Cover Letters 101 – Double Your Requests For Interviews From Your Cover Letters
Great cover letters are absolutely vital to your job search because they open doors you may not otherwise be able to. Also, if you have sent one cover letter and a resume to a specific Manager in a company where you want to work, you can send another to a different manager if you have not had a response back in three weeks or so. In fact addressing your cover letters to someone specific is a great way to get a higher response. In addition, you can do a bit more research on your targeted manager too by using a people search in Linkedin and learning what you two have in common. Perhaps, you are both New York Yankee fans or New York Giant fans wouldn’t that be to your advantage? You bet.
Let us use another example, if you both are avid golfers wouldn’t that be to your advantage too? There is a lot you can find out from someone’s Linkedin profile so why not use it. Making that personal connection and bonding a bit can separate you from the masses and cement you in that person’s memory. Other possible advantages might be having graduated from the same college, belonging to the Republican Party or volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. While you may have something in common, it is still crucial to make a great first impression without grammatical errors, misspellings and typographical errors.
Another simple method to double your response on cover letters is to ignore all the job postings entirely and send them along with your resume (always) to specific companies you want to work for. Why? Simple, by going where the competition is not and thinking outside the box; first you will catch the attention of management as someone who specifically wants to work for them. Second, you will become a person of action in the mind of management. Third, you avoid having to compete with 500-1000 other resumes and cover letters, so you stand out so much more.
Another easy way to drastically increase the response to your cover letters is to make each one specific to the job opportunity you are targeting. Simply ask yourself, what competitive advantages do I have over the other equally qualified candidates for this job. Then, take those answers and mention them all when describing how you can contribute to that companies most important mission. Ask yourself other hard questions like what makes me unique, special and different? What other ways can I add value for this company? Let your powerful subconscious mind think over these questions for a while then jot down the answers when they come to you. Be creative, different and distinctive. You will get noticed.
If you are targeting three to five different positions like most job hunters, have a great cover letter prepared for each in advance, then vary it to cater to the specific needs of each specific opportunity you are targeting. Really, it is all about painting a clear picture for the hiring manager as to why you are the best candidate. Finally, what are your future plans for your career and education? Are you after a long term opportunity or is this job merely a stepping stone? Employers love stability and loyal employees. Perhaps, the best advice I can give you is to think like a boss. Simply ask yourself what kind of candidate would I hire if I was the boss?
I write high performance resumes, cover letters and professional profiles, >96% of my clients get hired.
(c) 2009 by Darrell Z. DiZoglio of http://RighteousResumes.com. Would you like to finish your job hunt in 1/3rd the normal time? Did you know professionally written resumes get 75% more requests for interviews? http://RighteousResumes.com/services.html You do know your resume is the sink or swim mission critical part of your job hunt right? (Free resume reviews by email too.)