Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Read Before You Write; Valuable Cover Letter Tips That Get You In The Door.

Put the name of a mutual contact in the first sentence.

If you have this opportunity it is the ideal way to start a cover letter, because it immediately sets you apart from the pile of applicants who have no relationship to the employer.  Don’t force it.  If you have nothing more than a name don’t consider it a mutual contact.

Tell a Story, If you can.

That is a tall order for most of us, but if you can relate your desire for the job to an experience or anecdote in your life, do it.

Near the beginning, briefly summarize your career.

In one or two specific sentences, describe your work experience. Illustrate your qualifications with examples.  Give concrete specifics of achievements that illustrate how you could advance the company's agenda.  Remember that every hiring manager is looking to improve the company by adding great pieces.  This makes them look good to their bosses.


Conclude by saying when and how you'll get in touch.

In your last line, tell the recipient when to expect to hear from you.  Do not leave this up to them.  Often jobs are posted before interview schedules are set.  It would be a huge advantage to get in touch with any potential hiring manager before interview slots begin to fill up.

Don't cut and paste from the job description.

If you're applying for a posted job, do keep the requirements in mind, but don't use the exact wording.  I can promise there will be numerous other applicants who do this.  Your goal is to set yourself apart.

Err on the side of formality.

Even though your cover letter will be an e-mail, keep the style businesslike, unless you are writing to a contact with whom you already have a relationship and you are mirroring her informal style.

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