Kelly Lau

Do Cover Letters Actually Get Read??

More advice on Cover Letters.

I wanted to offer you a few quick tips on what typically happens with your Cover Letter when applying for jobs with many employers.

There are many ways to submit your cover letter.  Sometimes you’re submitting it in an applicant tracking system. Sometimes you’re attaching it to a an email that you’re sending along with your CV…. you’ve got an email, some text about who you are, you have attached your cover letter and attached your CV. 

If you go that route, I dare say 100% of the time the person who opens the email, glances at the text you put in the email and then clicks your resume, opens it and then they look at the resume because they want to get right to the answer. 

They want to see if you fit, then if they like your resume they hop over to the cover letter. They open it up to see if there’s really anything else in there. That’s the sequence. 

They don’t read the email, then open the cover letter, then read the cover letter, then open the CV and then read the CV.  

And if it’s submitted via an applicant tracking system it’s never read at all, even though they may have said it is required. Most of the time what’s happening is the applicant tracking system is working on processing all the details. 

There’s a search set based on keyword matches…  how closely your submitted CV or entries into the system aligned to what the employer is looking for. 

Most employer’s HR departments get a small fraction of the number of resumes that are submitted into their inbox as when the HR manager is searching for a type of candidate they will generally go to the applicant tracking system and then have the system tell them exactly who to look at. 

To get around this it’s always important to deal directly with somebody within the HR dept that you are applying to, you can write an excellent introduction about yourself in your cover letter with some specific details and you can mention in your email that these details are in your cover letter (for example food images if you are a chef or marketing work if you’re a marketer).

If you are dealing with a recruiter and they ask you to provide a cover letter specifically, you should always provide the most informative cover letter possible as the recruiter will use this information to bring the employers attention to your profile and help you stand out from the crowd.

Look out for my coming articles on how to write the perfect cover letter and presenting your profile to potential employers.

I hope this helps (if it does please share), happy job hunting,


How to resign in style (without upsetting your boss, whilst enhancing your future career prospects)

How To Quit Your Job The Right Way

quit your job the right way

You’re starting a new role, or even if it’s because you just can’t deal with your boss anymore, whatever the reason you’re quitting. Congratulations! Nothing lasts forever. You are excited for your next job but it’s important to make sure you don’t leave your current position in a way that could haunt your career for years to come. It’s good manners to leave gracefully and it’s smart to leave generously. Here’s how to resign in style!

1. Make sure you decrease the surprise.

If you think people don’t like surprises… organizations hate them! Giving ample notice can be difficult, but you can almost always soften the blow. The night before you plan to resign in person, write your boss an email with the subject line “My Future”,  and say

my future

“I hope we can sit down tomorrow for a conversation about my future beyond this company”.

That gives your manager at least 12 hours to process your departure. 

At that meeting you may be yearning for some real talk about why you’re leaving… the terrible management, the low pay, but whatever it is that is pushing you out of the company leave it in the past. Everyone you work with can be a reference down the road, stay positive when it comes to telling your boss why you’re leaving, less is definitely more!


2. Another tactic to resign in style is to accommodate in helping smooth your departure, offer to put together an operating manual for your replacement or say that you will be on call to that person for three months.

Softening the blow from your departure could well pay dividends in the future, hospitality is an island… you’ll see almost everyone again.

3. Finally, express your gratitude to your boss and your colleagues.

Thank them for the opportunity to work there. Tell them it’s been a great experience both personally and professionally, say this even if you’re not really feeling it at that moment, (it’s very hard to be mad at a person who’s thanking you).

Resigning can be one of the hardest things to do well in your career, these strategies won’t make it easy, but they will make it better for your company, for you and for your future. If you like this type of information.

I’ve got a training course coming up, it’s all this type of information in much more depth, finding your purpose, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, all the way to career acceleration…. everything careers related. I’d also love to hear from you, so if you have anything you would specifically like learn that’s jobs related or any questions, let me know by replying to this email. 

Until next time, happy job hunting,


How To Get Your Resume Read By Employers – Four Easy Steps

Our Top 4 Tips On Introducing Yourself To A Potential Employer

get your resume read by employers

I wanted to get this one out to you, it’s a little longer than usual but has some simple and effective tips for getting noticed when applying for a new role. Whether or not you are sending a cover letter below are four things you need to include.

The Cover Letter

These days it’s not always expected to produce a cover letter  however as I went over in my earlier emails I still recommend it as an extra way to highlight what you can bring to an organisation.

Cover letters are from a long time ago when we didn’t have computers, emails, applicant tracking systems and you had to mail your resume to an employer about a job opportunity. You needed to insert a cover letter to introduce yourself to let them know what it was you were applying for, but regardless you still need to effectively introduce yourself.

Whether you’re doing that using a cover letter in an attached document or whether you’re doing that in an email introduction or through an applicant tracking system or If you decide not to send a cover letter at all, there are four things you ultimately need to do.

Respect The Hiring Manager’s Time

Before getting into them, when applying for positions it’s important exercise mindfulness of the time of the person youre applying to. Somebody who’s hiring for a position might be handling multiple openings, so be sure that whatever you do you’re being brief, doing so will raise the chances of get your resume read attentively.

Clarity Is Key To Getting Your Resume Read

Trust me, most people are moving at such a pace. Most managers just want to see if you fit for positions in their company. Many of them are not going to take the time to read a lengthy intro or a lengthy cover letter.


get your resume read by employers

The first thing when sending your email is how to address the person you are writing to, Usually it’s

Dear (whoever the correct person is)”. Ideally you can figure out who that person is. But if not use “Dear Sir/Madam” or to “whom it may concern” 

or any intro you are comfortable using, “I’m writing to inquire about the opening for (name the position)”, so now you’re telling them exactly why your inquiring, it’s just one sentence that’s it. Let them know why they need go to the next paragraph so they can get to the “meat and potatoes”. 

This is the what you offer and why you’re qualified. I would just say “I offer X years of experience” in “(whatever your specialty) is”. “Which makes me a strong candidate for this opening”.

That’s obviously your opinion, but I think it’s nice to give them insight that you believe you’re a strong candidate. They want to hear that!

Point Out The Highlights On Your CV

Then what I would do is I would add one more sentence in that in that paragraph and  say… The top portion of my CV highlights my career profile, and three accomplishments that align with this position”

What you’re doing is you’re creating intrigue. You’re telling them exactly where they can find the information that they need. So they can quickly know whether or not you’d be a good candidate.

Then the last little sentence I would add is “I’d welcome the opportunity to speak with you. If you feel I’d be a strong candidate for this or any position in your organisation”.

Be Sure They Understand You Are Open To Other Positions

It’s extremely important that you add the any other position in your organisation”. People need help with how to think these days, everybody is moving so quickly. It’s not because they’re not smart, but you want to make sure that they recognize that you’re open to it and that they should be thinking that way. 

get your resume read by employers

You don’t want them to open your CV, look at it and say… “not a fit for the position.” You want to remind them to think about other positions in their company. It may be very obvious. It may sound like common sense, but when you’re moving so quickly, it’s not always common practice.

How To Apply For Hospitality Jobs Summarised & Get Your Resume Read

  1. I’m writing to inquire about what the position is.
  2. I offer X years of experience.
  3. I have these strong skills. Point out the top portion of your resume highlights, your career profile and significant accomplishments which put you in alignment with the position.
  4. Make sure they know you are open to other positions within their organization.

One of the things you might be thinking is.. “Why not put those highlights and that detail in a cover letter?”

The cover letter is not essential but should be a brief introduction. In it you can highlight your skills in a little more detail (still remaining as brief as possible). Perhaps with some images of work you have done (particularly for chefs and other creatives). It should tell them why and how you’re qualified, but here you want to create an entry. You ultimately want to get them to open your resume (and read it properly).

This method will underline your skills and highlight that you are open to other positions within their organization. It will encourage them to read your CV and tell them where to find the information they need.

I want to let you know that if you like this type of information. I’ve got a training course that’s careers related and is linked below. It’s all this type of information in much more depth. Everything from finding your purpose, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, all the way to career acceleration and more. Everything careers related. I’d also I love to hear from you. So if you are interested in this course or have any insight or any questions about this, let me know. Ask me any questions and feel free to share this information. I always welcome the shares!

Until next time, happy job hunting,


Here’s The Best Way To Handle The Worst Interview Question

How to deal this worst interview question?

Before we start let’s get on the record that this question is probably the absolute worst job interview question out there.
 I don’t know why it gets asked so much, we all have weaknesses, I do, you do and so does the interviewer, but this question does nothing to tell whether or not someone is going to be a good employee. 
I want to give you some tips about how to answer the “greatest weakness” question.

You can’t control if you are going to get asked this question or not but you can control your response.

So let’s start with the basics first,

1. Don’t ever, under any circumstance actually give them a weakness. There’s no reason for you to as you get to control what comes out of your mouth, so  DO NOT TELL THEM SOMETHING YOU’RE ACTUALLY BAD AT. If they’re going to ask this question you don’t need to justify it by giving them an actual weakness.

2. This may be contrary to what you’ve heard but under no circumstances should you give them an actual strength either.
It is a little insulting to be asked this question in the first place, so don’t compound the problem by insulting them back and telling them that you’re too “conscientious” or you “work too hard”  or “you want do everything yourself” because you are “so diligent”, none of this type of thing works, they get it all the time, they just eye roll and you’ve both just wasted a load of time with their question and your answer, so stay away from those types of answers.

3.  I don’t want you to use negative words as you’re talking about this “weakness”. Don’t say “I’m bad at this” or “I’m not good at that”.  Don’t use any of those ways in describing anything that’s about to come out of your mouth.

What I would prefer that you do, and the best way to deal with this question so that you’re actually answering it and they view you as having given it a good attempt is to talk about something that you have yet to have an opportunity to do, something you don’t have any experience in, and something you would like to do.

What you might say is something like “one of the areas for improvement is, I am yet to have an opportunity to perform ( X ) function at work (or in this industry)”, or “to study (X subject)”, whatever it might be that interests you that is related to your job.

They’re not going to penalise you for not having had an experience and you’ve just offered up a so called “weakness”, in addition you’ve shown them that you have a desire to grow your skill set and have a plan for moving forwards in your career.

NEXT you always want to make sure that you follow this up with what you’ve done in order to gain that experience so far. So first you have said something like “I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do ( X )” and then follow that up with, “what I’ve done so far to gain that experience is, “I’ve read ( X ) books”, “I’ve watched ( X ) videos”, “I take ( X ) training classes”, whatever it might be to show them that you’ve got a great attitude to learning. So that’s how I would answer it.

If you like this type of information. I’ve got a training course coming up, it’s all this type of information in much more depth, finding your purpose, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, all the way to career acceleration. Everything careers related. I’d also love to hear from you, so if you have anything you would specifically like learn that’s jobs related or any questions, let me know by replying to this email. 

And if you want a reminder of how not to do it, here’s a clip from Spud from the movie Trainspotting ; )

Until next time, happy job hunting,


Did you know HR managers use this crazy method before deciding whether to reject a candidate?

The Truth About The Way Many HR Depts Select Candidates

I was recently told a fascinating story about a manager that has been trying to hire a new employee in a medium sized organisation.

After advertising several times with few applicants, and a couple of rounds of interviews, they hired a new employee that was less than great. Then she discovered there were other applicants. Among them was someone she knows personally, who has a spot-on CV, loads of experience, lives locally and would be the perfect person for the job.

So she went to HR to ask why that application was never sent through to her department. The answer – she didn’t score well…..

Score well on what?

It turns out the HR dept adopted screening software that asks random questions that applicants must answer quickly, the results of which determine a suitability score. Only those deemed suitable are sent through to the department for interview. The test supposedly shows with a high degree of scientific accuracy whether an applicant is suitable, giving scores for self-confidence, caring nature, respect for authority etc.

So regardless of someone’s qualifications and experience, if they don’t pass the personality test, their application doesn’t even make it past their HR. So the manager sat down with the dept head and took the test. She scored 1 star. She has worked there for more than 10 years and is quite senior in the department. She has been recognized with internal and external awards for her work. But she wouldn’t even get an interview for a junior casual spot in her dept because she failed a personality test.

Their HR dept insists their system is highly accurate and they will not pass on any applications from people who don’t pass the test. So now the entire department, along with a few senior members of other departments are all taking the test, and coming up with some very poor scores.

People’s careers are all too often being derailed by HR “astrology”. It’s clearly not ideal for the organisations that need good people either. 

Likewise, if you’re wondering why you can’t find the right people for that crucial position, it might be because Maggie in HR is excluding people using re-purposed quizzes from 1980s magazines.

So if you’re wondering why you never got an interview for that job you know you would be perfect for – it might be because some recruiters and HR depts (not us, we always check every CV we receive and assess candidate suitability via other methods) are all too often becoming slaves to poor software. 

Our upcoming course will show you how to overcome this and many other interview challenges.

It’s all this type of information in much more depth, finding your purpose, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, all the way to career acceleration. Everything careers related.

I’d also love to hear from you, so if you have anything you would specifically like learn that’s jobs related or any questions, let me know by replying to this email.

Until next week, happy job hunting,