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is no agreement on the value of cover letters. Some hiring managers
and HR specialists say they don’t bother with the cover letter while
others say they make their decision as to whether to look at the
resume based on the cover letter. Given today’s job environment,
the safest course of action is to write an attention-grabbing cover
letter in addition to your attention-grabbing resume.
shows that you generally have 10-20 seconds to catch a reader’s
attention and that the best way of doing this is to answer the question
of “What can this person do for ME” in the first 10-20 seconds.
a tone of voice and writing that demonstrate the brand personality
you wish to convey. If you are action oriented, then make sure your
cover letter uses strong, action words. You can even state your
example, if your personality attributes include leadership
and passion, one of your statements might be, “My passion,
leadership and communication skill enables me to build strong teams
across geographic and/or cultural boundaries -- thereby achieving
with your value proposition linked to the company’s specific problems.
This means you need to know or guess what the key problems are for
a given company and position. The problem can be generic – such
as increasing sales, decreasing cost. Ideally it would be specific
and unique to the company.
Don’t waste time with obvious things such as “I’m responding
to your ad for a
that appeared in the Feb 1, 2003 Wall Street Journal”.
Get their attention
You’ve just announced
V2.0 of "SlickNewSoftware". I’ve helped other software
companies double their first-year revenues with major releases
and I would like to help ABC Inc do the same as the Dir of New
England Sales. At WEBCAM, I led the sales team in a data mining
and telemarketing project which drove revenues up 2-fold from
$1m to 2m.
I have been watching
the growth of Pushy Inc with great interest over the past year,
particularly the creation of high-powered sales teams to increase
your sales volume and profitability. I have led similar teams
at "Over the Hill Inc." and I would like to leverage
that success at Pushy as the VP of Sales.
that you have the person’s attention, use the key messages you developed
in your self-assessment PAR(Problem, Action, Results) to prove that you can deliver on the
At WEBCAM, I led the
sales team in a data mining and telemarketing project which drove
revenues up 2-fold from $1m to 2m within 12 months. I recommended
linking a new data mining effort of the customer database with
the call center to increase the success rate of our telemarketing
Call to action
best close for a cover letter is to say that you’ll call the person
and if you feel you can do this, state it. However, you may not
be able to call if you are responding to a blind ad, or to a departmental
Having proven myself
at WEBCAM and OverTheHill, I would like to bring my talents to
your company, a company that rewards creative drive, solid experience
and hard work. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss how
we can work together. I appreciate your consideration and will
call you next week to discuss when we might meet.