Guide for new members
THE COVER LETTER
Cover letters, also known as motivation letter, are one-page document that you send with you CV when you apply for a position. A well-presented cover letter will allow you to:
- Present your assets to the hiring manager;
- Explain why your profile is the right fit for the position;
- Explain other aspects that are not mentioned on your CV
Make sure to cover all three aspects for your cover letter to be convincing and complimentary to your CV. Pay attention to spelling errors and grammar. Spelling errors give a terrible first impression.
Here is in 5 steps, a summary guide that will help you write your cover letter properly:
1. DO NOT FORGET THE OFFICIAL LETTERHEAD
For starters, include the employer’s information and your contact information. See example below:
Although the example shows the information that you should include in your letterhead, there are different ways to do it. Adding a logo is optional and might be in certain situations used to draw attention of an employer that might have hundreds of CV to go through.
2. PRESENT YOURSELF
Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Would you like to be addressed as << Sir, Madam >> or addressed by your name? For example, start your letter with: M. Tremblay.
In the last paragraph, start by mentioning to the employer the position for which you are applying and the how did you hear about this opportunity.
The rest of this paragraph should briefly present basic information about yourself and your career goals in a way that aligns with the company’s goals. Avoid repeating information already mentioned on your CV.
3. SELL YOURSELF
The second paragraph should answer directly the job description written by the hiring manager. Describe how your professional experiences, your skills and previous abilities will allow to respond to the company’s needs in general and the to the opportunity in particular. To make it easier, you can (must) include literally the word and expressions used in the job description in your motivation letters.
No grandiloquence! The rule is to allow you to be as a bragger as you like, as long as you prove your assets and experiences. See example below:
Make and extra effort while looking for information about the company and try to know what they do, and why and the present state of their industry. You can add a 3rd paragraph (optionally), to explain how to hel the company reach its goals that you suspect you have.
4. DO NOT NEGLECT THE CONCLUSION
The last paragraph is called << call for action>>. Let them know that you want to be interviewed. Thank them for taking the time to read your letter. Respect the contact indications mentioned in the job posting. In case you doubt it, do not contact them after sending your application.
5. KEEP A GOOD IMPRESSION AND MAXIMIZE YOUR CHANCES
Aside from the page contents, the appearance of the document is also an important aspect of your letter. Elements like the margins, font style and size, as well as the alignment are also contributing to the overall impression that you give to the hiring manager.
Here are some tips to create your own style:
- The margin from 1 to 1,5 inch are always a good guideline. If you have putting everything on one page, there is some freedom, just be careful not to overcharge your letter;
- Be brief. The employer has to go through many applications. You will have the occasion to go through the details during the interview.
- Do not go below a font of 12 points, unless it is necessary;
- The font style is a preference. Try to choose the one that looks more professional or match to what the employer is using on their website;
- Maintain an overall uniform alignment, and all the paragraphs aligned to the left.
Know that all employers use an application tracking system (ATS). Those systems are mainly set to read CVs and cover letters and examine the key words and key sentences to statistically determine if your application can make it to the next round.
DOES SOMEONE READS COVER LETTERS?
Yes, someone will read them. Will they read them carefully? That depends on the hiring manager. Some uses the letters to eliminate candidates from an enormous pile, while some believe that the candidates interview skills are more important. Anyway, you will have to write a strong cover letter to increase your chances of getting an interview.
REFERENCES FOR THIS SECTION
Slack, Mark (no date). How to write a cover letter & 40+ free templates, sur le site ResumeGenius. Visited in march 2018.
Project management is a discipline rapidly expanding and a field with an increasing demand of qualified professionals. However, you have to be able to assert your skills I order to find the job that suits the most.
Social media are very important tools. Nowadays, to manage a professional career, ease dialogue between professionals and administrate a contacts network, specially LinkedIn and twitter. They help you to emphasize yourself, find job offers – even in the hidden market--, to network, to target companies/organisations and follow their news and to be aware of the news within your field of actifity.
According to Monster Canada and Jobvite (2014), 59% of candidates in the recruitment process come from social media, 93% of recruiters examine the profile of a candidate before hiring and 73% already hired a candidate through social media.
In April 2017, LinkedIn has surpassed the 500 million registered worldwide. For Québec, more than one in three assets has a profile on LinkedIn (June 2017 statistics presented by Mathieu Laferrière). In addition, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search and evaluate candidates in their recruitment process. So a well-designed, comprehensive and attractive LinkedIn profile is very useful to be spotted by recruiters and stand out in the job search process.
CAPSULE VIDÉO 2015_2
« L’utilisation de LinkedIn »
Here are some tips for your LinkedIn profile:
- CREATE AND COMPLETE THE PROFILE
Normally, we build the LinkedIn profile based on career goal, so it is more general than the CV that is adjusted to each job posting. Both must be coherent.
Remember that when you are in the process of creating your LinkedIn profile, disable the "notify your network" feature ("profile privacy" section).
Name: Write your first and last name as on your resume so that recruiters can find you more easily
Picture: The picture is the first impression the recruiter will have. Choose a recent professional picture of good quality. You must be alone and wear work clothes. It is important to look towards the photographer's lens by avoiding creasing the forehead or the eyes. LinkedIn users with a professional picture have 21 times more visibility and receive 36 times more messages than those who do not.
Cover photo: You can add a cover photo to your LinkedIn profile to gain visual support and make your profile more enjoyable. The photo must of course be related to the field of project management and help you to highlight your main skills or your main interests.
Title: Use a catchy, very precise title that contains your main keywords related to the project management positions sought and the words that the recruiters will use (in French and in English if necessary). The keywords can be technical and transferable skills, certifications, mastered software, training, professional associations, distinctions (awards, scholarships, medals) and other differentiators. Typically, recruiters read the current and previous titles and search by keywords.
Résumé : This is the section where you can highlight yourself by linking your professional training, your experiences and your skills with the use of keywords. Make sure the content is concise and represents your project management experience and achievements. The goal is for your resume to tell your story (storytelling technique). At the end, you can add what you would like the person visiting your profile to make, for example, you are open to new challenges / new opportunities and would like to receive e-mail messages.
Experiences: Select the most relevant experiences of recent years by describing your achievements under each job title. Write short sentences and right words. In the case of short-term projects, it is important to indicate "mandate" in parentheses next to the position so as not to give the impression of instability in the professional career when the recruiters analyze the profile. It is a good idea to integrate media to give credibility to your achievements (articles, presentations, photos, blogs, videos, website, Twitter account). Find a balance so you do not overload your LinkedIn profile.
If you are an immigrant, make sure you use the most popular generic names in Québec in the description of your professional experience and do the translations of your professional titles well. If you have a certificate or attestation on the recognition of prior learning and skills, write this information on your profile.
Skills: For skills, LinkedIn helps establish a list of skills that you must match to your main keywords. It is also possible to ask your contacts (preferably employers, clients or colleagues) to recommend your skills. The more your skills are recommended, the more you will be spotted in the search engines and therefore more visible to recruiters.
Training: Promote your academic background and indicate your university degrees and your graduate studies. Do not forget additional training, certificates and professional certifications.
For more information on PMI project management certifications, please visit the "Certifications" section of this guide.
If you are a new arrival to Quebec, you can add the equivalencies of studies done outside of Canada. Make sure the translations are done well. By including your equivalencies, you can better position yourself in keyword research and facilitate understanding of your degree and verification of education and training requirements (www.cicic.ca/682/tableaux-comparatifs-de-diplomes-quebec.canada) for recruiters. If you have a comparative evaluation of studies done outside Quebec, include it: http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/travailler-quebec/evaluation-comparative/index.html.
Recommendations: One way to improve the credibility of your profile is with the recommendations of past employers, colleagues, customers, suppliers, employees, etc. Contact your former professional relations and send them a personalized request. Recommend colleagues is also a good idea. Aim for at least one recommendation per position.
Profile URL: Personalize it ("profile details" section) with your first and last name to improve your chance of being found in Internet searches.
Social Involvement and Volunteering: These are very good opportunities to develop transferable and important skills in project management (such as leadership, teamwork, prioritization and interpersonal communication), gain local work experience, and create new skills and networking opportunities.
For more information on PMI-Montreal's volunteer opportunities, please visit the "Volunteer Opportunities" section of this guide.
Other topics: Other interesting topics to highlight include the projects you have worked on (showing your accomplishments to demonstrate your project management skills), the publications you have contributed to, and the awards and honors you have received.
- CREATE AND EXPAND YOUR NETWORK, AND DEVELOP YOUR CAREER
To build a strong, diverse and rich network, you can begin by sending personalized invitations to your former classmates, colleagues and former colleagues, former managers and leaders in your line of business. Then you can invite members of professional associations of your field (example: PMI-Montreal) and graduates of your university of the same sector of activity. It's also a good idea to invite people who work in your target businesses and people you meet in professional events, networking events, conferences, job fairs and more. Make sure you are in touch with people in your field at the same level and hierarchical levels different from yours.
Take advantage of situations such as being part of the same LinkedIn group, meeting at an event, studying at the same university to establish conversations or reconnect.
Groups: Being a member of a group on LinkedIn helps you improve the visibility of your profile. Before participating in a group, perform an observation step to test the types of discussions, topics, and rules. There are different ways to get noticed: by asking or answering questions in a respectful and relevant way, by participating in discussions on professional topics or by sharing articles and information of interest to group members.
You can join active groups related to your area of activity, your skills, your region or your interests (100 groups is the limit). The groups are also a testament to the professional commitment of the participants.
Voici une liste des groupes spécialisés en gestion de projet suggérés:
- PMI Montreal ;
- PMI Project, Program and Portfolio Management : #1 group for career advancement ;
- PMP® - Groupe Francophone ;
- Management de Projet et Meilleures Pratiques ;
- Project Management Link - PMLink ;
- Project Management Practices — Best Project Manager Group PMP CAPM PfMP PgMP PMI ;
- Agile Project Management Group ;
- Agile Montréal ;
- CAPM PMP PMI Certification Exam Prep ;
- Communauté de pratique - Gestion organisationnelle de projet ;
- Gestion de projets Québec ;
- #1 Project Manager (PM) Network I Business & Software I BlockChain & Crypto Consulting | FinTech ;
- Emplois et carrières au Québec - Emploi & Carrière.
Companies: You can follow target companies, be informed about employment and business opportunities and events, connect with recruiters of these companies, apply online and have news about their projects. To follow a company, simply subscribe to the company page by clicking on the "Follow" icon on his profile.
Job section : You have access to job offers according to your profile. It is possible to create job alerts to follow new offers that match your criteria and apply directly on the website of the company or recruitment agency or via your profile LinkedIn.
It is also possible to indicate that you are open to new challenges, but in a private way, it means that it is visible in your profile only for recruiters (in the "Careers" tab, select " Preferences "and slide the button to activate" Let recruiters know you are open to new positions ", in the optional box" note for recruiters "you can write a message for recruiters).
If you need more information, you can go to CREMCV, a PMI-Montreal partner for job search. This organization has a blog where you can read articles related to the use of LinkedIn and other topics related to career development: http://cremcv.com/?s=LinkedIn.
REFERENCES OF THIS SECTION
Comment utiliser les groupes LinkedIn dans sa recherche d’emploi ? (2015, 15 déc.), at the website CREMCV. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Dansereau, Émilie L. (2015, 7 april). Comment rédiger un profil percutant sur LinkedIn ?, at the website CREMCV. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Dansereau, Émilie L. (2015, 31 august). Comment augmenter vos chances d’être trouvé par des recruteurs sur LinkedIn ?, at the website CREMCV. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
10 Raisons d’utiliser les réseaux sociaux pour rechercher un emploi (sans date), at the website Modeles-de-cv.com. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Douale, Philippe (2017, 3 june). Les secrets d’un « bon » profil LinkedIn, at the website Philippe Douale. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Joyal, Cynthia (no date). Dans la peau d’un recruteur… Ce que je regarde sur votre profil LinkedIn, at the website Jobboom. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Laferrière, Mathieu (no date). 5 points pour être trouvé par un recruteur via LinkedIn, at the website Mathieu Laferrière. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
LinkedIn : confessions de 5 recruteurs (2015, 14 may), at the website Workopolis. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
LinkedIn : 8 astuces pour vous faire repérer par les recruteurs (no date), at the website JobTeaser. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Smalley, Kristen (2017, 16 may). Conseils pour vous aider à refaire une beauté à votre profil LinkedIn, at the website Randstad. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Twitter is also an important job search tool for concise and accurate communication between people on the same network. According to Monster, on average, more than 60,000 jobs are broadcast daily on Twitter.
To optimize the use of Twitter for job search, you need to focus your efforts, personalize, display at the right time and diversify your content. Here are some tips from the "Practical Guide for Applicants - How to Use Social Networks for Job Search", available on the website https://emploi-metropole.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CEM_Guide-candidats.pdf.
Profile: You can create a profile easily, just put a picture (follow the same instructions as for the photo on LinkedIn), indicate your geographical location (city, country) and include a short description (professional interests, area of expertise) in using keywords from your industry (140 characters), especially if your account is job-search oriented. When you see your profile, the recruiter must see at a glance that your area of expertise is project management. You can also add the link to your LinkedIn profile.
Active participation: o actively participate on Twitter, you can post articles, links and news on topics related to project management, as well as send public or private professional type messages (tweets).
You can also use hashtags to access broadcast messages related to the search words and make your content and profile easier to spot.
It is also possible to follow up the accounts of influential individuals and organizations in your industry or interests (e.g. : @pmimontreal, @PMjobca, @CREMCV) to get information faster and be able to do the same. Whenever there are new publications, you will find them on your profile's home page.
Active job search or business opportunities: If you are actively looking for a job, you can search by industry sector (e.g.: #IT, #culture, #socialeconomy), type of job (e.g. : #manager, #engineer) and location (e.g. : #montreal, #quebec).
It is also possible to subscribe to specialized job offers by sector of activity @MTLMarketingJob, @MontrealITJobs).
There are some sites that offer specialized search engines for job postings on Twitter (e.g. : http://www.twitjobseek.com, english content) to find job ads within millions of tweets.
Here is a list of hashtags that may be of interest to you :
- #Canadajobs ;
- #QuébecJobs ;
- #montrealjobs ;
- #ProjectManager ;
- #ProjectManagement ;
- #pmimtl ;
- #pmilim ;
- #agile ;
- #PCO ;
- #PMP ;
- #management ;
- #JemengageÀengager (projet Intégration-travail-formation, pour les nouveaux arrivants).
REFERENCES IN THIS SECTION
Bourel, Fanny (2017, 8 sept.). Comment trouver un emploi avec Twitter, at the website le Journal de Montréal. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Budzienski, Joe (no date). Pourquoi Twitter n’est plus le Far West du recrutement, at the website Monster. Consulté le 4 avr. 2018.
Jardinaud, Manuel (2012, 17 april). Comment utiliser Twitter pour trouver un emploi, at the website Le Parisien étudiant. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Pellerin, Mylène ; Roman, Léa (2013, july). Guide pratique pour les candidats – comment utiliser les réseaux sociaux pour sa recherche d’emploi, at the website Conseil emploi métropole. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.
Vialfa, Carlos (no date). Organiser sa recherche d’emplois sur Twitter, at the website CommentCaMarche.net. Viewed on april 3rd 2018.