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TimH
12-05-2010, 12:59 AM
When responding to a craigslist ad for work Should I be responding with "Dear Sir," or "Hello" or "Greetings" (what I have been using). I have not felt confident in this.

For instance:


Greetings,

Please accept my resume in consideration for your Craigslist ad for a software developer (or Java developer, or whatever),

Thank you,
TimH

Meli
12-05-2010, 01:11 AM
Dont know what your protocols are, but if the ad has a name ie "please forward your resume to Sally Take....blah blah"

I would respond to Dear Ms Take or even, here in Oz, Dear Sally.

"Greetings" sounds like you are an alien.

Hello or Hi? too informal

Mr ? your res will be dropped off the list if it's a Ms.

Dear Sir/Madam is safe.

A little formality never goes astray :D IMHO

BrianW
12-05-2010, 04:04 AM
Perhaps something more along the lines of...

"Hello,

While browsing Craigslist, I came across your job description which very much matches my qualifications. Please see the attached resume and I believe you'll agree.

Thanks!"

Peerie Maa
12-05-2010, 05:25 AM
Go with Meli.
If you can, do some research to see if it is Mr/Mrs/Ms. That shows that you are interested. A phone call to the hiring managers secretary, or even the switchboard operator may be all you need to clarify that.

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 07:44 AM
No in cover letters the person addressed should be the person's whole proper name.Not Sally or hello. At first impression one has is the guy realizes you know perhaps a bit about the company. The cover letter is not a form letter. In my old job as a director of a nonprofit, I hated any request etc. that appeared to be a form letter. Form letters indicate the person is lazy.

Michael D. Storey
12-05-2010, 08:06 AM
Mr Airlie has strong points, that, as a director of a museum, my experience agrees with. A request for money or anything important, for that matter needs to be personal.
When I used to send out resumes, I reckoned that the purpose of the cover was to get them to read the resume. To do that, the letter had to give some motivation, such as (don't use these words, but consider this sentiment) I am responding to your need for a screen door repairman. I feel my 77 years of relevant experience in the field would be valuable to you, as you will see in the attached resume........
It is always best to learn as much about the potential as you can. Get a slant on what they do and need, and tailor what you are offering (not alter, tailor) to fit their needs. Emphasize what you got that would fill what they need. I Suggest that each response requires a different slant on the resume and most certainly on the letter.

That sed, ads, I always felt, were the absolute worstest place to look for a job, because they would be responded to by so many other applicants. Suggest that you rely on personal contacts as much as you can. Also, considering that, if you feel that your relevant experience is dated or at all slim, volunteer somewhere to juice up and up date what you have. I was directing my Museum in the dawn of the computer age, but people would still volunteer to do data manipulation, generate a portfolio, things like that, that showed that they had up to the minute, successful experience.

That sed, I have not sent out a resume since, well, for decades, because I have been able to take advantage of opportunities, very diverse ones, over the years. Most recently, for example after building a small restaurant, I became part owner, and I appraise donations to a non-profit. Not in my traditional line any more, and not connected, but both together capable of providing me what I need, while I work on the restaurant and wait for it to take off. Which is happening.

It would be easy to say 'Good Luck', and most assuredly, luck is a huge player here. However, Luck is the willingness and ability to take advantage of opportunity when it gooses you in the pants.

Also, I have been told that looking for work should be a full-time job. Of course, that means that you can afford to not produce any income while you look. If you can't, a rigid schedule, one that includes day-time job search to take advantage of potentials work schedules, and one augmented by night-time work to do the research and bang on the key board, allowing you to keep some daytime hours to keep the mortgage paid can be a winner.

I do hope that it comes together for you.

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 08:50 AM
IF you get to the interview...ummm, avoid words such as "you know", Speak English. Know the company as best you can. If it is a company That is well known google.
The last time I was in this coffee shop I was chatting with a person who turned out to be a headmaster of a school in Va. We chatted for an hour on various topics. As he was about to leave, he asked me if I wanted a job? I had no idea who he was until he told me. One point, actually two, you meet people in all walks of life be prepared.
His academic dean who was in Va. covering the headmaster while he was on vacation offered the job without his knowing but....

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 08:56 AM
ps... I too have re-entered the job market. Keep in mind and don't be discouraged if you don't hear a response to you inquiry. The only times I have been discouraged have been after an interview and there has been no response. That bothers me.

Flying Orca
12-05-2010, 10:17 AM
As the resume recipient for a good-sized non-profit, I can tell you that I appreciate any sign of thought on this question. I frequently receive cover letters with the salutation "Dear Ms <my surname>", as my first name sometimes makes people think I'm female; they don't drop off the list entirely, but they get a point off because the applicant didn't notice that the ad clearly says "Mr <my name>". "To whom it may concern" or "Dear sir or madam" are quite acceptable if you don't know the recipient's name, but the best course is to find out the recipient's name and use their surname with appropriate honorific.

All of that being said, my screening generally considers three things: experience, education, and - especially for management positions - presentation (spelling, grammar, consistency of format, etc.).

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 10:23 AM
I won't entirely disagree. You are in that particular trench but if you are responsible of a relatively large non profit, I would guess that it would be relatively easy to google it and get the head honcho's name and title. I was always impressed with the knowledge an applicant showed in an application.
Regarding para. two I agree.

TimH
12-05-2010, 12:26 PM
Hello seems to be the best. Or Greetings...

A typical craigslist ad doesnt indicate much info on the poster. Here is atypical example:

Application Systems Analyst (Unix or Windows) (Honolulu)

Date: 2010-11-27, 6:37PM HST
Reply to: job-ppzjc-2082974931@craigslist.org (job-ppzjc-2082974931@craigslist.org?subject=Application%20Sy stems%20Analyst%20(Unix%20or%20Windows)%20(Honolul u)&body=%0A%0Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fhonolulu.craigslist.org%2F oah%2Fsof%2F2082974931.html%0A) [Errors when replying to ads? (http://www.craigslist.org/about/help/replying_to_posts)]



Plans, designs, installs, tests, verifies, and maintains assigned database systems and applications. Performs problem analysis and provides technical support for specialized applications and network systems. Responsible for the technical support, planning and administration of several network and database systems requiring advanced skills. Takes the lead role in the planning and coordination of major technical projects. Performs complex problem analysis covering all or most areas of Applications and Database’s responsibility.

Qualifications
Minimum 8 years experience with all versions of Microsoft Windows, UNIX (Solaris, HP-UX), relational databases (Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase) and networking protocol (TCP/IP, IPX, NetBIOS) in a corporate environment. Bachelor’s degree in computer science/business or related job experience. Project management skills a must. Must be able to interact with all levels of management.


Location: Honolulu
Compensation: DOE
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2082974931

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
12-05-2010, 12:41 PM
This side of the pond the Document that gets sent out is known as a C.V (Curriculum Vitae).

Examples (http://jobsearch.about.com/od/cvsamples/a/blsamplecv.htm) litter the web - google is your friend.

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 12:44 PM
Well different strokes I guess. I agree that something like Craigslist is not the best to find work.
Also, I have seen on resumes a change in approach.. Instead of listing in paragraph or bullets or what have you Use what you know and point out HOW you can help them.

Ex: I have a good deal of experience and can help you ( employer ) in such and such a way.
I think CV's are interchangeable with resumes. Heard both used.

TimH
12-05-2010, 12:56 PM
I agree that something like Craigslist is not the best to find work.



That seems to be where everyone is advertising these days. Its free.

A few weeks ago someone asked me how come i am not "out looking for work"

Like They expect me to be out going door to door.

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 12:58 PM
I have never met anyone that got a job on Craigslist. Not that it doesn't happened.Use the computer...a better way I think to find work. Has worked for me in the past.

McMike
12-05-2010, 01:01 PM
That seems to be where everyone is advertising these days. Its free.

A few weeks ago someone asked me how come i am not "out looking for work"

Like They expect me to be out going door to door.


Craigslist is a great resource for employment, worse case scenario, you go to the interview and realize they aren't what they advertized.

Ya, door to door is no longer a viable method unless you are looking for a very basic job where only an application is necessary.

TimH
12-05-2010, 01:02 PM
Use the computer...a better way I think to find work. Has worked for me in the past.

I am not sure what you mean. The sites I have been searching are:

craigslist
Monster
Dice
UW job site

McMike
12-05-2010, 01:02 PM
I have never met anyone that got a job on Craigslist. Not that it doesn't happened.Use the computer...a better way I think to find work. Has worked for me in the past.

Consider me someone who you know got a job through Craigslist, two of them over the past 3 years. I will say it depends on the sector you ar looking for employment in.

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 01:04 PM
I am not sure what you mean. The sites I have been searching are:

craigslist
Monster
Dice
UW job site I have used google though it doesn't have to be google. I have found a good number of jobs under such topics as " environmental jobs" etc. More than are listed I suspect than on Craigslist. I don't know much about Craigslist I admit.

BrianW
12-05-2010, 01:17 PM
Okay, it makes sense that Craigslist is used by computer type industries.

Let's not forget what may be the most powerful job finding tool... social networking.

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 01:27 PM
Okay, it makes sense that Craigslist is used by computer type industries.

Let's not forget what may be the most powerful job finding tool... social networking.

Yup social networking works too

Michael D. Storey
12-05-2010, 02:24 PM
I am not sure what you mean. The sites I have been searching are:

craigslist
Monster
Dice
UW job site

Suggst that you see who you know, or who they know, that may be hiring, or have had an experience with someone who is. Go to local (assuming that they exist) college and use their placement dept. Also your college if it is not too far.

S.V. Airlie
12-05-2010, 02:29 PM
Suggst that you see who you know, or who they know, that may be hiring, or have had an experience with someone who is. Go to local (assuming that they exist) college and use their placement dept. Also your college if it is not too far.
Well it is a bit far from me ( the college ) and it has been a long time since I attended... a thought though appreciate the suggestion

bobbys
12-05-2010, 02:40 PM
Best wishes for employment soon Tim.

We have friends up around there that i think do the same thing but they just lost their jobs so I cant ask them if there are any openings.

jimkeen
12-05-2010, 05:57 PM
I am sure there is tons of good advice in the posts above. However I found my best approach was to google the job description from the craigslist ad. This usually produced a ton of information about the real advertiser. A bit more traditional route for those amongst use that deep down do not trust craigslist. Another very good resource is LinkedIn about the best out there. Good luck with your search. I spent 22 months at it and landed OK. If OK is a 45% cut in pay and another 30 mins to the commute. Not complaining just the realty of the new and "changed" America.

Ed Harrow
12-05-2010, 11:20 PM
One of my fellow 'departed' walked out his front door and started doing laps, of ever increasing radius, about his house. Every business he encountered he stopped in and chatted with, in many cases, the owner. Didn't work.

Later that winter he went on a hike to a WWII era bomber crash site in NH. It was a fair group of diverse individuals, two of whom were from 'B' Corp. A few days later he had a job.

Didn't work that way for me, but then my 'skills' (I use the word loosely) weren't particularly hard, and much of my experience was in very arcane stuff. I elected to hang my shingle out and not look back. I don't miss the commute, I don't miss the knives in the back, and I don't miss working for jerks. Now I get to choose which jerks to work with (and, truth tell, I don't work with any, and I like it like that). Living by one's wits is, ummm, interesting.

Yeadon
12-06-2010, 12:02 AM
Perhaps something more along the lines of...

"Hello,

While browsing Craigslist, I came across your job description which very much matches my qualifications. Please see the attached resume and I believe you'll agree.

Thanks!"

I think Brian got it right. The tone is almost perfect, though I'd skip the part about "I believe you'll agree." It's a touch pushy.

I've snagged a few gigs off craigslist over the years. But the best jobs, not surprisingly, have come when I got a tip or reference from a friend or acquaintance. It's tough out there right now, but not nearly as tough as it was 18 months ago. I really think things are looking up for jobwise.

Also, take a look at Biznik ... it's mostly for sole proprietor/entrepreneur, but every bit helps. You'll see a lot of other people in similar situations.

Another strategy that has worked for me over the years - I call people in the industry or specialty I'm trying to break into and ask for "advice." It's a sly way of making contacts, but I always frame my questions under "hi, I'm out of work (or shifting my career focus a bit) and looking for a bit of advice." The strategy is extremely non-threatening, and you can be honest in saying that you're not asking them for work but "advice." If we've learned anything here on the WBF, it's that people love to give advice.

So, I'll go ahead and ask them how they got that job, and if they needed any specialized training, etc., and if they liked it and so on. The important part comes at the end of the call. At the end of the short chat I ask them if they know of anybody else that I ought to chat with. Then I call that person, and say that "so-and-so" gave me their number and then I go ahead and ask the same questions.

Anybody can use this strategy for pretty much any career. You might not land a job out it right now, but you're bound to get a gig later on.

Fitz
12-06-2010, 07:01 AM
If you don't already know about it, try LinkedIn. It allows you to search for people and companies and to identify folks you know that may be able to help you out. Also many recruiters go there first to check you out.

http://www.linkedin.com/

You can also join many networks on that site. There are likely Programmer networks already established there.

I think the internet job boards are not worth a whole lot. Now employers get hundreds or thousands of resumes for a posted position. It still all comes down to who you know.

Local networking groups have also been helpful on my end. I go to two per week and meet folks there. Also go to any professional meetings you can find.

You gotta get out and kick the bushes.

But what do I know - I'm still looking for work too.:mad:

downthecreek
12-06-2010, 08:10 AM
I elected to hang my shingle out and not look back. I don't miss the commute, I don't miss the knives in the back, and I don't miss working for jerks. Now I get to choose which jerks to work with (and, truth tell, I don't work with any, and I like it like that). Living by one's wits is, ummm, interesting.

My own thoughts entirely! I've been self employed for many years (about 18 now) and would no more go back to working for someone else than I would jump off a cliff. Started on my own, formed a small company with a couple of colleagues and ran that happily for 15 years or so. We closed the company a couple of years back, for good reasons - we still work closely together as associates - and am back on my own again now. Working from home but "part of the family" for two or three long term clients whom I know well.

I have never advertised and neither did we when we ran the company. We have never been short of work and almost all our work came/comes through personal recommendations. Give good service, don't overcharge, go the extra mile and the work is there. I have never regretted for a nanosecond the decison to run my own working life.


"Tell the boss what you think of him and the truth shall set you free"


(Or rather, don't. He/she may be able to help or hinder. The person who is "open and honest" in the workplace is a nutter. Y:o)

Ed Harrow
12-06-2010, 08:11 AM
Well, so we have a number of folks here looking for work. There's a fairly wide agreement that jobs are best found 'by who you know'. See where I'm going?

Following DTC's thoughts - jobs are found by who you know, work is found by what you can do.

downthecreek
12-06-2010, 08:31 AM
Well, so we have a number of folks here looking for work. There's a fairly wide agreement that jobs are best found 'by who you know'. See where I'm going?


Strangely enough, I've often found that "hard times" can be quite good times for the self employed. Big corporations and public bodies shed workers and then find thet need people to do work that is still necessary, even though they don't have the people to do it. Much easier and more economical for them to contract the job out. Excellent relationships with established clients make all the difference. If they know they can trust you and that you understand their business they turn to you over and over again.

Of course not all types of work lend themselves to self employment and it is always necessary to update skills and learn new ones, but I have quite a network of colleagues who work in the same way as I do and only one ever went back into employment (I think she missed the paid holidays, which are pretty good over here)

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 08:32 AM
Well, so we have a number of folks here looking for work. There's a fairly wide agreement that jobs are best found 'by who you know'. See where I'm going?

Following DTC's thoughts - jobs are found by who you know, work is found by what you can do.

Very good point Ed.

pcford
12-06-2010, 09:08 AM
I have never met anyone that got a job on Craigslist. Not that it doesn't happened.Use the computer...a better way I think to find work. Has worked for me in the past.

I got a job on Craig's List restoring a client's boat. That job has evolved into full time employment as an employee with his company as videographer/web jockey.

Just luck.

TimH
12-06-2010, 10:54 AM
I think Brian got it right. The tone is almost perfect, though I'd skip the part about "I believe you'll agree." It's a touch pushy.
.

Also, take a look at Biznik ... it's mostly for sole proprietor/entrepreneur, but every bit helps. You'll see a lot of other people in similar situations.



I agree with Brians simple and direct approach.

Also ill check out Biznik

Thanks

huisjen
12-06-2010, 11:07 AM
I've been told that if you don't know their name, just call 'em "Bubba".

Dan

marshcat
12-06-2010, 11:23 AM
If you are applying to a large company, be sure to include current buzzwords in your resume. To help get through the mass of applicants, for the first cut most large companies use software that scans for terms related to the job requirements.

For example, if you know something about networking, network attached storage, etc., stick in the phrase 'cloud computing'. If you are a bit out of date and used to call remote terminals 'dumb terminals', call them 'thin clients' instead. Read up on Agile and stick the term 'Agile Development' in. These are all IT examples, but almost every field has similar buzzword evolution.

I just re-read the OP and realized you are only asking about the salutation of the cover letter. Sorry for the drift.

TimH
12-06-2010, 12:21 PM
I found a job description in Honolulu that exactly matches my narrow area of "expertise" (distributed computing with java using RMI).
The job description appears to have been written for me personally. before I get too excited though I am putting some code examples up on my website (They ask for examples of work with resume and cover letter).

Using Brians lead I am starting the cover letter with:

Dear Human Resources Manager,

While browsing Craigslist, I came across your job description for a distributed computing software engineer and was amazed at how much it matches my qualifications. Please view the attached resume and see if you agree.

Not too pushy?

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 12:23 PM
I wouls suggest leaving the last sentence out. If they agree you question would be answered

TimH
12-06-2010, 12:26 PM
Possibly. I think part of the goal is to sound confident as in to say "I am your man!"

will probably be taken differently by different people though.

I guess the goal is to offend less that half the people and you are doing alright:)


Also I think "Dear Human Resources Manager" sounds a bit sterile. But I dont think they know what Bubba is in Hawaii.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 12:28 PM
Actually it does not seem to sound confident. Just the opposite or hesitant. You are asking them whether they agree. Leave the other sentences.

TimH
12-06-2010, 12:32 PM
Ok, I dont have my heart set on that line too much.

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 12:34 PM
Tim remember this is just my suggestion..At the end, you can make your own mind as to what to write

TimH
12-06-2010, 12:35 PM
I know. I am interested to hear what other people say also.

BrianW
12-06-2010, 12:39 PM
But I dont think they know what Bubba is in Hawaii.

Try "Bruddha" as in "Bruddha Iz".

BrianW
12-06-2010, 12:40 PM
If you score a job on Oahu, I suspect you'll live on the rainy side? ;)

TimH
12-06-2010, 12:41 PM
LOL
Iz lives!

TimH
12-06-2010, 12:43 PM
If you score a job on Oahu, I suspect you'll live on the rainy side? ;)


Would seem to be the logical place eh? Since I am so used to it.

The office is in Manoa. Hopefully I will be able to telecommute from here at least some of the time.

that being said this would be the first job I ever had where could honestly I couldnt wait to go to work :)

bobbys
12-06-2010, 01:02 PM
I found a job description in Honolulu that exactly matches my narrow area of "expertise" (distributed computing with java using RMI).
The job description appears to have been written for me personally. before I get too excited though I am putting some code examples up on my website (They ask for examples of work with resume and cover letter).

Using Brians lead I am starting the cover letter with:

Dear Human Resources Manager,

While browsing Craigslist, I came across your job description for a distributed computing software engineer and was amazed at how much it matches my qualifications. Please view the attached resume and see if you agree.

Not too pushy?.

Attention Human Resources manager.

I was referred to your Employment oppertunity.

I was pleasantly surprised how my resume matches up with your needs.

I already have many ideas how i could improve your company or add my talents to ensure your continued success.

I have attached my resume but would enjoy a "Face to Face" to really express my ideas.

I am looking forward to meeting representatives of your company and hopefully this will be a Win Win for both parties.

Yours sincerely.

Tim Boatguy

S.V. Airlie
12-06-2010, 01:08 PM
Tim go right at it give the guy a few sentences explaining how you expertise would/could help. Be specific if you can. Don't tell him you have ideas. The is the purpose of a resumer/CV

Resume not cover letter.
" I have computer skills in such and such formats that could assist you in developing X programs, I have exceptional communications experience having been an education teacher and Director of X and have a proven track record in...blah, blah blah. "

Stiletto
12-06-2010, 05:40 PM
I like the old fashioned way of having the person to whom you are writing listed on the left side of the page, then Dear sir:


Human resources manager
XYZ corporation
Hawaii.


Dear sir, .....


But what would I know, it has been over 30 years since I last wrote that sort of letter.:!


Good luck!

Yeadon
12-06-2010, 06:59 PM
Don't put quotes around "random things" in your "cover letter."