writing a cover letter during covid 19

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How to Write a Cover Letter That Sounds Like You (and Gets Noticed)

  • Elainy Mata

Do the research, start off strong, and emphasize your value.

  • EM Elainy Mata is a Multimedia Producer at Harvard Business Review. ElainyMata

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How to use your cover letter as your secret weapon during your Covid-19 job search

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Starting a job search right now may feel overwhelming, especially given the current climate and competitive job market . As things begin to recover, recruiters are being bombarded with hundreds of applicants with similar skills and experiences for each open role. Job seekers will need to use every avenue available to stand out from the competition.

How will you land that interview? While many will focus on rearranging the same information on their resume , you should take a look at your cover letter. If recruiters are only spending around 20 seconds scanning for keywords on each resume, your cover letter may be your best shot at showcasing your skills. Use your cover letter to speak to your experience in a way that directly connects you to the role and the company’s current need. 

Go beyond your resume

A resume is used to document and summarize your background, accomplishments, and skills. It is very straightforward and does not leave much room for explanations. If you have an employment gap, poor tenure, or outdated skills, a recruiter will not be able to decipher the reasoning behind those negative items. Your cover letter , however, can address these and turn them into positives. That less than stellar tenure can be shown as a value when that recruiter reads of the transferable skills you’ve acquired that can be applied to their opportunity. Here is where you use your cover letter to make the connection between your skills and the pain points the hiring manager may be experiencing. If he or she can see their job getting easier with each word, you are on the right track.  

Show you are a culture fit

Recruiters and hiring managers are not just looking to see if you can do the job. They also want to know if you will fit into their team. How will you work within their environment? Use your cover letter to speak to a time when you have been successful in a team similar to theirs. Time is limited. Make it easy for them to see the connection. Give them a reason to want to call you before even reading your resume.

Bring on the value 

Now more than ever your cover letter should be used as your personal sales pitch. Dive into your professional brag bank and pull out the value. What benefit can you bring to the company? Identify the traits that their ideal candidate would possess. When writing your cover letter showcase the times that you demonstrated those traits. The easier you make your recruiter’s job, the more likely you are to be sitting in that interview chair.


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The Best Ways to Talk About Your COVID-19 Layoff in a Resume, Cover Letter, or Interview (With Examples!)

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writing a cover letter during covid 19

The Best Ways to Talk About Your COVID-19 Layoff in a Resume, Cover Letter, or Interview (With Examples!) was originally published on The Muse , a great place to research companies and careers. Click here to search for great jobs and companies near you.

Job searching while you don’t currently have a job always comes with worries about how potential employers will look at this gap. Unfortunately, even though it’s unfair and irrational, there are some companies that may discriminate against unemployed people when hiring. These employers may wonder if you lost your last job because of poor performance, whether your skills might become outdated if you’ve been unemployed for a long period of time, or whether you might quit as soon as something better comes along. However if you were laid off due to COVID-19 and the surrounding economic downturn, the situation is a bit different.

Because millions of great people are out of work due to these unprecedented events, employers likely worry less about unemployed job seekers now. As a career coach and outplacement consultant with 22 years’ experience, I know the situation was similar during the recession of 2008 and that employers were more understanding of people who had been laid off then too.

I have worked with hundreds of people who were laid off, including many who were laid off due to COVID-19’s impacts. And because I focus on public health—I work at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and I’m co-authoring the third edition of the book 101+ Careers in Public Health —I read epidemiologists’ predictions for how a global pandemic could affect the job market long before the coronavirus hit, and have thought a great deal about the ways in which this pandemic is radically changing the job search.

So when job seeking , should you disclose your coronavirus-related employment gap up front or even emphasize it? Or is it better to downplay and hold off mentioning it until an employer asks you directly (while still being honest, of course)? And how should you talk about it if and when you do? It all depends on your situation and personal choices. 

Here are a few tips to help you navigate when and how to discuss your pandemic-related gap during the job search:

Fill the Gap and Try to Stay Positive

Regardless of how or when you bring up the reason you’re looking for a job, one of the best ways to address any employment gap is by talking about the ways you’re filling it, either with volunteering, learning a new skill, or taking on other responsibilities—paid or unpaid.

Though it can be very difficult to try to stay positive about your job search when you’ve been laid off, I have consistently found that job seekers who maintain and communicate their enthusiasm and keep building both new skills and their professional networks while they’re not working are more successful in bouncing back from a job loss.

Volunteering, taking courses or retraining for in-demand jobs, starting your own project or business, or looking for short-term gigs or freelance projects can all help you build your skills and make you a more desirable employee.

Working with new people is one way to grow your network . You might also attend virtual networking events, set up informational interviews , or reach out to your existing network . By establishing and strengthening professional connections, your resume, cover letter, or interview won’t be the only way employers get to know you—though you might still want or need to address why you’re currently job hunting at one or more of these stages in your search.

Acknowledge the Gap on Your Resume

Unless you know someone at the company you’re applying to who can refer you, chances are that an employer’s first impression of you will be your resume.

Most job seekers use a chronological resume format , which lists your past experience from most to least recent and typically includes start and end dates for each job. Recruiters are most familiar with the chronological format, and some are skeptical of alternatives—especially those without employment dates. (If you’re making a major career change or have an employment gap spanning years you might consider alternative resume formats , but proceed with caution and consider working with a resume writer).

So unless you’ve been temporarily furloughed , you may be stuck listing your employment end date. And that is the correct, honest approach. “Place an end date on that employment section on LinkedIn and your resume. Keeping a ‘to present’ date when you haven’t been working since, say, June 2020 isn’t helping your search,” says Lisa Rangel, owner of Chameleon Resumes and former executive recruiter. You don’t want to look dishonest to potential employers.

However, there are still different ways of conveying your employment status on your resume. Being up front gives you the chance to take ownership of a bad situation by highlighting your achievements in a positive way. This is a good approach if you feel confident that you have relevant, recent experience, and don’t have a long employment gap (say, less than a year). “Best to rip the Band-Aid off [and] own the fact you aren’t currently employed due to COVID,” Rangel says. “When a job seeker isn’t up front, it can make an interviewer wonder what else the job seeker isn’t being up front about.”

In the job entry for your last position, directly state that you lost your job due to COVID-19 and point to projects or achievements you were working on prior to the layoff, says Steve Levy, Technical Sourcing Lead at M&T Bank and cofounder of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals.

Here’s one example of how you might do this:

  • Designed new CRM system to track client experience, which was on track to increase efficiency and accuracy by up to 20% prior to COVID-19-related layoff.

However, if you decide to downplay your layoff on your resume (which doesn’t mean you can’t be up front elsewhere!), there are a few strategies you can use. People read from top to bottom and left to right—so readers notice items closer to the top and to the left of your resume. You can downplay dates by listing them on the right-hand side of the resume and using a smaller and/or an italic font—and certainly not bold—for the dates. For instance, which of these makes you notice the dates more?

May 2019–March 2020: Sales Development Rep, XYZ Solutions, New York, NY

Or this one?

XYZ Solutions , Sales Development Rep, New York, NY, May 2019–March 2020

Another idea is to add a “ summary ” section to the top of your resume. This is a section with a few sentences or bullet points that highlight your key credentials and achievements. With a summary, the recruiter’s first impression is of your strengths and skills, not your recently lost job. If you’re also making a career pivot—for example, if your previous industry has greatly reduced its hiring—this can also be a chance to reframe your career story to fit into a new field.

For instance, here is how a theater house manager, who used to oversee audience relations and run day-of operations for plays and other performances, might use a summary section to pivot into customer service:

Client services professional and event manager with expertise managing complex, time-sensitive projects with multiple stakeholders, successfully managing high-touch events with budgets of up to $1 million, 30 staff, and 400 customers, while ensuring customer satisfaction.

Whichever approach you choose for your resume, you can still show how you’ve been filling your time with part-time or freelance work, volunteering, or learning new skills. It’s best to address the gap on your resume by creating an entry in your experience section outlining what you’ve been doing, Rangel says.

For example, if you’ve been volunteering or working part-time in a role related to your career, you can add an entry like this where the bullet point mentions the skills you use that are directly related or transferable to the job you’re applying for:

ABC Food Bank, Direct Service Volunteer, March 2020–present

  • Accurately coordinate logistics for up to 15 deliveries of nutritious food per day and conduct effective outreach to families experiencing high levels of food insecurity

If instead you’ve been taking courses to build up your skills, you could add an entry in your Education section, like this:

Continuing Professional Studies, Virtual/Remote, March 2020–present

  • Upskilling through self-directed coursework and study in user experience (UX) design and C++ coding.

Give Context in a Cover Letter

Another option is to mention your unemployment in a cover letter, in addition to or instead of providing details in the resume. You can choose to put the information toward the end of the letter or to lead with it. Because a cover letter has more room for flexibility and creativity than a resume, there is more opportunity to add context to your situation, so you may choose to be up front here even if you weren’t in your resume. Here’s one way you might talk about your layoff in a cover letter:

“I have devoted much of my career to digital marketing in the hospitality industry. My most recent employer cut its marketing budget across the board and I was laid off due to COVID-19, and I am now eager to contribute my skills and expertise to Brenda’s Virtual Gifts and Celebrations and provide high-quality marketing analysis for your team for many years into the future.”

If you’re making a career switch, mentioning your layoff can explain why your experiences may come from a different industry than the job you’re applying to. So if you’re that theater house manager, you can say something like this:

“After spending much of my career in performing arts management, I am in a transition due to the COVID-19 related closure of Broadway theaters, and am excited to use my strong client service and event management skills to provide high-quality customer service for your company.”

But keep in mind that while many employers—especially those hiring for roles where written communication is a core skill—do read cover letters thoroughly, others may not. So always be prepared to explain why you are in a career transition and more importantly why you’re excited to work for this company if and when you land a job interview.

Be Ready to Address Your COVID-19 Layoff in an Interview

Whether or not you explicitly address your employment gap in your resume or cover letter, you should be prepared to talk about it in an interview.

Use your answers to interview questions to overcome the employer’s possible worries: Focus on the positives, don’t seem like you’re hiding anything, and avoid sounding desperate for any job and instead sound enthusiastic about this job. “I’m in transition and looking for a new opportunity. Your company seems like a great fit!” sounds better than, “I’m unemployed and need a new job right away.” And always talk about how you’ve been filling in the gap: “Tell me what you’ve been doing; tell me specifically what you’ve been learning.” Levy says.

One of the first questions you’re likely to hear is, “ Tell me about yourself .” If you want to be super up front about your gap, your response to that early question might sound like this:

“I am an accounts receivable professional, and I pride myself on my accuracy and dedication to high-quality work. I began this career after completing my undergraduate degree in accounting and have worked at several business supply firms for the last five years. In my most recent role, I managed more than $5 million in accounts receivable each year, and because of my follow-up, we were able to bring in 10% more revenue than the company did before I joined the firm. Now that my company has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and I’ve been laid off, I’m very excited to contribute my skills to your firm to help you bring in more revenue, too.”

If you’d rather not lay it out there right away, that’s OK. But you may still be asked  interview questions like, “Why did you leave your last job?” or, “What have you been doing since you left your last job?” So it’s always best to be prepared in advance in case such questions arise.

For instance, in response to, “What have you been doing since you were laid off?” you might say:

“Since I was part of my last company’s COVID-19 layoffs, I have learned to be resilient, flexible, and open to change, and I am now excited to leverage my skills in a new way. While overseeing virtual education programming for my kids, I decided to take an online class on UX design to supplement my digital marketing knowledge. I’m really excited to use my training to improve user experience for your company’s website as part of a larger strategy to increase engagement and conversion rates.”

Ultimately, you can learn a lot about a future employer by how they respond to your employment gap. After all, would you want to work for a company that won’t hire you because you were laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown or a boss who isn’t understanding about health challenges faced by millions of Americans? Job searching during a pandemic is hard; now more than ever, we can hope that employers will be compassionate.

More From Forbes

Cover letters are now essential to standout to employers. here's an example.

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Man is typing a cover letter to apply for a new job.

Today's job market is very competitive, so you need a way to stand out. “The biggest mistake many job hunters are currently making is that they skip writing a cover letter when sending off a resume,” says Jim, a 61-year-old AT&T Human Resource Manager. Cover letters are very influential, and a well-written letter can grab an interview just on its own merit. It is too bad most job hunters are so lazy they don't write one anymore, notes this HR manager in charge of employee recruiting.

What doesn't work is sending a generic letter. Put the effort in to tailor your letter specifically to the needs of the job. Another mistake to avoid is losing them in your opening sentence. Never begin your letter with the overused standard – I'm applying for the ad I saw online. This fails to address the employer's needs and the skills you bring to the job. Another overused starting line is telling the company you think they are great and how much you want to work for them. However, this fact can be stated in the letter later – it is too weak to open it. This overused approach does not sell this employer on how you will keep them great and how you have the skills they seek.

Most Effective Opening

Power Impact Technique™ is the best way to start your letter. I created this technique years ago, and it has had a very high success rate of getting employers to call the applicant, which is the goal.

The Power Impact Technique is a two-step process. First, analyze the job — both the noted and assumed needs — and determine the essential skills the employer is looking for. Next, immediately address how you will meet the employer's needs. You begin your letter with a strong opening sentence emphasizing the major selling points and skills you would bring to the job. Compare the difference between the typical opening, I'm applying to the job opening I found on Indeed and these two openings using The Power Impact Technique:

· Ten years in senior management with proven expertise in international finance for a Fortune 100 company...

· Strong leadership in operations having reduced costs by 12% while improving productivity....

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· Five years in B2B tech sales growing territory sales by 18% in a highly competitive marketplace…

These openers are eye-catching, designed to get the employer to see what you can do. The secret lies merely in addressing their needs right up front. After all, these are the necessary skills and experience they are seeking. This first paragraph is what they will read, so it needs to have your top selling points in it. You must demonstrate "proof" that you can perform the duties desired. To develop this proof, outline the critical things that the employer wants. Just underline the significant items from the job opening. Whenever possible, use your network to gather any inside information. The next step is to ask yourself: What were the RESULTS of my efforts on previous jobs, projects, or tasks that I've undertaken? That is the key to compose your letter. Just highlight the duties and skills needed by referencing your abilities to perform them plus offer any known results from your past efforts as proof that you CAN do the job.

Sample Letter

William Morris Motley

Newark, DE 19713

123.555.2565 [email protected]

Dear Hiring Manager

With a demonstrated record of leadership in medical diagnostic equipment manufacturing and operations, I would bring excellent experience in increasing profit, enhancing productivity, and reducing costs to your organization.

Highlights of my background include:

  • Establishment of a new manufacturing culture based on self-directed teams and continuous improvement leading to high quality levels. Results: achieved 20% productivity increase plus $3.5 million increase in profits .
  • Headed production turn-around. Results: achieved 26% productivity increase with $2 million in annual cost reductions.
  • Designed and set up new part repair center: Results: saved $13 million over previous repair process costs.
  • Directed reduction effort on six-month product backlog of large, complex medical diagnostic device. Results: increased production from 19 units per month to 30 units per month while maintaining quality level and same per unit manufacturing cost.

As you can see, I pride myself on being an excellent team developer who can exceed goals and build highly productive employees to contribute to a company’s bottomline.

I am interested in discussing with you some of the valuable contributions I could make to COMPANY NAME’s manufacturing operations. You can contact me: 123.555.2565

Your time and consideration are most appreciated.

Bill Motley

This formula has opened many doors for my career counseling clients and will do so for you too.

Robin Ryan

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5 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed Job Hunting

Hiring experts tell how looking for work will be different in 2021.

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Looking for a job is never easy, but that process figures to be especially challenging in 2021.

With many businesses still hesitant to hire due to uncertainties about the pandemic , job opportunities can be hard to come by. And older workers — many of whom have not applied for or interviewed for a new job in more than five years — may now have to handle newer twists such as video interviews.

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"Undeniably, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into the hiring process for both job seekers and recruiters alike,” said Amanda Augustine, a career expert at TopResume. TopResume has partnered with AARP to provide Resume Advisor , a service that offers free résumé critiques and other job-search services. TopResume recently surveyed 334 recruiters, human resources professionals and hiring managers to learn more about how the pandemic has affected the hiring process.

"Our findings reveal that job seekers may be taking themselves out of the running even before — or right after — the virtual interview because they're ignoring the key factors to which recruiters are suddenly paying attention,” Augustine said.

Here are five ways applying and interviewing for jobs could change in 2021, based on the survey results:

1. Employment gaps aren't a problem.

Many older workers have gaps on their résumés, whether it's because they lost a job, took time off for caregiving, experienced a health issue or another reason. But with so many workers having lost their jobs last year due to the pandemic, recruiters are now less concerned about employment gaps, regardless of when the time off may have occurred. According to the survey, 87 percent of recruiters said wouldn't be worried by an applicant's inconsistent work history, which means 13 percent said they might view unemployment or a lengthy employment gap as a concern.

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If you have a gap in your résumé, job search experts say that rather than trying to hide it, you should briefly say what happened and explain how you used that time to build skills that will help in the job you're applying for. Read this article for tips on how to handle such gaps .

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2. Cover letters mean more now.

Writing a smart cover letter that explains why you are a good fit for the job has long been encouraged, but recruiters acknowledge that many cover letters won't get read, especially with computer software screening applications in the early rounds. But TopResume's survey suggests that could be changing. Nearly half of recruiters (48 percent) said they are now more likely to read a cover letter than they were before the pandemic.

Before writing a cover letter, make sure you research the company so the letter can explain specifically why you are the best fit for the job. You'll also want the letter to include keywords from the job posting. That way, the company's screening software will see you as the right fit. You can learn more about writing an effective cover letter in this article .

3. Remote work could be here to stay.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonessential jobs switched to remote work, at least temporarily. Many positions are likely to stay that way for at least the first part of 2021 as the effort to vaccinate millions of Americans proceeds. And some jobs may transition to work-from-home permanently, causing perhaps as many as 70 percent of companies to downsize their office space, according to a survey from KPMG.

That means that for many job openings, recruiters will be looking for candidates who can demonstrate they can be successful working remotely. That means your résumé should highlight your experience telecommuting. For example, when describing your previous job duties, specify how often you worked from home in various roles. You may also want to subtly mention which technologies you already have access to at home — reliable high-speed internet, business software, video or audio equipment. See this article for advice on how you can showcase your remote work experience .

4. Your next job interview might be a video chat.

Last April, 86 percent of employers switched to conducting job interviews through videoconferencing technology as one way to still see candidates when they couldn't meet face-to-face, according to a survey from Gartner Inc. With remote work continuing into 2021 for many businesses, brushing up on your video interview skills could be the key to getting hired.

Interviewing for a job can be stressful, and doing so by video can add a new set of challenges. Do you know how to use the conferencing technology? Where is a good place in your home to set up the video? This article can help you get ready .

5. A little thanks goes a long way.

Whether you interviewed for the job by video or in person, be sure to send a thank-you email to the hiring manager and other key people you may have spoken with. According to the survey, 68 percent of recruiters say that a thank-you note — or lack of one — has become more significant over the past year.

A thank-you note can be a quick way to show you're really interested in the job and explain why you would be a good fit. You can find tips for how to write an effective thank-you note in this article .

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How to Write a Cover Letter

A personalized cover letter can help your resume make the "yes" pile and grab the attention of the hiring manager. Browse our sample cover letters by industry and experience level.

writing a cover letter during covid 19

Cover Letter Samples

Choose from our library of professionally created cover letter template designs made especially to grab employers’ attention.

Cover Letter Basics

Selling Yourself in Your Cover Letter

Selling Yourself in Your Cover Letter

This Cover Letter Trick Will Make Hiring Managers Read to the End

This Cover Letter Trick Will Make Hiring Managers Read to the End

3 Phrases to Delete from Your Cover Letter Now

3 Phrases to Delete from Your Cover Letter Now

4 Tips to Write a Better Cover Letter

4 Tips to Write a Better Cover Letter

Cover Letter Basics

Cover Letter Blog

5 LinkedIn Tips for Students

5 LinkedIn Tips for Students

As a student, integrating your resume with a strong LinkedIn presence can open doors to many opportunities. Here are five essential LinkedIn tips for students.

Can ChatGPT Help You Tailor Your Cover Letter and Resume to a Job Description?

Can ChatGPT Help You Tailor Your Cover Letter and Resume to a Job Description?

ChatGPT can be an excellent job search tool. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of it.

How to Write a Resume Summary That Stands Out

How to Write a Resume Summary That Stands Out

A well-crafted summary grabs recruiters’ attention and sets the tone for the rest of your resume. Here are six tips for writing a stand-out summary.

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You’re hired: A recruiter’s roundtable on getting the job

The process of finding and applying for jobs can be complex, and just about everyone you talk to has different opinions on how to navigate the process. From resumes to cover letters, networking and follow-up—there’s a ton of information out there, and it’s difficult to find out what companies and recruiters are really looking for amidst the noise.

That’s why we assembled a dynamic panel of BU alumni with experience working as professional recruiters and HR reps at companies such as Boston Beer Company, Mass General Hospital, Shark and Ninja brands, Wayfair, and more.

Watch the panel on-demand or read below for the top advice for job seekers at all career stages!

Abba Binns (Pardee’12) Director of People & Culture, Omelet

Michael Conway (SAR’08) Head of Talent and Learning, BlueRock Therapeutics

Patrick Nelson (COM’11, ’20) Director of Career Services, UMass Boston College of Management

Molly Richter (Questrom’10) Director of Talent Management, Massachusetts General Hospital  

Top Insights from the Panel Discussion

Build relationships with recruiters.

Recruiters are not the final decision-makers, but they can act as advocates for applicants by presenting their top candidates to hiring managers. Establishing a good rapport with recruiters can significantly benefit your job search, so be specific about the position you are interested in and explain why you are a good fit. If you don’t get the job you first applied to, stay in touch with the recruiter, because they’re always considering their past contacts for future job opportunities, even when they move on to a new department or organization. Transparency about your career goals and skills will help recruiters be your champions over time.

Navigating AI and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Contrary to common belief, most companies do not use AI for application screening due to its high cost, so applications are primarily reviewed by real people. However, it’s still important to make your resume clear, concise, and optimized for ATS to ensure recruiters see your most relevant qualifications quickly. Consider following up online applications with networking requests to recruiters using online resources, such as LinkedIn and BU Connects .

Salary Negotiation

Not all initial offers are lowballs, and understanding a company’s compensation philosophy is crucial before entering negotiations. A compensation philosophy outlines how a company values and pays its employees, including pay scales, incentives, and benefits. Candidates can use this knowledge to their advantage by asking informed questions about the company’s pay structure during salary discussions. For example, inquire whether the company aims to pay at the market rate, above it, or offers other significant benefits. This approach helps candidates understand the offer and negotiate efficiently, ensuring you receive a fair and competitive compensation offer.

Understand Industry Trends

Staying informed about industry trends is key for tailoring your job search strategy. For example, the healthcare industry focuses on systemization, which affects hiring and organizational structures. Alternatively, biotech is known for cyclical hiring patterns, influenced by market conditions and funding. Research hiring patterns in your industry to refine your own job search.

Crafting Effective Cover Letters

Every recruiter has their own opinion about the value of cover letters, but many agree that they can be a helpful tool for adding context to an application, especially when explaining career transitions or gaps. Be sure to tailor each cover letter to the specific job and company, because while there is no universal standard, including a persuasive, personalized cover letter can make a great impression.

Addressing Ageism

Ageism in the workplace is a real phenomena, but there are strategies you can employ to use age to your advantage. Focus on your most relevant skills and experience and explain how your interest in the role closely aligns with your current career stage. Be transparent about your career goals and clarify that you are not just looking for a stopgap role, but that you are genuinely excited about this opportunity. Address any perceived over-qualification by emphasizing your willingness to contribute as a team member and your desire for a meaningful position that leverages your experience. This approach positions your age and experience as valuable assets.

Diversity and Inclusion

Companies highly value having a diverse talent pool. Add your unique background to your application and highlight how your diverse perspective can contribute to the company’s goals and culture. Be open and transparent about your qualifications and career aspirations to show how you align with the company’s commitment to diversity.

Succeeding in Interviews

Authenticity and professionalism are crucial during interviews. It is important to be yourself and make a genuine connection with your interviewers. Prepare by researching the company and the interviewers to find common ground and relevant discussion points. Show enthusiasm for the role and be ready to discuss how your skills and experience align with the job requirements. After the interview, follow up with personalized thank-you emails to reinforce your interest and professionalism.

Patience in the Job Search

A job search may take 3 to 6 months (or more), so patience is necessary to staying sane. Keep track of your applications and celebrate small milestones to keep yourself motivated. Focus on your progress and avoid comparing yourself to others. Persistence is key—continue applying, networking, and improving your skills despite any rejections. Use this time to enhance your resume, improve your interviewing skills, and set personal boundaries to maintain your mental health. Keep a steady pace and you’ll be sure to cross that finish line in good time!

Continue reading

Chatgpt & ai: today's job search.

Learn how you can leverage AI in your job search.

Getting noticed in your job search

Getting a job is all about getting noticed. Explore tips and tricks to help you do just that.

How to job search on social media

Victoria Rayel covers how to use Tik Tok, Instagram and Twitter for your job search.

Managing a job campaign over the summer

Learn how to make more progress with less effort during the summer months.

Ask me anything: Online job search edition

CCD career experts answer alumni questions about conducting a job search online amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing your career in the age of coronavirus

Learn what the job market looks like today in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Posts Baselessly Suggest Others Were Involved in Trump’s Assassination Attempt

By Saranac Hale Spencer

Posted on July 18, 2024

Este artículo estará disponible en español en El Tiempo Latino .

Viral online posts make the unfounded claim that a woman at former President Donald Trump’s July 13 rally acted “suspicious,” suggesting that she might have been involved in a plot to assassinate Trump, and that a QAnon-related character may have also been involved. The FBI has said that the “investigation to date indicates the shooter acted alone.”

The shooter who tried to assassinate former President Donald Trump at a rally in western Pennsylvania on July 13 was killed by Secret Service agents at the scene.

He had carried no identification , but the FBI used photographs and DNA to confirm that he was Thomas Matthew Crooks , a 20-year-old resident of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

“While the investigation to date indicates the shooter acted alone, the FBI continues to conduct logical investigative activity to determine if there were any co-conspirators associated with this attack,” the bureau said in a statement the day after the shooting.

The FBI has not changed that statement. Instead, it has added that agents have searched Crooks’ home and vehicle and are analyzing his electronic devices. The bureau continues to investigate the shooting as an assassination attempt and as “potential domestic terrorism.”

One of the shots fired by Crooks struck Trump’s right ear before the former president was rushed offstage by Secret Service agents. Three people in the crowd also were shot : Corey Comperatore, 50, died, and David Dutch, 57, and James Copenhaver, 74, were injured.

Despite the public statements from law enforcement, conspiracy theories have been developing online suggesting that the attack was part of a larger plot involving other people in the crowd. ( We’ve written about many other unsupported and false claims surrounding the attempted assassination of the former president.)

Some of the most viral claims making this suggestion focus on a woman in the crowd who was seated behind Trump’s podium and was visible just to the right of the former president as he spoke. She appeared to be wearing a black hat that said , “Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president,” and she was recording the rally on her mobile phone. A person seated in front of her periodically held up a sign that said, “JOE BIDEN, YOU’RE FIRED!” The sign sometimes obscured part of the woman’s face.

After the first shots were fired, the woman appeared to duck down — as did many of the other attendees near her — and she continued recording with her phone.

Nothing about her behavior seemed out of the ordinary. But online posts have seized on a close-up video clip of her as she pulled out a mobile phone to tape the chaotic scene after the shooting — as if her filming was unusual, even though she had been taping earlier.

In one TikTok post, the clip has text above it that says, “This video of a woman located behind Donald Trump during his attempted assassination is HIGHLY suspicious.” An X post that shared the video added text that said, “Her body language & behavior seem to indicate she knew that something was coming.” The original version of that post , which has been copied and shared on other platforms, has amassed more than 12 million views on X.

The voices of two people narrating the clip say, “She sits down — watch this — puts the sign up. Shots go off. She’s completely normal — and then watch — what the f***? What the f***? People are freaking out and she… She’s filming.”

Comments on these posts say, “BECAUSE IT WAS STAAAAAAAAAAGED!!!!!!!!!” and, “This was the first person that caught my attention and I knew it was staged.”

But the full video shows the woman’s reaction is similar to the dozens of people around her, and there’s no evidence to support the claim that the shooting was staged.

A similar, but more niche, claim has also been circulating in some conspiracy groups online. This one features Vincent Fusca , whom some adherents to the QAnon conspiracy theory believe is actually John F. Kennedy Jr. (who died in a plane crash in 1999).

Fusca, who was at the July 13 rally, regularly attends Trump rallies and events . Like the woman featured in the viral clip, Fusca was seated behind Trump’s podium. He could be seen just to the left of the former president, wearing a black fedora and dark blue blazer.

One post on Instagram said, “Look who it is front and center at what will likely be known as one of the biggest false flags – Vincent Fusca.”

Users have responded with posts such as, “As soon as i saw Vincent i knew something was up.”

Another post , this one on Facebook, noted Fusca’s appearance and suggested that “Trump and the military white hats staged this event to help people wake up to the dangers of the deep state who want to annihilate Trump.”

But, as we said, there’s been no evidence to suggest that the assassination attempt was staged or part of a larger plot.

Editor’s note:  FactCheck.org  is one of several organizations  working with Facebook  to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found  here . Facebook has  no control  over our editorial content.

C-SPAN. “ FBI Briefing on Trump Rally Shooting .” 13 Jul 2024.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. Press release. “ FBI Statement on Incident in Butler, Pennsylvania .” 14 Jul 2024.

McDonald, Jessica. “ Misinformation Swirls About Trump Rally Shooter’s Identity .” FactCheck.org. 16 Jul 2024.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. Press release. “ Update on the FBI Investigation of the Attempted Assassination of Former President Donald Trump .” 14 Jul 2024.

C-SPAN. “ Former President Donald Trump Removed From Stage After Shots Fired at Pennsylvania Rally .” 13 Jul 2024.

Potter, Chris. “ Vince Fusca, who some suspect of being a Kennedy, is running for Senate as his own man .” WESA. 7 Mar 2022.


Secret Service Under Scrutiny After Assassination Attempt on Trump

President Biden calls for a review of the protective agency’s actions after the attack, which left an audience member dead and two critically wounded.

  • Share full article

Former President Donald J. Trump, wearing a blue suit, white shirt and red baseball cap, walking down steps. American flags are behind him, and people wearing dark suits, white shirts and sunglasses are to his side.

By Zolan Kanno-Youngs ,  David A. Fahrenthold ,  Hamed Aleaziz and Eileen Sullivan

The reporters have covered presidential security over various administrations.

  • July 14, 2024

President Biden on Sunday called for an “independent review” of security measures before and after the attempted assassination of former President Donald J. Trump, while directing the Secret Service to review all of its security measures for the Republican National Convention this week.

Mr. Biden’s directive, though brief and without specifics, is likely to increase the scrutiny of the decisions and possible failures of the agency charged first and foremost with protecting the lives of the country’s current and former leaders, and their families.

Less than 24 hours after Mr. Trump was injured at a campaign rally in Butler, Pa., members of Congress were promising hearings and former law enforcement officials were questioning why the warehouse roof where the would-be assassin, Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pa., fired shots was not covered by the Secret Service’s security perimeter, despite being within the range of some guns.

Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, was herded off the stage and pronounced fine, but the gunman came shockingly close to succeeding. A spectator was killed in the shooting and two others were critically wounded.

“Congress will do a full investigation of the tragedy yesterday to determine where there were lapses in security and anything else that the American people need to know and deserve to know,” Speaker Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana, said Sunday on NBC.

The chair of the House oversight committee also asked the Secret Service director, Kimberly A. Cheatle, to testify at a hearing on July 22.

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