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Cover Letters That Get The Job Done

Oct 14, 2007
So what is a cover letter and why is it so important? Now a days it seems more and more companies won't' even look at a resume without a cover letter. Why all the sudden interest in cover letters. Well a cover letter's job is basically to tell the employer that you are the right person for a job and they would be crazy not to call you in for an interview. Of course it doesn't say it in those exact words but you get the idea. Your cover letter is an excellent chance to make a good first impression. It's the one chance you get to let your personality shine through before they meet you. We all know that you can't put personality into a resume. A resume needs to sound professional. Your cover letter though is your chance to shine. Your resume can't ask for an interview, but your cover letter can and more importantly should.

When we say personality, there is a fine line between just the right amount of personality and too much personality. A cover letter is not the ideal place to put the latest knock knock joke you just heard, but it is a great opportunity to show how passionate you are about your work. Telling a prospective employer that your real goal in life is to open up a restaurant, or retire filthy rich is probably not a good idea. But telling them how much you enjoy coming up with new and exciting ideas to increase productivity could be fine if it pertains to their needs.

So how and where do you start when it comes to writing a cover letter that gets the job done? The job of course being getting your phone to ring for an interview. It's a good idea to first sit down and research the company a little bit before you start the cover letter. Research exactly who the cover letter and resume are going to and address the letter directly to them. Your first paragraph is going to sum up why you want to work for the company. What is it that draws you to the company and more importantly why you need to work for that company? The fact that you took the extra time to learn more about the company will not only make the employer feel a little more special. It will also show them that you have a real interest in working for them.

The next step in writing a cover letter that gets the job done is to review your resume carefully to determine what qualifications you have that meets what the company needs. You don't have to rehash your resume word for word, but basically you want to give the employer a coming attraction of what they have to look forward to when they read your resume. This is why it's important to include your skills and qualifications that are related to the position you are applying to. You don't' need to mention them word for word, but simply give the highlights in your cover letter. If it doesn't have anything to do with skills required to do the job, don't even bother mentioning it. For example there is no need for you to mention that you were a member of Princeton's University swim team in your cover letter. The research you did for your first paragraph will come in handy. This is the part of the cover letter where you can prove to the employer that you are the best candidate. This is where it becomes clear why they must call you in for an interview.

Finally just to be sure your cover letter does it job by asking for the interview. Don't worry, you don't need to come out and say "please, please call me for an interview" but letting an employer know when you are available for an interview is an excellent idea. Make sure you tell them how to reach you. It sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised at how many people forget to include this information. To take this a step further, offer to contact the employer yourself. Give them a specific time frame, for example "I will contact you next week to discuss the opportunity to meet" and remind yourself to follow through with that.

See, it doesn't seem too hard. There are just a few things you need to remember when your are writing the cover letter. Follow the above hints and once you send your cover letter and resume off you can be confident it's going to do its job and get you that interview. After that the rest is up to you.
About the Author
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information on cover letter job checkout his recommended websites.
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