'Tighten Up' Your Resume Cover Letter
Of the many thousands of job search cover letters that cross the desks of hiring managers each month, hundreds are sent directly to the gallows! They're tossed, forgotten, and shredded. What a sad state of affairs and such a waste of paper, print, and personality. Many receive barely a glance, let alone a full reading. Why?
The writing is pompous, pitiful, and pathetic! The job searchers who create such cover letters try hard to impress a potential employer but instead do just the opposite.
But you don't have to be among this crowd. You can take a moment to put these five steps into action before you write your next cover letter.
1. Open your letter with a 'killer headline'—a phrase you carefully select to win the hiring manager's attention in a way that will compel him or her to finish reading. Example:
KEEP READING to find out why I'm the person most qualified to fill the position of [insert job opening title here].
2. Create short sentences using simple words. Stay away from long-winded writing that causes the reader to gasp for a breath or run to the dictionary to understand what you're trying to say. Shorter is the order of the day. Examples:
I worked for XYZ Company for six years as Chief Operating Officer, exceeding all financial goals.
3. Keep your letter on one page. Be clear and focused on a single topic—why you're the one for the job and what makes you qualified. You can cover details and dates in your resume instead of adding pages to your cover letter.
4. Be sure to say 'thanks.' Whether or not you receive a job offer, be sure to express your appreciation for being considered. Courtesy counts!
I am grateful for your taking time to read my letter.
5. Include a P.S. after your signature line. This is an excellent way to remind the hiring manager of what you'll do next. Example:
P.S. On April 9 I'll give you a call to talk more about this outstanding position. I look forward to meeting and speak with you in person about (insert job title here). If you have any questions, please phone me at 555-555-5555. Thank you ahead of time.
Put together a cover letter with these five ingredients and you'll be among the few job seekers that know how to reach and relate to a hiring manager in a positive and encouraging way. What more could you want? And what more could a hiring manager want than a person like you who is willing and able and pleasant, yet professional?
Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the brand new, "Amazing Cover Letter Creator." Jimmy is also the author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, "Job Search Secrets."
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