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Kayley Loveridge

How to Write a Cover Letter

Stand out from the crowd with our go-to tips

Searching for a job or internship isn’t exactly fun and writing an effective cover letter can be even less so. Many candidates bypass this essential feature to the application process, seeing it as a futile exercise. Writing a stellar cover letter or not, however, can be the difference between getting an interview and a resume thrown in the trash.

It’s actually very common for candidates to leave out the cover letter in an application, but the truth is, a resume is just not enough to cut the mustard.

Why writing a cover letter is important

Think of it like this: Potentially hundreds of candidates will apply for the same job. If, hypothetically, 80 percent do not include a cover letter, it’s the remaining 20 percent that will be taken notice of.

In her Linkedin post, Lauren Nelson, a principle consultant with Aesthetic Cogency, said “In most cases, it [a cover letter] can even help you overcome deficiencies in your resume or a lack of experience. I would rather have a determined, passionate individual with a strong work ethic on my team than an Ivy League degree without tenacity every single time.”

Writing a cover letter

The purpose of writing a cover letter is to highlight your ability, interest and curiosity for the role and to reflect your personality to the hiring manager. Using the cover letter as an opportunity to highlight the stand-out skills not already written in your resume will go a long way.

Research

Generic cover letters used for multiple applications is very obvious to a hiring manager, giving a sense that the candidate doesn’t actually care about the job. Each application, and therefore covering letter, should be treated and modified individually for optimum affect.

Starting a cover letter with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whomever it may concern” tends to convey a lack of research. Find out who you should be addressing within the company and if that information is unavailable to you, miss it out completely.

Research the industry and company you are trying to work for and sprinkle historical facts throughout the cover letter to highlight how well you know your industry. This emphasises curiosity and knowledge in your subject, deeming you appropriate for the role.

Read: How to Build a Resume the Right Way

 

What to include and what not to include

Omit sentences that say “My name is…” and “I am applying for the role of…”. Introducing yourself in the opening sentence of a paragraph not only wastes time, but indicates lack of experience. Get straight to the point—the hiring manager will already know your name and what role you are applying for.

A cover letter should be written with the intention of establishing a bond with the reader. Direct the letter to the company and discuss your specific skills and attributes emphasising your suitability for the role.

Avoid cliché buzzwords that everyone seems to write into their cover letter. These can include phrases like, “detail-oriented”, “hardworking” and “works well in a team”. Be creative and original. Think “enthusiastic” and “integrity”, for example.

Finally, don’t hesitate to follow up your application and cover letter with a call. Initiative is an attractive quality in a candidate, and you might be surprised to know that few candidates ever follow up in this way. Doing this puts you at the forefront of the hiring manager’s thoughts, and helps make you stand out as assertive, willing and right for the job.

For when you’ve landed that interview: 5 Invaluable Tips on Preparing for  Interviews 

Climate Change documentary by Leonardo DiCaprio Available Free

“Before the Flood” is available to watch for free until November 6

Leonardo DiCaprio is the executive producer of new documentary tackling global climate change issues, “Before the Flood” in association with the National Geographic. The highly acclaimed documentary aired globally on the National Geographic October 30. The documentary feature has been made available for free for a limited period of time and can be viewed via YouTube, Facebook and Hulu until November 6 (see beneath this article).

More than just the king of Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio is a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Having voiced his views publically, advocating positive change towards environmental and humanitarian issues, DiCaprio has devoted time and personal resources into tackling the issues that our planet faces.

“Clean air, water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics, it is a question of our own survival.”—Leonardo DiCaprio, 2014.

The 96 minute-long documentary follows Leonardo DiCaprio as he travels five continents in exploration of climate change around the world. Among these include exploring the issue of pollution in China, the climate change denial industry in America and sea-level rise in Florida.

You’ll also find interesting: Can Someone Tell the Redskins to Change their Name Already!

 

“Before the Flood” is a collaboration of some of the most respected minds in Hollywood. Besides DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and Brett Ratner produce while veteran documentary writer, Mark Monroe, receives a writing credit. The powerful soundtrack is delivered by Trent Reznor Mogwai.

The documentary also features a conversation between DiCaprio and President Barack Obama, as they discuss climate change.

According to natureworldnews.com, “DiCaprio hopes his documentary will urge the public to actively join the fight against climate change as the consequences will affect every single human being on Earth in the long run.”

Climate change is a very real crisis happening so fast in our lifetime that we are watching its effects happen before our eyes. Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary, “Before the Flood”, highlights exactly that.

Watch the full documentary, via YouTube, here: 

Further reading: This isn’t the first time Pat Sajak has attacked “global warming alarmists”

Walter Scott Shooting: Michael Slager Murder Trial Set to Begin

Ex-police officer who fatally shot unarmed black man, Walter Scott, is set to go for trial.

The murder trial for white ex-police officer, Michael Slager is finally set to begin. Slager fatally shot unarmed black man, Walter Scott, 18 months ago in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Defendant Michael Slager pulled over the 50-year-old father of four in North Charleston for a broken taillight on April 4 2015. Claiming to have felt threatened by Scott, who he alleges reached for his Taser, Slager shot the victim as he ran away.

As seen by a bystander’s grainy video, Slager fired eight bullets at the defendant as he tried to run away. Of those eight bullets, a total of five actually hit Scott. The video was one that would shock the nation, becoming infamous in the current national conversation of police brutality towards African-Americans.

Michael Slager could face life imprisonment

Michael Slager was fired from his job at the police department three days after the incident and arrested for the murder of Walter Scott. If convicted, the ex-police officer will face up to life in prison. He will stand before a jury on federal charges including obstruction of justice and a civil rights violation.

Reports suggest that Michael Slager’s defence lawyers are eager to move the trial to another county, where they say a “toxic stew of half-truths, misperceptions and false narratives” bias within Charleston can be eliminated during the trial process. However, at the time of reporting, the trial is set to stay put at a county courthouse in a neighboring city of Charleston.

According to Charleston Police Chief, Greg Mullen, “This is going to be a very delicate and important time for the city,” he said. “There’s going be a lot of emotion and a lot of activity around the courthouses.”

The shooting added to the debate surrounding the police brutality and force against African-Americans, amidst protests and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Out of 990 fatal shootings caused by policemen in 2015, only 10 (including Michael Slager) were charged with a crime, according to Huffington Post.

Further reading: Tyga, The Game and DJ Mustard Join #MillionsMarchLA 

College News Talks Music With Upcoming Artist SEE

Inspiration, learning drums and mysogyny in the music industry

With her debut album “Ties” making waves in the indie music scene, we caught up with upcoming artist, SEE, to have a chat about the album, her musical inspiration and the future of her music. We also got to hear from someone who’s experienced what it means to be a woman in the music industry in this honest and open interview. 

CN: Hi SEE! First of all, how would you describe your sound for those who are just being introduced to your music?

SEE: I would say that my sound is a blend of alternative-rock and pop with some singer/songwriter influences.  Also lots of reverb and ambience is involved! The songs on the EP definitely vary a little bit and showcase those different influences. 

CN: So, you’re a self-taught multi-instrumentalist; tell us where it all began?

S: So I basically begged my parents to get me a drum kit when I was 13, and once they caved in, the drums became my first main instrument. At the time I was listening to a ton of bands and my goal was to start a band and be one of the main songwriters and the drummer. I could hear the songs in my head and I decided that I needed to learn every instrument so that I was able to record it all and show people properly. Singing came into the equation much later.

CN: How does a typical day go, in the life of SEE?

S: It really depends on the day. Currently a lot of my life is very last minute. At this point in my career I can get an email about a huge opportunity that is a week away, and then my entire plans for that week have to shift to accommodate the opportunity. I would say that my days generally always include social media planning, practicing or a rehearsal of some sort and songwriting. When I have gigs, my day is dedicated to preparing and traveling there, and eating at new places along the way. 

CN: Tell us about your debut album “Ties”.

S: I’m really proud of Ties and it was my first time professionally recording and having so many wonderful people involved in the creative process. Lyrically the record is about my relationships with people in my life and how those relationships change over time. Some of the songs are three years old and some were written right before recording. So it covers a pretty big chunk of my life. I think there’s something for everyone on it as well. There’s a lot of softer, sweeter moments and then some bigger louder moments, so I hope that having those dynamics keeps everyone engaged.

CN: You’ve worked with quite a few big names in the game! Do you have a dream collaboration?

S: I don’t have any particular person in mind that I would call my dream collaboration. I love working with anyone that I can. It would be fun to song-write, produce or perform with someone who is in a completely different genre than me because I haven’t yet had a lot of experience outside of the alt-pop world. 

Read: Under the Radar’s 2016 Election Protest Issue

 

CN: Outside of music, do you have any other artistic interests?

S: I’m a visual artist and do all of my own design work, so that’s another creative outlet for me. I’m also very into makeup and I spend a lot of my free time watching makeup artists and tutorials online. Up until recently, I was never a makeup person, but it’s given me a whole other form of expression so it’s been a lot of fun exploring that side of me. 

CN: What does it mean to be a woman in this industry, according to you? Have you faced any challenges, etc.?

S: Being a woman means that you’re generally going to be taken less seriously than male counterparts. A lot of the attitude that I get from men is very engrained and I don’t even think they realize the misogyny behind what they do and say, but it’s constantly there. Nicki Minaj has this amazing quote, I don’t remember the specifics but it was along the lines of women not being able to speak up for themselves without it being this massive ordeal, and we’re seen as “bitchy” and “aggressive” when we care about our art and what we put out to the world. I’ve noticed especially that men cannot handle a woman taking control. Nicki also talked about women having to be everything all at once. And it’s so true. That being said, I’ve learned a lot so far and navigating it all is getting easier. 

CN: Let’s talk about heartbreak—do you think this is a powerful motivator when it comes to writing music?

S: I think love and the feelings that come with it is absolutely a powerful motivator, if not the strongest. That includes heartbreak and the difficult sides of love. When artists put those raw feelings out for the world to take in, people notice it and they can connect with it on a real level. I’m always a fan of writing about things I’ve actually experienced. Someone can write an incredible song both lyrically and musically, but if the emotional connection isn’t there, it doesn’t matter what the person is singing because the audience will be able to tell that it isn’t genuine. 

CN: What advice would you give to other young women pursuing a career in music?

S: My advice would be to follow your gut. If something seems wrong, it probably is. Try your hardest to not let people influence you to give up on a music career, or to do things with that career that feel uncomfortable to you. It’s a tough road but it’s been incredibly rewarding so far and I wouldn’t want to have my life be any other way.

CN: Do you have tour plans for 2017?

S: I have some awesome shows lined up for the month of November right now. Info on those can be found on my website. A tour is definitely in the works for 2017 though, I would love to get out on the road and visit cities that I haven’t had the chance to play yet. 

If you want to keep updated with SEE’s upcoming shows: http://www.eyespysee.com/ 

You’ll also enjoy: TEDxDetroit: CN talks with Lungiswa Moore about #MyGirlSquad on College News

Brain Food: Eating for Concentration

Our concentration levels dwindle after countless hours of listening to our lecturers discuss multiple subjects and late night studying in college libraries. We’re under a lot of pressure knowing that these years are some of the most important we will face. All-nighters sponsored by energy drinks, excessive cups of coffee and candy overdose’s do nothing good for the health of our brain, though, and not consuming the right foods could impede your memory over the years.

Our brain’s health and functioning relies on that which we put into our bodies; as a car can’t run without fuel, our brains can’t function without food. College News compiles a list of foods proven to improve brain functioning, memory and concentration—without a hefty price tag.

Pumpkin Seeds

A must-have (and easy to get, particularly in the fall season) for your cupboard are pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are rich in the mineral Zinc, a vital component to healthy brain functioning. Zinc is a proven necessity to not only maintain, but enhance cognitive thinking skills and memory—exactly what we need while studying for a degree, right? Besides Zinc, pumpkin seeds are also rich in Magnesium, the mineral related to alleviate stress by triggering tryptophan, the precursor to the feel good neurotransmitter, serotonin.
Sprinkle these on salads and in soup, or simply bring along to school to snack on.

Blueberries

The sweet and moreish blueberry is high up on a nutritionists list of superfoods for good brain functioning. A study carried out by Tufts University in Massachusetts gathered evidence that suggests eating blueberries may well be effective in improving memory loss. If blueberries don’t satisfy your palate, then it’s good to know that other berries, like raspberries and strawberries, also have the profound affect that blueberries have on the brain. Throw these fruits into a blender for your morning smoothie.

Also read: College News’ Natural Cold Remedies

 

Eggs

There are always eggs in my cupboard; I’m sure there are always eggs in your cupboard, too. Cheap and delicious, eggs are not only a fab source of protein, they are high in Choline, the precursor for the acetylcholine neurotransmitter in the brain responsible in helping enhance memory.

Lentils

Who would’ve thought these tiny, cheap legumes would be so vital for healthy brain functioning? Full of folate, part of the vitamin B family, lentils are shown to further boost brain power. Lentils play a role in decreasing levels of amino acids in the body—associated with restlessness, anxiety and the brain impairment this brings. Lentils act as a great meat substitute for cheaper meal options, too.
*Bonus: Lentils make a great Indian Daal dish for those with a spicier palate!

Fish

Salmon and Mackerel, in particular, are jam-packed with Omega-3 oils so essential to healthy brain functioning. The benefits have been documented extensively, stating that fish rich with Omega-3 improve cognitive memory and supports healthy brain structure. The outer membrane of our brain is made up of lipids (or fats), so healthy fat consumption is key to our brain’s health. Treat yourself to that sushi lunch or cook a salmon dish for your roommates one evening.

Further Reading: Don’t Let Your Diet  eat Your Wallet

Exploring Campus

If you thought your high school grounds were huge, you obviously haven’t been on a college campus yet. College feels like a small city of its own and navigating your way around it can be quite daunting—particularly when you’ve noticed that two consecutive classes are at opposite ends. We’ve compiled a list of must-dos when it comes to getting around campus.

Maps

Paper maps may seem out-of-date but google maps can’t help you with this one. Each college faculty will have a stock piled high of campus maps for students, so take advantage of these. Consider taking a day before classes begin to work your way around campus grounds and get to grips with the map. Mark in color pen the buildings you will be spending the most time in.

Memorize landmarks

When exploring your new campus, you’ll probably notice that there are some art statues, car parks or quirky buildings plotted about. These are “landmarks” and it’s these memorable features that will stick in your mind way before you know your route like the back of your hand. When you find the buildings your classes take place in, take note of the closest “landmark” and write this down on your map. If all else fails when you’re running late to class—hunt down the landmark!

Read: Holding on to Summer Love

 

Public transport

College campus’ are generally well equipped with public transport that caters to students—meaning, they’re a cheaper and safer means of transport. Routes to any major town or city will be marked out with the associated bus best to use. Because these buses cater to students, they will run in to the early hours of the morning, delivering you straight back to campus grounds after a big night out. Head to the college reception desk to grab a timetable and tuck it in to your organizer for the rest of the year.

Join a club based on campus

One of the great things about campus life is the countless clubs, sports groups and societies you can join. These are beneficial for numerous reasons but particularly for acquainting yourself with your new home. The first group get-together may be an orientation of the campus, or if it’s a sports group, perhaps a jogging lap of the same. Joining a club is also a great way to meet peers with similar interests to your own—a definite win-win situation.

Decorate your dorm this Halloween

Halloween: Dorm Decorations

Halloween is a holiday favorite among college students; an opportune time to dust off that Dracula costume and join the droves of inebriated ghosts and witches in blood (well, wine) drinking rituals way past the midnight hour. So, what better way to get into the trick or treating spirit than decorating your dorm? Ideas are endless when it comes to frightful holiday décor—a student’s finance, however, isn’t (sigh). But don’t fret! We take a look at some cheap and DIY ideas to kit out your dorm for a spooktacular look.

Spooky Stories: Top Five Haunted Campuses

 

Jack-o’-lantern traditions

Glowing pumpkins are a staple icon in Halloween traditions stemming from the stories of Stingy Jack and his run ins with the devil—hence the popularly named “Jack-o’-lantern”. To make a Jack-o’-lantern, gut a pumpkin’s insides and grab a free carving template online to carve out creepy faces or artsy patterns on the side. Be thoughtful of fire hazards and use some low-watt fairy lights to push inside and drape over your display to cast eerie shadows on the dorm wall.

Use small pumpkins that come in varying colors to sit on your window-ledge for your own mini pumpkin-patch to offset a fall atmosphere.

If you feel like experimenting with less traditional ways of using pumpkins, how about using it as a decorative vase? Gut the insides (as before), cover the body in glitter and fill with your favorite fall-time flowers.

Haunt guests with fab paper decorations

No Halloween is complete without swinging bats and ghosts from the ceiling and they’re so easy to make. Buy some thick black and white card paper from your local craft store, fold the paper in half and draw one half of the bat and ghost, cut it out et voilà—you have yourself symmetrical bats and ghosts. Hang them from the ceiling with string at varying lengths for a spooky experience as your guests walk through your dorm.

Go the extra mile and use up the rest of the black paper to adhere triangles along string—bottom side—for a quick and easy garland. Hang above the door or at the end of your bed.

*Bonus: Do you know why black and orange are such popular colors for Halloween? Black signifies death and Halloween is traditionally a celebration of the dead. Orange represents life and endurance during this time. Mix up your garland by adding orange paper triangles for an authentic Halloween look!

Fire burn and Cauldron Bubble 

Bring out the witch in you and transform your cauldron into a magical center piece. Fill the cauldron right up with individually wrapped candy and lollipops and decorate with faux cobwebs for your guests to enjoy. Boost the fright-factor by painting fake blood on a mannequin hand before popping it in to look like your victim is trying to escape.

Have a safe Halloween, kids!

You’ll also enjoy: Five Halloween Activities for Adults 

Holding on to Summer Love

The sun’s warmth is weakening and fallen leaves begin to crunch beneath your feet; that pumpkin spiced latte couldn’t come round sooner. A new college year is about to begin and you’re excited to get to campus, decorate your dorm and get stuck in—there’s just one thing. Your summer love is still on your mind and you’re both still talking. Could this ever be serious? You ask. If you both want it, totally! We say.

Holding on to summer love is worth trying when you become more interested about your love interest’s favorite novel than how good their hair looks in that Instagram photo today. College News gives you some pointers on how to develop a stronger connection and give this “relationship” thing a go.

Read: Dating Your Classmate: A Good Idea?

 

Find Common Ground

While it is healthy to have different opinions on things like politics or sports in any relationship, strong relationships are usually bonded together by common ground. Perhaps you love the same band, you’re both keen foodies or you both love the movies. Common ground takes regular conversation somewhere a little more profound; you can learn a lot from someone talking about their passions.

Involve Yourself

If you’re going to be spending more time with your summer love, you’re going to have to—eventually, at least—also spend time with their friends and family. Meeting new groups of people can be daunting, but your relationship becomes more of a breeze when their family and friends also like you—trust us! Psychologytoday.com says, “If you want people to like you, make them feel good about themselves.” So try this simple trick out, tag along to that dinner party and chat to your sweetheart’s grandma.

Communication is Key

The U.S. of A is a big place—huge, in fact, and there is a high probability that you may not both live in the same state or that you might go to different colleges. Luckily, technology in the form of messaging platforms and face-to-face calls make communicating a doddle. Set times in the week in which you can both dedicate for a catch-up and laugh-out-loud session to break up studying (laughing relieves stress, don’t you know?)
Real-life contact is also important to any thriving relationship, so arrange a weekend each month for some quality time with your summer love.

Accept that it might not last

Even if you follow all of the above advice, you might not entirely feel that spark that you expect from a relationship—and that’s totally okay. Sometimes a summer fling is just that; a summer fling. It can be difficult to stop all communication with someone you’ve been hanging out with for a while, but the key is to express your feelings in an honest and direct way and make that break amicably. Breakups don’t have to be all that sad; think about all that pizza you don’t have to share anymore!

You’ll also enjoy: Are They Into You?

Charles Manson up for Parole (again)

The “Helter Skelter” serial killer will be reviewed by the parole board this month after being denied 11 times.

Charles Manson is up for parole for the twelfth time later this month.

The notorious serial killer Charles Manson is 77 now, but that may not sway the parole board to let him live out his final years on the outside. In 2007 the parole board rejected his bid, saying that he, “continues to pose an unreasonable danger to others and may still bring harm to anyone he would come in contact with.”

Charles Manson was originally sentence to death for the murder of spree his family‚ carried out on August 9, 1969. During the spree, they killed Roman Polanski’s 26 year-old wife Sharon Tate who was 8 months pregnant.

Sharon Tate was hosting friends at their Hollywood home that evening. Charles Manson sent his “family” to kill Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger (of the coffee mogul Folgers), and Steven Parent. Two others, Gary Hinman and Donald Shea were also killed by the Charles Manson “family.”

When the California Supreme Court found the state’s death penalty law unconstitutional, Charles Manson was instead faced with life in prison, with the possibility of parole.

Charles Manson has been denied parole 11 times now. He has apparently been uncooperative during past parole hearings, and in recent years has been found with a makeshift weapon and a cell phone, so his reputation doesn‚Äôt show him as a “model inmate.”

The night after the August 9 murders at the Tate-Polanski home, Charles Manson rode along with his “family” to the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, and then left the three others to murder the couple.

Most of the “family” has been released from prison, but Charles Manson, who never physically murdered anyone, was decided to be the driving force behind the murders. Charles Manson brainwashed the members of his commune into butchering the victims, and prosecutors said that the family was attempting to incite a race war.

Charles Manson still has followers, many of whom were gained while Charles Manson has been in prison. His parole hearing is set for April 11.