Cover Letter
How to write a cover letter that will get results! Send it with your resume in order to enhance your job search.
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How to write a cover letter that will get results! Send it with your resume in order to enhance your job search.

“A cover letter?” you ask yourself, “do I really have to?” If you want to succeed in your job search, then “Yes!” You need to include one, tailored to the particular employer, with every resume you send if you want a shot at getting an interview. Even if the ad didn’t request one, or the HR contact didn’t ask for one, its an unspoken rule that you are expected to send a cover letter with every resume mailed, emailed, or faxed during your job search.

Sending a cover letter with your resume is another way to “sell yourself” during a job search to the prospective employer by answering their one burning question: “Why should we consider this person?” Make sure you address it to the actual person who will be doing the hiring (you did research the business and find out who will be doing the interview, didn’t you?). Then start out by grabbing their attention in some way. Mentioning the mutual contact who referred you to the position is one way to start: “David Miller spoke so highly of you and your firm that I just had to talk to you.” Or, you can start with a bold statement: “I read about your upcoming launch in Business Daily and just knew that you would want to talk to me right away. Here is why….”

A bold cover letter can get job search results that a resume can’t get!

The cover letter you will be sending with your resume needs to sell you if your job search is to succeed. This is where the middle paragraphs come in (one or two max). Here you should briefly market yourself by highlighting one or two specific achievements you have had. Explain how it helped your old company, and how you can use that experience to help the prospective business, too. If you are changing careers, then highlight the transferable skills these achievements showcase. Be confident and positive.

The last paragraph of the cover letter you send with your resume needs to close with an action statement of what you will do next - leaving this out will destroy your job search. A confident statement requesting an interview and indicating that you will follow-up with the employer is a very strong way to finish: “I will call you next week to discuss possible interview dates” is much better than, “I look forward to hearing from you.” Many job seekers are not strong enough here and lose out because of it, but not you! It’s also a good idea to indicate your resume is enclosed, so add “enclosures” or “Enc.” under your signature at the end of the letter.

Lastly, check and recheck your cover letter for mistakes, just like you did for your resume. Nothing will kill your job search faster than simple spelling or grammar mistakes, so make sure your letter doesn’t have any! Once you have checked it (and then rechecked it!), you are ready to send it. Once sent, make sure you follow up like you said you would in your closing and call about getting that interview. Too many people just sit by the phone and wait for a call that may never come. You need to be the one in charge of your job search, so take the initiative and call them to arrange your meeting!

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