Monday, November 27, 2017

Writing a General Cover Letter

As a career coach, I will get asked by job seekers about how to create a general cover letter. This is the wrong question to be asking. Cover letters should not be general. They should be specific. If you are applying for a specific job or at a specific company, your cover letter should be tailored according to the job description and/or the company. Tailoring your cover letter should not step on the feet of personal authenticity and integrity. If you don't have a job description or a specific company you are applying to, your cover letter should be specific to the unique value that you can add and the specific interests/goals you have. Your cover letter should represent your personal brand.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Should I Write?

Should I Write?

If the things you want to write always come out sad, do you, should you, continue to write? If the things you write don't seem to have value, is that a reason to stop writing? Is there any way to ensure that what you write will be positive and of value? I think the important thing is to continue writing. I am saying this to myself because I don't have any authority to say it to another person. I am that person who talks himself out of writing because of time or laziness or lack of anything to write. But those things are simply not true.

Write Regardless of Outcome 

Writing and to be more more general creating, needs to be done regardless of the outcome. Once you have something down, you can go from there. With that being said, there is a second part that can take writing to the next level and that is editing and sharing. Those things are what has the potential of adding value to another person.

Write to Add Value

Writing in the first place, and just writing for the sake of writing, can have value for the individual writer, but editing and sharing are what makes it possible to add value to another person. One of the benefits of writing is that it gets things out of my mind. Another benefit is that writing creates an action. Creating action overtime is required if you want to have habits. I need to formalize and stick with the habits I want to have in my life. Writing is one of those habits. I can say that it doesn't matter what I write, and that may be true in the beginning, but beyond that I need to create and write in a value-added way.

It is good to write, it is better to write every day, it is best to write things of value every day.

Write to Become A Better Writer

If I learn to write good sentences. And then learn to write good paragraphs. And then learn to write good papers. That is one way to look at becoming a good writer. Something else that I can add into this is learning to begin with the end in mind in my writing, but also with all other things I do.

So there are a number of reasons I could write:

  1. For me, writing can be a form of planning. So that could be the first thing. 
  2. For two, writing can be a form of something to add to a blog and 
  3. (three) show/demonstrate that I am a good writer. What other reasons are there? 
  4. I could write to create a journal of my experiences and thoughts (four). 
  5. I can write to think or organize my thoughts (five). Most of my writing, especially in this system has come under that reason. 

Begin Writing with the End in Mind

Determining the reason before I start writing can affect what I write. If I am just writing to organize my thoughts, it might be appropriate for me just to write, much like a brain dump of sorts. If I am writing to share, I might be a little more methodical and focused. It would be good to remind myself before I write, the reason I write as well as remind myself after I write, why I wrote.

Review What You Write 

After writing, it would be beneficial because I can determine what action to take next. Most of the time, especially if I am working on (1) improving my writing or (2) making a record that I or someone else will read again, I will need to re-read what I wrote. I can add paragraphs, fix sentences and generally make what I write more readable. I can also add it to a blog or place to post. That will take a bit more effort because I talk myself out of posting and sharing the things I write. I need to remind myself that it is OK to share what I write even if it isn't perfect.

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Daughters

I have two of the cutest daughters on the entire planet. I am not sure how I am so blessed. They are funny and smart. I am glad they like each other. I really hope they grow up liking each other too. It is a sad thing to see siblings that don’t get along. I would think with as close as they are in age that they would be friends. I really wonder what kind of parenting encourages (or discourages) siblings being friends. I am lucky to have the girls I have, but I also think my girls are lucky to have each other.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why and How I Write

I know that writing is really something that helps me. It helps to organize my thought. It helps me to clear my mind. It helps me to feel accomplished. It helps me to not waste time. It helps me to understand what I am thinking. It helps me to remember what I am thinking. It helps to come up with ideas that are hopefully good enough to share. It helps me to work more diligently. I really don't have any good reason not to write everyday. I seem to be pretty good at making excuses. I have had a few times that I have run out of things to write, but that doesn't happen very often.* And lately I have had tons of things to write and tons of ideas that I would like to remember and tons of good things that I happened to me.

I have set up for my web browser (Chrome) to open up to 3 pages.
One of the pages is This is a site that is basically what it says. You create a list of daily things you want to do and then you track it and it shows up over time. I just recently found it.
Another page is This is a site that is also very simple. It tries to encourage you to write 750 words every day. I have been on the site for a while, but I have a difficult time getting up to 750 words, mostly because it takes a while and I have distractions that get in the way.
The third webpage is (which is the site I am writing this on). I am more likely to write on this page because I know how long it will take me to write and I can focus (fairly) easily for 10 minutes.

*If you ever feel like you would run out of things to write about, I suggest checking out There are daily prompts to write about that are usually pretty good. I have set up to be notified each day and even though I rarely write about the prompt, I use it as a conversation piece.
Tomorrow I will be graduating with my Master’s degree. I am pretty excited.

Friday, March 16, 2012

5 Blogs Featuring Great Artists & Illustrators

I follow quite a few blogs and I don't usually have time to read every word of every blog. It is nice to have a few blogs that deal mainly in pictures rather than words. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Matte Stephens
  3. iotacons by Andy Rash

I considered writing a description of each of the blogs, but pictures speak louder than words so go to the blogs and let me know what you think. What are your favorite blogs with art and illustration?