Past IssuesSeptember 12, 2016
Your Next Cover Letter A SHOW STOPPER!
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Your Next Cover Letter A SHOW STOPPER!
By Karen O'Connor, Head Writer at CareerJimmy.com
And contributor to the brand new "Amazing Cover Letter Creator"
There are novels of war and romance and action and mystery -- the kind we pay good money to read and enjoy, and then we hope such stories will be made into movies. My friend Jane and I like to read these books and then line up to see the film versions.
There are also the kind of stories and movies that put one to sleep. You walk out of the theater or back to the bookstore wanting your money returned. I call these the 'blah-blah' stories and films and wonder how they ever got produced.
While thinking and talking with Jane one day it occurred to me that there is a parallel here between a good book and movie and an excellent cover letter, just as there are similarities between 'blah-blah' stories and cover letters.
In both cases, the reader or film-goer or hiring manager is looking for something to enjoy, to think about, to pursue.
Therefore, the responsibility for stimulating an emotional response rests on the producer of the book, movie, or cover letter. So if you're looking for a job that you feel you're well qualified for and eager to land, then put into practice some seldom-used techniques that should be part of every 'award-winning' cover letter.
1. Greet the hiring manager by name. Go to whatever length it takes to find out the actual name of the hiring manager. No Dear Sir or Madam will do, or even worse, To Whom it May Concern! Check the website. Call the company. Ask an employee but get a name. Remember, everyone loves to hear their name or see it in writing. It's true of kings and queens and presidents and hiring managers. Too few job searchers think about that. They take the lazy route, giving the impression they don't even have enough time to research the name of the person who has the power to invite them in for a job interview.
2. Create a smashing headline that will attract attention. Just above the greeting, put together a few solid words that state clearly what you hope to achieve. This will stop the show for sure! Almost no job seeker thinks to include such a phrase.
Example: Enthusiastic sales person with award-winning experience ready to assume the position of Sales Manager.
3. List the company's job requirements in a column on the left and your matching skills in a column on the right. Example:
Job Requirement (left column)
Tested leadership experience
Strong communication skills
Matching Skills (right column)
Elevated company revenue by 30%
Held accountability meetings
4. Add a P.S. to your cover letter. Here is a little used addition that will grab attention, bring a smile, and give you a final opportunity to ask for an interview. If you can leave the hiring manager feeling good about you then you've just raised your chances of a second meeting or a follow-up phone call so you can go into greater detail about why you're the one for the job and how your qualifications when put into practice will enhance the company's bottom line. Here are a few examples to make your own.
P.S. I'm already looking forward to speaking with you. I'm available 24/7 (really!) because I want this job. Please forgive my bragging but I am good at what I do and I'm eager to show you. Please call to find out more! 888-888-8888 I'll be happy to meet at your office on your timetable.
P.S. Are you interested in finding out how I can help increase company revenue and improve employee morale? If so, please call me -- anytime. 888-888-8888. I'll be happy to meet for an interview or receive a personal phone call at a time that suits you perfectly.
Put these little known and used techniques into your next cover letter and you'll have one that stops the show and prompts the hiring manager to call you for an interview that leads to the job you want.
Karen O'Connor is the Head Writer at CareerJimmy. She has authored hundreds of articles on unique job search strategies that bring big results.
Karen is one of the first career insiders to reveal a "Secret Sentence" you can use on your next cover letter to land more job interviews and job offers.