January 31, 2008 | Author: admin | Filed under: Resumes
With how unbelievably competitive it is these days to get the perfect job, or even just a decent one, I’d be willing to bet that you’re probably willing to take a look at any edge you might be able to get over your fellow job hunters. Well, your cover letter may not at first seem all that important, but I promise you that if you use this secret weapon to full potential you WILL have a better shot.
There’s not a whole lot more awesome of an advantage than being able to precisely define what sort of first impression a potential employer is going to have of you…and that’s exactly what your cover letter can do. It’s 100% black-and-white…there’s no stressing over quickness of response or thinking under pressure or how wrinkled your shirt is. What’s on the paper defines how the business will see you, and it’s completely planned in advance!
Can you seriously deny that such a thing is incredibly powerful? And so many people just don’t get it! If you can optimize your cover letter, you’ll have a great advantage over your competitors that haven’t gotten it yet.
Ok, so by now you probably realize just how strong a tool your cover letter can be…now how do you make sure you’re using it the best you can? Here are a few commonly-overlooked tips for you on how to maximize the effectiveness of your cover letter.
- 1) Spelling and grammar errors are the enemy…and you’d be surprised and disgusted to know just how many people are absolutely horrible at writing a clean paper. With “Text speak” infecting millions of people worldwide, complete literacy in a paper is extremely sought-after and extremely rare. Just proofreading your paper a few times and perhaps getting a friend to help you by catching the couple things you miss can make all the difference between impressing your employer or appearing to be “just another one of many.”
- 2) A cover letter needs to be about 2-4 paragraphs long and no more than a page. That means you don’t have the space to waste on things that aren’t necessary such as needless personal info and a rehashing of your resume. What you DO need to include is all the stuff that makes you the BEST candidate for the job. Okay, so you worked at Starbucks for six months…that’s great but how does that make you an asset to the company? THAT’s what they want to know, so tell them!
- 3) Do your homework on the business before you ever sit down and start writing your cover letter. Know what they’re about, what they expect out of their employees, and who’s the single person you need to notice you who can flat-out hire you. Write your cover letter addressing how you suit the interests of the business, and make sure you get it on the corner of that person’s desk. Getting your letter lost in Human Resources’ endless stacks of resumes isn’t going to get you noticed. Getting in front of a higher-up will.
- 4) Don’t sit around waiting for things to “work out.” Get on the phone and make them work. YOU be the one to call in and set up an interview. YOU make sure you’re available for any further questions they might have. YOU show yourself to be one motivated son of a gun who gets things done, and you’ll soon find that they really value and often respect that.
There are other things you can consider when you’re putting together a cover letter for a particular business, but those are the main points I wanted to cover in this article. The bottom line of all this is that you need to use a cover letter whether you really know how or not. It’s a fantastic way to connect with potential employers, and it’s really too good to waste.
Looking for an idea of where to start? Get into the right frame of mind with free cover letter examples. Free tips and resources at http://www.squidoo.com/coverletterexamples
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