enough about each item on the list to communicate to the developers or assemblers of the solution. It might even be a good idea if you also knew how to recognize if these things are there and work the way you want them to once the solution is delivered.

Is everything clearer now?

Confirming before Coding

Confirming business requirements is really about making sure that the business community and the technical community understand the same thing under the requirements. It is also about ensuring that they both agree on relative priorities within the set of requirements so those requirements that are most important to the business community will be addressed first. Prioritization is not something that can be done unless it matters, so we are not going to delve here into the intricacies of this critical step at this time. Suffice it to say that unless your business requirements are confirmed and prioritized, they are not ready for prime time which, in our philosophy, means “Ready to be Managed”. In the end, the manageability, maintainability, and feasibility of your business requirements is what makes the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ business requirements.

May the best requirement win.

How to Write a Good Thank You Note: Email Vs Handwritten

When I was learning to teach I dreaded being in front of a class at the blackboard. It wasn’t that I was nervous about public speaking; it was that I have terrible handwriting! Like many left-handed people, handwriting, especially on a blackboard, is challenging – you always seem to end up smudging what you’ve just written.

Despite my difficulty with handwriting, I strongly believe there are times in the business world when handwriting is extremely helpful. One of those times is when you send a thank-you note following a job interview.

You do know that you should send a thank-you note after a job interview (If you don’t, now’s the time to revise your post-interview strategy!). And here’s the reason why. Sending a thank-you note makes you stand out from the mass of applicants, your competition. As well, it signals your strong interest in the position. It’s also a courtesy that has fallen by the wayside in some circumstances. (Try getting a thirteen-year-old to send a thank-you note after a birthday gift arrives from a relative.) But handwriting is making a slow but steady (and essential) comeback, especially in job hunting.

Still, the question remains: why a handwritten thank-you note, why not send an email?

One reason is: because email messaging has become so prevalent, a handwritten letter (or note) will draw greater attention, simply because it is less expected. Another is, a handwritten letter conveys a human quality and a kind of intimacy. Of course, you have to make sure that your script is legible. (Even I can do that, if I try hard enough!)

Some believe that you should actually send two thank-you notes, the first by email, the second by regular post. My feeling is, if you only have time for one thank-you note, go with the handwritten note. It will have greater impact. Ideally, you should send both an email and a handwritten note, as I explain in the recommendations that follow.

Recommendations for Post-Interview Thank-You Notes:

1. The Email:

Send a thank-you email message as soon as you can. By the end of the same day you interviewed is optimal. Keep it very short. Most employers will not take the time to read a long, multi-paragraph email. And email messages shouldn’t be more than 3-4 short paragraphs.

The content: Use email to thank the employer for her time, to briefly reiterate your understanding of hers and the organization’s needs, and how you can fulfill them. Conclude by expressing your enthusiasm for the chance to work with this employer.

The purpose: Your thank-you email demonstrates you are conscientious, organized and enthusiastic about the potential job.

2.The Handwritten Thank-you Note:

Mail your handwritten thank-you note within twenty-four hours, since it takes at least a day or two to arrive at its destination.

The Content: This is your opportunity to be more expansive than in your email message. Be aware that the chances of it being read are greater, given the surprise factor. That said, be concise. Briefly reflect on some of the issues that arose in the interview. Share additional thoughts that occurred to you after the fact (if you have something worth adding). If appropriate, address something of importance that failed to come up during the interview. You may also want to demonstrate that the interview gave you a keener understanding of the company and its goals. And now you are even more excited about the possibility of working with the organization.

The Purpose: Your handwritten thank-you note demonstrates your thoroughness and attention to detail. It shows that you are considerate, that it’s important to you to “go that extra mile” for something you really care about.

You may find the thought of writing a thank-you note as daunting as writing a cover letter. But if you stay sharply focused, it isn’t difficult to compose and it really is an important part of your job search.

So when it comes to that question: to (hand) write or not to write? Definitely handwrite. Not only is there a good chance it will give you the leading edge, the journalist Gwendolyn Bounds reports that there is new research indicating handwriting may actually improve the way your brain works! And that can only help you when you land that job.

Tips To Choose A Good Digital Printing Company

When looking for quality prints for your brochures, posters, calendars, flyers, letterheads and even business cards, then you need to find a company that can effectively handle the digital printing project on your behalf. All these printed products are important because they will be representing your brand and company out there in the market and you want them to paint the best image for your brand. A few helpful tips will make it easy for you to choose a digital printing company you can trust.

1. Choose a company that can handle any project size to cater to your large and small consignments depending on your current needs. It should offer you good turnaround and high quality regardless of how big your printing project is.

2. Find out how easy it is for you to make online enquiries and place printing orders. A company with a pleasant online presence and great customer service will give you an easy time going through the process and getting prints you truly deserve.

3. A company that has in-house designer will be more advantageous because you can have your designs handled professionally even when you have no idea what is best for your products. You should get assistance when you are not very sure of what to choose or what you are looking for.

4. The company you choose should be innovative enough to offer you print solutions that are adaptable in your business environment. It should offer ongoing support recommendations and consultation to help evolve the business.

5. Check how technically competent the printing company is in terms of machines and personnel. It should have good organized printing process to deliver the best of services to you.

6. Ask to see samples of previously done work to help you gauge the quality of work you are about to get. It also helps to find out what your printing options are to make sure that you are not limited to an option you might not like on your products.

7. Choose a company that has experience in digital printing. Experience is important because it could mean that the company can handle other projects and services such as data management and marketing campaigns. Find out what other services you can enjoy from the company because they could be important to you in the future.

8. Check out the reputation of your service provider. You can go through client feedback and reviews on the company to find out how good it is in offering the printing services.

9. If possible, ask about the financial stability of the company just to be sure that it will not go out of business before completing your printing project. You should work with a company you can fully trust with your needs and financial stability is important.

10. Consider the printing charges. Even though you should never compromise quality because of the price, you want to ensure that you don’t end up being overcharged. Some companies offer discounts for bulk printing so check around and choose what you find most affordable.

How to Create a Good Letterhead Design?

A letterhead is a part of a very effective business package. You see the letterhead has a great influence on your image, specifically on how your company is viewed by your potential customers. It is your initial move to introduce your company to your prospects. For this reason, it is essential to design the letterhead with the right image of your company. It is the letterhead that conveys to your customers who you are and what products or services you have. You think that they only provide the address of your company. But it’s more than that. Letterheads have great marketing potential that business persons can take advantage to make it to the industry.

If you want to make an impression it’s the letterheads that you should capitalize on. What does a letterhead can do to your company? Well, the letterhead can enhance the credibility of your business. It implies your corporate identity, which means it’s the one responsible for convincing your prospects that you have a professional image.

To be able to have a good professional image for your business, your letterhead design should be good. You must know that there are several ways on how you can design a great-looking letterhead. What is important is that your letterhead should be able to increase your marketability. A letterhead is said to be well-designed when it effectively gets your word across your prospective clients.

One of the most important things that you should remember when designing a letterhead is to make a good first impression. It’s a must that you ensure to make use of a high quality printing method in producing your letterheads.

Another important thing to take into consideration is to match your letterhead with the envelope. This way you can make a more professional look and feel in your company letterheads. The paper of the letterhead should be compatible with the envelope paper. It leaves a clean and corporate look and your business package.

In addition, you should also need to make a well thought-out plan with regard to the design of the letterhead before you decide to produce it or submit to the printer. With careful planning on letterhead design, there’s a higher possibility that you’ll achieve a successful marketing campaign and corporate branding for your business. With the right layout of letterhead, you can prevent design and printing errors which sometimes ruin your overall marketing campaign.

There are lots of companies out there that offer letterhead printing and design services concerning the utmost creation of your letterheads and other marketing materials. These companies are the ones you can depend on when you don’t have any background yet on what design is good for your letterhead printing projects. Choose the right company that will provide you the best services that you need. Surely, there are no regrets in letterhead printing.

Tips to Write a Good CV for Your Dream Job

Introduction: Occasionally, you may find yourself wanting to apply for a job, but the question you should ask yourself is, does my CV provide all the required information? Probably your CV has been doing you a disservice because it is shallow and the only question ringing in your mind is ‘How to write a good CV?’ Well, worry no more as I take you step by step and giving you some tips that will add some spice to your CV. These tips will make potential employers impressed and they will take note of your CV. You should keep in mind that your CV is your first line of defense when it comes to employment, therefore, you should take ample time to write down your CV to perfection.

Attributes of a Good CV: Before I talk about how to use the correct format, it is important that you note your CV should be able to sell your strong attributes. Therefore, as you put down your information make sure you know your strengths and use them to your advantage. Some good pointers that indicate a good CV include:

  • Accuracy
  • Truthfulness
  • It should be concise

The Format and Layout: First of all, you start by writing your name. Below your name write your email address which should be professional, avoid nicknames. Note that an email address should not have capitalized letters. Once you are done with this step you can start entering your personal information. Such information will include:

  • Your ID number
  • Date of Birth
  • Nationality
  • Language(s)
  • Drivers’ license code

Next, step involves giving your CV an objective. This will enable a reader to Know exactly what you are looking for and if you are a good candidate for the position being advertised.

Once this is done you can then proceed to step number four. This is where you shall offer information on your educational background. It is Important that you indicate all your educational achievements. You will be required to fill in all the names of the institutions you have attended alongside with the years. Another important point to note is that, as you write down your educational background, write it in an ascending order. Start with the lowest to the highest.

For example:

  • Primary School
  • High school
  • University
  • Postgraduate studies

You could also note any other relevant information regarding your educational background.

In step five, you will give all the relevant information pertaining to your previous work experience. You will give the job title as well as the period you did a particular job. You should also offer information on what your roles were and the skills you are perfected at your previous job. You can also list a number of accomplishments you achieved at your previous workplace. Remember to also give the name of your previous employer and where the firm you worked for is located. It is the most important section of a good CV.

In step six, you can go ahead and illustrate that you are up to the task for the job being advertised. Demonstrate that you understand the job you have applied for and justify why you should get that job. You can talk about your leadership skills, computer skills as well as any information regarding community involvement. You can list any community projects you have been involved in.

In step seven, you can talk about your conference papers and presentation as well as any publications that you may have, However, it is of great importance that you distinguish any published work from your presentations and conference papers. This step only applies where it is necessary.

In step eight, talk about your interests. This step solely depends on your preferences. However, do not overdo it. Just give a few points.

In step nine, this being your final step, offer a list of three people at most that will act as your referees. Before naming anyone to make sure to get their consent to use them as your referees. Your referees will provide reference letters. These letters will accompany your application.

Conclusion: Once you have followed these vital steps and points you will be able to come up with a formidable CV. You will be able to eliminate common mistakes that tarnish your CV. You will finally be able to answer that ringing question in your mind on,’How to write a good CV?’ Remember to take your time, do not rush. If you rush the more mistakes you are prone to make.

Writing a Good Fitness Sales Letter

Writing a good fitness sales letter will be a necessity at some point in your personal training career. It shouldn’t be anything to fret over, because it’s pretty much a fact of life. This is especially so when it comes to increasing name recognition in a prospective client base.

Keep in mind, though, that any fitness sales letter shares many similarities to most sales letters in any other business. For starters, the letter is about promoting the services which you feel will be valuable to a customer. You’re a personal trainer after all, and your services are going to be delivered personally to others. You won’t be an unknown super-conglomerate to any of your new customers, will you?

The first thing to emphasize when writing a good fitness sales letter is to focus on the potential customer. Leave out, for the most part, how great you personally are. Veteran marketing writers call this the “90/10 rule.” The sales letter talks about the customer 90 percent of the time and you — at most — 10 percent of it.

Make sure the letter addresses your possible clientele’s own fitness issues and how you can help these people address them. The time to talk about yourself is after you’ve begun training them. Up until then, keep the letter focused on them. After all, they don’t really know or actually care about you, for the most part. They will care deeply about themselves, though, so turn that to your benefit.

This next one can’t be reiterated enough: Always make sure to offer your potential clients something valuable. What might this be? Well, the list can be long. Perhaps a secret fitness program that only you have access to. Pro marketers believe a report of from four to eight pages is usually sufficiently valuable. And if you don’t know how to write, find somebody who does. It’s relatively inexpensive to commission a letter like this, nowadays.

Keep in mind that the best sales letters all leave out a distracting letterhead format at the top of the letter. It’s a curious fact that many people prefer to have a fancy-looking header at the top, but this just serves to take the reader’s attention away from the more important sales headline. There are times when a letterhead is called for, but this isn’t one of them, to be honest.

Any sales letter has a single goal in mind: To generate a response from the reader. Confusing the reader with a potentially-distracting bunch of non-applicable writing at the top will weaken, not strengthen the sales pitch. If you want it in the letter, site it down near your signature line, after you’ve made the pitch. Try not to use it at all, though.

The Four Cardinal Points of Any Good Writing: Expression, Content, Organization & Technical Accuracy

Every piece of writing that is judged to be good must have these four cardinal factors; otherwise the writing will fall flat regardless of its intended purpose. Remember the intent of your writing should be to inform, instruct, entertain, solve a problem or show how to achieve a goal or objective. Always write for your target audience and not the internet or the search engines. When you connect to your audience, the rewards come back to you. The four factors are: Expression, Content, Organization and Mechanical Accuracy.

Expression: This is how you project your writing for the world to see, read and evaluate. Good writing is a craft. That’s why writers are called wordsmiths. A picture may be more than a thousand words but it also takes words to create pictures in your reader’s mind. This is the first factor that attracts audience to your writing just as bees are attracted to nectar. You may have heard that you must write to express and not to impress. Don’t write for ego; write for your audience with clarity and simplicity–so that everybody can understand your perspective and subject matter. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Expression is an art form. You must use your words to connect and create vivid images in your reader’s mind. People only apply what they understand. It all boils down to your choice of words, style, personality and overall thinking process. You must use powerful words and emotional triggers. Eliminate boring adverbs and dangling modifiers as much as you can. Use active verbs instead of helping verbs or adjectives. Active verbs make your writing to be more alive and dynamic. Realize that movement generates pleasure. Use active voice rather than passive voice. Thus expression is not just what you say but how you say it. However, what you say is also important.

Content: This is the factor that separates the mediocre from the masters. “Either you write something worth reading or you do something worth writing,” said Benjamin Franklin. Content is the substance and the essence of your writing. In short, content is the heart-beat of any great writing. It is the value you brought to the marketplace. People are value and quality shoppers. They want the best for the least amount of money. You have heard it said that in the internet, content is king. The story is the same everywhere. Content is the quality of the material you put out. This has to do with the key benefits the readers will extract from your writing to solve their problems or achieve their goals. As a writer, you must always ask yourself: “how can my writing solve problems or change lives?” A good writing that sells itself is writing with great content. Search engines love content. Therefore, put out good content that people love and seek. Then the search engines will locate you naturally and people will seek your offers. Let your content be fresh and original instead of recycled materials that flood the internet. Content is what search (and research) is all about. Having said that, you must also know how to arrange and organize your content so that the information is readable and digestible.

Organization: One of the most difficult things about writing is how to organize and arrange your thoughts. “Most writings are a few good thoughts drifting about in a sea of words,” said Jamie Buckingham. Organization is a product of coherence and consistency. How does your thoughts flow logically as in a flower? One idea must lead and link to the next. To be consistent, you need style manual as a guide. Therefore, try to plan your writing. Outline the key points or bare bone essentials you may want to develop before you put the flesh as you go. Let each paragraph contain a theme or one main idea. The flesh can be the description, examples or anecdotes to buttress your points. Organization is a process. It comes with practice, experience and writing intuition. You get better as you keep on writing. Formatting is a very important part of your organization. Arrange information in chunks.

That’s how the human brain process information. That’s why it’s called bites and bytes. Formatting is about headings, paragraphing, bullets, lists, typography, lines and spacing to create visual appeal for your readers. You don’t need to be a graphic artist to develop a good sense of organization. Did you notice that majority of HTML tags are formatting tags? Any good content and expression can fall flat without good formatting–it is a key part of your organization. The best way to learn this art is to glean from other good writings. After trial and success, it comes together with practice. Either you keep writing or you become a write-off. My watch word is: “Persistent practice prevents poor performance.” The more you write the better you grow as a writer. Practice does not make perfect; practice makes improvements and improvements make perfect.

Mechanical (Technical) Accuracy: This is fancy way of saying that your writings should be free of errors. Mechanical Accuracy is the Achilles tendon of most writers. They worry too much about the difference between colon and semi colon–causing paralysis analysis. This is the key reason why many people dread writing. Mechanical accuracy has to do with your typographical errors, spelling, punctuation and syntax. This is why you must have your writing tools: spell checkers, dictionary, encyclopedia and other reference materials. Remember that no writing is readable until it is free of errors. It is also a smart idea to give your writing to someone else to proofread and edit because of human factors. Overall most good writers are made in rewriting. The key lies in the principle of the 3Rs: revise, review and rewrite.

Your writing process is like preparing a good meal. All four ingredients must be present in your recipe before you create a balanced food for thought.

How to Write a Good Cover Letter – Where to Start

In today’s world with the struggling economy we have enough to worry about, writing a good cover letter shouldn’t be another worry of ours. For most, writing a good cover letter wasn’t something that we were taught in college or even high school for that matter. Which is quite sad to think about it, we spent all that time in school preparing for life, but we were never showed one of the most important aspects of job hunting and how to write a good cover letter.

When starting out, you need a good cover letter to be attached along with your resume. A cover letter is an introduction to you, prior to a prospective employer reading your resume. This is your first impression so to speak. You want to grab their attention and keep their focus and make them want to learn more about you. Doing this will make the job hunting process a little less frustrating for you.

Tip 1.

Upon the mastering the basics required for writing good cover letters, it shouldn’t take too long to whip one up pretty quickly. The first rule is simply, that your main agenda in writing a good cover letter is to get the employer to give you an interview. You should do what you can to grab their attention and keep it.

Try to imagine yourself as if you are an item for sale, and you are trying to self yourself to the employer. You need some attention grabbing headlines. Seize your opportunity of landing a second interview. The cover letter is, for all intensive purposes is your first interview. This is the reason why learning how to write a good cover letter is vital when job hunting.

Tip 2.

You need to come out swinging and keep going. You opening to your cover letter must captivate your reader. By keeping this energy going, your reader will continue reading.

Your next paragraph must explain why you are perfect for the job. Relate your skills and experience to the position your applying for. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to throw in some information about the company your applying with as well, it’ll give your reader the impression that you have thoroughly done your homework and are truly interested in working with them.

A further selling point for yourself, would be to include a few lines about something you love to do and the passion and dedication you would be able to provide to your potential employer.

Your final paragraph is the contact section. Provide your email address or phone number. Don’t make it difficult for the reader to get in contact with you. These are the essential pieces of a great cover letter, now we are going to close it out with a bang.

Tip 3.

You can close out your cover letter with a PS or post-script. This is the final step of the crucial part in job hiring. Here you summarize your letter. Here is where you include the position that your applying for.

This is how you close your cover letter in the most effective way. Once you nail down these basics and start applying them, you should expect your phone to be ringing off the hook from potential employers wanting to hire you.

The Essence of Good Resume Writing

You’ve found a job that you think you’ll be really good at, and you’re getting prepared to apply, which means editing your portfolio, composing a cover letter, and preparing your resume. But how can you be sure that your resume is the best it can possibly be? What will it take to get employers to take second look at what you have to offer? Good resume writing can help to ease your worries and get you your dream job–and you can do it yourself! Here are some suggestions to help your resume stand out.

One of the first things you’ll want to do is compose a clear summary of your skills and positive attributes. This should be a short paragraph, and should only take up about a fourth of your resume. Anything shorter may not highlight your skills adequately, and anything more than this may cause you to lose the interest of employers. You may want to start off with something like ‘my career objectives include’ or ‘i am seeking employment with [company] in order to enhance my skills in…’ This way, you are letting potential employers know that you plan on being successful once hired with the company, and that you are ambitious and have individual goals.

Next, you’ll want to formulate your job experience correctly. Be sure to list your jobs in chronological order, starting with your most recent position. Name the company, city and state, dates worked, and the title you held at the company. You may also want to add a sentence or two describing your duties, or bullet points, depending on the length of your resume and your personal style. If you held leadership positions at any of your jobs, be sure to highlight this in your resume.

Your skill set is also very important when you’re applying for a job, and good resume writing should help you to put your abilities to the forefront. Leadership skills, communication skills, and computer skills should all be featured, so be sure to include in your resume whether or not you are trained to operate certain advanced computer programs, or whether or not you have been a manager before. This will definitely make your resume more attractive, and will help to keep you in mind when employers are looking for new people to be in charge of major projects in the company.

Good resume writing should also include a bit of originality. Don’t forget to mention your hobbies and interests in your resume and/or cover letter as well. This shows that you are well-rounded, and would be diversity to the company you’re applying to work with.

Letter Writing Techniques – Good News Vs Bad News Letters

There are different strategies and techniques to be discussed when writing good-news and bad-news letters. In good-news letters a writer is conveying good news to the receiver. The first paragraph (introduction) provides the good-news topic (reason for the letter). The second paragraph (discussion) provides the details of the good-news and the third paragraph (conclusion) calls for action.

Bad-news letters use the indirect approach and opens with a neutral idea while providing facts and supporting evidence. The second paragraph presents the reason for the bad news letter. The third paragraph ends with a neutral close. Tact and politeness is required when writing a letter of bad news. A writer of a letter of bad news must pay attention to tone and structure throughout the letter to avoid future problems. Writers must prevent themselves from offending the reader.

All writing is a form of persuasion. A writer tries to persuade their reader to understand his, or her point of view. Attention to wording is essential in a bad-news business letter to prevent breaking the code of ethics. An example for a reason for a bad-news letter is:

A company I work for has been advised to downsize labor cost by any means possible. The only choice I have is to terminate all temporary positions within the company. This decision requires that I write bad news letters to each of the temporary employees, terminating them and explaining to each one the reason for termination. I must take care to use tact and politeness throughout the letter while making it clear that their job performance was excellent and had no bearing on my company decision. When writing to the employee, I should offer a severance pay and to write a letter of recommendation to help the employee with job search. Additionally, medical benefits should be extended for a short time after termination. Additionally, letting the employee know that with his, or her given qualifications and proven abilities, I am confident that he or she will find another position in the near future. End on a calm and upward happy note.

Exit mobile version