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PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: Kickstart Your Workday, Career Lessons at Age 23, and Why Cover Letters Still Exist


How do you start your workday? If you, like many of us, are generally a little bit late, it could be by grabbing the caffeinated beverage of your choice and hurriedly scanning your inbox. But maybe it’s time for a reboot.

kickstart your day 

(Photo Credits: Death to the Stock Photo)

Marla Gottschalk at The Office Blend: Kickstart Your Workday

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Dr. Gottschalk starts her days listening to music, courtesy of YouTube. Why? Because music allows her to make some space in her workday.

We often forget that we must leave ourselves the room to be our best. (Certainly our brains require this.) When pushed to the limits, working on only fumes, we’re likely to fail.

I’m not sure what works for you — as the seeds of creativity are quite different for each and every one of us. That’s the beauty of the workplace. We are individuals. So are the required roots of creativity.

Lindsay Shoemake at That Working Girl: 23 Things I Learned About My Career at 23

If it’s been a while since you hit your 24th birthday, you might not remember how crucial the first few years of a career are. Lindsay Shoemake will remind you with her list of 23 things she learned during the past year. For example:

Take the risk first, figure it out later. I moved across the country without a definitive plan six months ago. I found a job, apartment and friends that I love — it all fell together naturally. Don’t overthink it if you can help it (I sure did, though, let’s be honest).

The other 22 tips include budgeting your money, safeguarding your time, and being true to yourself — all of which is good advice, at any age.

Ted Hekman at Careerealism: 5 Easy Tips to Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out

If you’re like most job seekers, you’d love to fast-forward to a time when cover letters are no longer required. Until LinkedIn unveils a brain implant that transmits our vital details to our perfect employer, however, we’re stuck doing things the hard way.

Hekman’s advice includes an explanation of how we wound up with the cover letter convention, and what the modern version should accomplish:

Having too much detail in your cover letter will take some of the glory from your resume. In the days of paper resumes, it was called a cover letter because its purpose was to “cover” the other item in the envelope: in this case, the resume. It’s similar to what you might say when you hand someone an information piece of some kind: “Here’s the sales report for this month. The results are excellent, mainly because we introduced the new product line.”

Similarly, tell the person what you are sending and why, with one point that ties in with what they will read in the resume. It’s what the advertising industry calls “teaser copy.”

Understanding this makes it easier to clarify your thoughts around what should be in your cover letter (a targeted sales pitch) and what shouldn’t (the entire contents of your resume).

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the best career advice you’ve read this week? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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