Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Job Market is Tough - Does Your Cover Letter Stand Out?

Knock Knock. “Who’s there?” “A unique amazing cover letter” “That’s a rarity - come on in”

Your cover letter knocks on the door of the hiring company. When that door is opened does your cover letter get asked to “come in” or is the door slammed shut?

If you want your cover letter to be noticed, it must sell your skills, achievements and it must be clear and direct, positive and professional. Here’s how…

Connect your cover letter to your resume by mentioning a particular skill or achievement the hiring manager can relate to.

For example, suppose you are applying for a job as a regional manager of a IT Sales company. You are experienced in training sales people and retaining them. The turnover of staff is low and staff morale is high - all under your leadership, thus affecting the bottom line in a positive, profitable way.

So how are you going to mention this experience in the cover letter?

Like this:

I’ve been the IT Sales regional manager for “company x” for the past four years and during that time I successfully trained and mentored six new salespeople who have remained with me the entire time. In a recent company staff survey all 15 of my staff specifically stated that team spirit and the department morale is high.

If you were the hiring manager wouldn’t you want to study the resume in a bit more detail - maybe even interview this individual? I certainly would. He sounds like someone who knows how to train and retain sales people which increases staff morale and revenue for the company.

A cover letter that spells out your successes and achievements in this way will make the hiring manager read the resume - that’s the job of the cover letter. And it will trigger the hiring manager’s brain to think “yes, this is an individual I’d like to interview”.

Try it - it only takes a few extra minutes to complete and could make the difference between the door opening wide for you to enter or the door being slammed in your face.

Original Article -

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