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7 Elements of a Highly Effective Cover Letter

© Written By Jimmy Sweeney Author of the new, “Amazing Cover Letter Creator”

Just like the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, the ‘humble’ cover letter gets no respect either.

Job-seekers spend so much time and energy on their resume they’ve got nothing left to offer their poor, neglected cover letter.

BIG ... BIG, mistake!

It is the well-written cover letter NOT the resume that can single-handedly land you more job interviews. The cover letter is your one chance to really market yourself to an employer using proven marketing strategies rarely found in the typical cover letter.

Conversely, there is only so much you can do with the traditional CV or resume. I believe the carefully crafted cover letter is more important to your job search success than any other written document including the resume.

As a direct marketing professional for almost 20 years, I bring to you my 7 elements of a highly effective job search cover letter…

  1. ADDRESS your cover letter to a REAL PERSON. Do your best to find out TO WHOM you should address your cover letter. ‘Dear Manager’ is lifeless.

  2. OPEN with an attention-grabbing first sentence to really grip the reader. This will almost guarantee your cover letter and resume get a much closer look.

  3. REMEMBER – Less is MORE. The best cover letters have plenty of white space… clear, focused, short and sweet gets the interview every time.

  4. FOCUS on what you can do for the employer. How can you benefit the company specifically? Do a little research and relate this simply and clearly in your letter.

  5. CHOOSE WORDS that show enthusiasm and passion for the position you seek…(BIG, BIG SECRET!) Then, carry this passion into the interview with you.

  6. REQUEST ONE ACTION you want the employer to take: “I would really like the opportunity for a personal interview this week.” (You never know until you ASK).

  7. END your cover letter with something enthusiastic and telling like, “I look forward to being interviewed at your earliest convenience. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Sincerely, Jane Jobseeker." (Notice how Jane ASSUMES she’ll land the interview? This is clever, smart, and it works like a charm).

Think of your cover letter as a sales letter. The only purpose of your job search cover letter is to land you more job interviews. That’s the bottom line. By using the proven marketing strategies I’ve outlined above you will land more quality job interviews than your competition.

You must get your foot in the company door first to have any chance at all. With the right cover letter you can blow several doors wide open immediately. More job interviews translate to a wider range of opportunity and (drum roll please)… more job offers.

Finally, the most important advice I can offer you is this: Follow-up every job lead, contact, and communication. Following up is the ‘golden key’ to getting hired for the job of your dreams. Use follow-up cover letters, thank you letters, even a few follow-up phone calls. Following up actually DOUBLES your chance for success. It is also the one missing ingredient in 99% of all job seekers ‘recipe book.’ Good news for you.

Now go out there and make your own luck!

-Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the new, “Amazing Cover Letter Creator.” Jimmy is also the author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, “Job Search Secrets.” You can visit Jimmy on the web at Amazing Cover Letters for your ‘instant’ cover letter today. “In just 3½ minutes you will have an amazing cover letter guaranteed to cut through YOUR competition like a hot knife through butter!”