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Click Here: Learn how to write
and design an
amazing cover letter
with Jimmy Sweeney's Cover Letter book.
Cover Letters Kills
Too many unprofessional,
unfocused, and canned cover letters are floating around the job-seeking
population. So are you surprised when I tell you that a fair number of hiring
managers don’t bother reading them?
Although I’ve seen no official survey on cover-letter readership, it’s rumored
that approximately 40% of cover letters aren’t read. A number of reasons could
be to blame; and frankly, who wants to spend valuable time reading a cover
letter that sounds like it was written for the company next door too? Stock
cover letters can kill your job-search efforts, making the task of finding a new
position nothing but a treacherous expedition.
Adding to the anxiety for jobseekers comes the question: who’s reading them and
who is not? You could take the chance of not sending one, but then you’ll “diss”
those who are expecting a cover letter. The only option is to send one every
time to ensure that your resume is always properly represented.
Writing a great letter takes time. Time that jobseekers oftentimes don’t want
to allocate after spending hours tooling their resumes to perfection. Much like
the resume, however, your cover letter must “sing” to the receiver. If it
doesn’t, you’re soliciting employment on deaf ears. The best way to avoid
sending a junk cover letter is to ask yourself a series of thought provoking
Does Your Cover Letter Use a Personable Approach?
Since you were an infant, hearing your name
encouraged some reaction from you. Everyone loves to hear their name from time
to time, so don’t be afraid of intertwining the contact’s name into the content
in one or two key areas.
Does Your Cover Letter Include Specifics?
How often do you incorporate
company-specific details, such as a problem the company’s facing that you intend
to resolve, or maybe to congratulate them on a newly received contract or recent
merger? Keep an eye on target companies by reading daily, weekly, and monthly
newspaper publications available in your area. In order to maintain the pulse of
your industry, read everything about the industry that you can get your hands
on. Think of it as private investigating. Make notations of specific details you
want to mention in your next piece of job-search correspondence.
Does Your Cover Letter use layman’s terms?
Write your cover letter using
conversational tone: a writing technique that utilizes sentences similar to
those spoken. Have you ever noticed that we sometimes write with a very
structured tone and utilize words that we would rarely use in everyday
conversation? With a conversational tone, the content should attract readers
because it’s immediately different from the dozens, hundreds, or thousands that
the company has previously received.
DOES YOUR COVER
LETTER USE SELECT KEYWORDS/KEY PHRASES TOO?
Much as you designed the resume, weave select keywords and key phrases pertinent
to the position into your letter as well. The sole purpose of the cover letter
is to reflect that you are a ringer for the position. The hiring company is
looking for a good marriage between the open position and potential candidate,
so pulling out key points from the resume and placing them prominently in the
letter can help introduce the broader skill set contained in the resume.
DOES YOUR COMPUTER HOUSE FIFTY COVER LETTER VERSIONS?
If fifty cover letters are what you’ll need to get
the job done, then the magic number is fifty. Focus your energies on the
company’s wants and needs, not on your own. With a less than favorable job
market, we’re definitely in a company market versus a jobseeker’s market from
the 90’s. Hunted down and offered high salaries, IT professionals reaped great
positions with limited or no working experience. Sometimes it didn’t seem to
matter if their resume was written in crayon. The days of jobseekers being in
high demand (I’m not referring to all industries, of course) are no longer the
case because employers can now sit back and “cherry pick” candidates of their
choosing, while placing the need for great cover letters in higher demand.
intimidated by the depth of work involved in designing a great cover letter.
Think about your job search in terms of quality not quantity. Sending countless
cover letters and resumes is a very time-consuming process that has proven
repeatedly to be a waste of valuable time and money. Jobseekers could find
employment quicker if they took a consolidated and thorough approach to their
search rather than blanketing their efforts with diluted methods (i.e. mass
sometimes become desperate when jobs seem scarce, and they resort to quick and
ineffective techniques to securing a job. Writing cover letters that you would
want to receive, if you were on the other end of the spectrum, is a good rule of
thumb to follow. Outline all the core elements that are pertinent to each
specific company, using language and specifics that speak directly to the reader
and ensuring it displays you as a perfect match for the opening. With these
select techniques, you’re destined to secure more interviews and more job
Written by Teena Rose, a columnist, public speaker, and
top resume professional who provides
through Resume to
Referral. She’s authored several books, including "20-Minute
Cover Letter Fixer"
the Code to Pharmaceutical Sales."