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9 Characteristics of Spirited Entrepreneurs

9 Characteristics of Spirited Entrepreneurs

Millennials have a new view of the world and it is causing us to expand how we look at entrepreneurship. The traditional definition centers around the goal of making money. The new definition uses the same methods, but with a different end goal in mind. We’re beginning to recognize entrepreneurship as a means to bring value to those who need it. Here are nine characteristics of spirited entrepreneurs.

1. They think of doing the thing first and making money second.

Spirited entrepreneurs are excited about what they are creating and the good that will come from it. They are driven to make a difference in the world and positively affect people’s lives. They also make money, but that’s not the primary goal. When they begin to make money from their entrepreneurship, they might say, “Oh, that’s cool, too.”

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2. They leverage their social networks to gather support.

Business is and always has been about relationships. There are relationships with customers, advertisers, suppliers, complimentary businesses, governments, neighbors and other stakeholders. Today it is easier than ever to build and nurture those relationships by leveraging the power of social media. Spirited entrepreneurs leverage social media to gain support for the good they want to create with their entrepreneurial venture.

3. They believe that business exists to create value in the world.

As long as human beings have traded goods and services, there has been a thing called “business.” We trade goods and services for the betterment of our lives. For example, Patagonia makes coats so people will stay warm while they are doing fun and exciting things, and they do it in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. Spirited entrepreneurs put this idea of creating value in a responsible way at the forefront of their business instead of making money.

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4. They believe there is strength in numbers.

Nobody does anything meaningful by themselves. Spirited entrepreneurs are obsessed with leveraging the power of the resources that others offer to create their business. They use crowd funding and other social sharing or community-building technology to get their businesses off the ground. They know that in order to accomplish their mission, they have to find and leverage talent.

5. They want to actually make a difference.

Spirited entrepreneurs don’t want to just do something that looks good. They want to do something that actually makes a difference. They aren’t just looking for positive press or a pat on the back. What they are doing has to create the value they set out to create. Spirited entrepreneurs know they must measure the impact they are having to ensure they are doing the good they intended.

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6. They believe they have something to add.

They believe their background, experience and perspectives are valuable. Spirited entrepreneurs don’t want to keep their knowledge and experience to themselves; they want to share it with the world because they know it is valuable and will help people.

7. They get their facts together.

Never in the history of humanity has information been more easily available than it is now. Spirited entrepreneurs know that information is power, so they get as much power as they can by gathering as much information as possible. They leverage their network, social media and the Internet to gather facts about their customers, competitors and industry.

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8. They think we need more things like Airbnb, Uber, and Boatbound.

Spirited entrepreneurs are all about connecting people who have resources with people who need them. The new sharing economy allows people to have access to things without the burden of owning them. Connecting the resources with the people who need them requires innovation, and spirited entrepreneurs are eager to figure out better ways to accomplish this goal.

9. They share a bold expectation of leaving the world in a different state than they found it.

Spirited entrepreneurs aren’t just out to make money. They know they have a limited amount of time on this planet and that time is the only asset of real value they will ever possess. Because of this, they use their time to accomplish something meaningful and the method they have chosen is entrepreneurship.

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Last Updated on July 22, 2019

10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

A cover letter is an introduction to what will be found in the resume. In a cover letter, the applicant is able to use a conversational tone, to explain why the attached resume is worth reviewing, why the applicant is qualified, and to express that it’s the best application the reader will see for the open position.

Employers do read your cover letter, so consider the cover letter an elevator pitch. The cover letter is the overview of your professional experience. The information in the body presents the key qualifications, the things that matter. The cover letter is the “here is what will be found in my presentation”, which is the resume in this case.

Something really important to point out- a cover letter should be written from scratch each time. Great cover letters are the ones that express why the applicant is the best for the specific job being applied to. Using a general cover letter will not lead to great results.

This doesn’t mean that your cover letter should repeat your most valuable qualifications, it just means that you don’t want to recycle a templated, general letter, not specific to the position being applied to.

Here’re 10 cover letter tips to nail every interview.

1. Take a few minutes to learn about the company so that you use an appropriate tone

Like people, every company has its own culture and tone. Doing a bit of research to learn what that is will be extremely beneficial. For instance, a technology start-up has a different culture and tone than a law firm. Using the same tone for both would be a mistake.

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2. Don’t use generic cover letter terms — be specific to each company and position

Hiring managers and recruiters can easily identify generic cover letters. They read cover letters and resumes almost every day. Using words and terms like: “your company” instead of naming the actual company, and “your website” instead of “in your about us section on www.abc123.com”, are mistakes. Be as specific as possible, it’s worth the additional few minutes.

3. Address the reader directly if you can

It is an outdated practice to use “To Whom it May Concern” if you know the person that will be reviewing your documents. You may wonder how you’ll know this information; this is where attention to detail and/or a bit of research comes into play.

For example, if you are applying for a job using LinkedIn, many times, the job poster is listed within the job post. This is the person reading your documents when you “apply now”. Addressing that person directly will be much more effective than using a generic term.

4. Don’t repeat the information found in the resume

A resume is an action-based document. When presenting information in a resume, the tone isn’t conversational but leading with action instead, for example: “Analyze sales levels and trends, and initiate action as necessary to ensure attainment of sales objectives”.

In a cover letter, you have the opportunity to deliver your elevator pitch: “I have positively impacted business development and growth initiatives, having combined two regions into one and achieving 17% in compound growth over the following three-year period”.

Never use your resume qualifications summary as a paragraph in your resume. This would be repeating information. Keep in mind that your cover letter is the introduction to your resume- the elevator pitch- this is your opportunity to show more personality.

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5. Tell the company what you can do for them

As mentioned above, this is your chance to explain to the company why you are the best person for the open position. This is where you tell the company what you can do for them: “If hired as the next (job title) with (company name), I will cultivate important partnerships that will enhance operations while boosting revenue.”

Many times, we want to take the reader through the journey of our life. It is important to remember that the reader needs to know why you are the best person for the job. Lead with that.

6. Showcase the skills and qualifications specific to the position

A lot of people are Jack’s and Jill’s of all trades. This can be a great big picture, but not great to showcase in a cover letter or resume.

Going back to what was mentioned before, cover letters and resumes are scanned through ATS. Being as specific as possible to the position being applied to is important.

If you are applying for a coding position, it may not be important to mention your job in high school as a dog walker. Sticking to the exact job being applied to is the most effective way to write your cover letter.

7. Numbers are important — show proof

It always helps to show proof when stating facts: “I have a reputation for delivering top-level performance and supporting growth so that businesses can thrive; established industry relationships that generated double digit increase in branch revenues”.

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8. Use testimonials and letters of recommendations

A cover letter is a great place to add testimonials and information from your letter of recommendations. Mirroring the example above, here is a good way to use that information:

I have a history of consistently meeting and exceeding metrics: “(Name) rose through the company and became a Subject Matter Expert, steadily providing exceptional quality of work.”- Team Manager.

9. Find the balance between highlighting your achievements and bragging

There is fine line between telling someone about your achievements and bragging. My advice is to always use facts first, and support that with an achievement related to the fact, as shown in the examples above.

You don’t want to have a cover letter with nothing but bullet points of what you have achieved. I can’t stress this enough — cover letters are your elevator pitch, the introduction to your resume.

10. Check your length — you want to provide no more than an introduction

The general rule for most positions is one page in length. Positions such as professors and doctors will require more in length (and they actually use CV’s); however, for most positions, one page is sufficient. Remember, the cover letter is an introduction and elevator pitch. Follow the logic below to get you started:

Start with: “I am ready to deliver impeccable results as (name of company) next (Position Title).

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What you know and like about the company, what initiatives, missions, goals resonate with you: “I read/listened to an interview that your Chief of Staff did on www.abc123.com. His/her statement regarding important up and coming employee engagement initiatives really resonated with me”.

Overview of your qualifications and experience: “I have a strong background in developing, monitoring, and controlling annual processes and operational plans related to community relations and social initiatives”.

Highlight/ Back up your facts with achievements: “I’m a vision-driven leader, with a proven history of innovation and mentorship; I led an initiative that reduced homelessness in four counties and received recognition from the local Homeless Network and the County Commissioner”.

Close with what will you do for the company: “As your next (job title), I am focused on hitting the ground running as a transformational leader who is driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles, and committed to the growth of (name of company).

Bonus Advice

When applying for a job online or in person, a resume and a cover letter are standard submissions. At least 98% of the time, both your resume and cover letter and scanned via ATS (applicant tracking systems). You can learn more about that process here.

The information provided in a cover letter should be written and organized to be compatible with these scans, so that it can make to a human; from there, you want to make sure that you capture the recruiter and/or hiring managers attention.

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Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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