April 16, 2004, Newsletter Issue #13: Cover Letters

Tip of the Week

Here`s a few tips to make sure your cover letter is not easily forgotten.

-- DON`T write one cover letter and mail it out with each resume to every ad, changing only the name and address of the company.

-- DO quote the requirements from the ad, and then go on to briefly illustrate - in ONE paragraph - how you meet those requirements.

-- DON`T address your cover letter to "Dear Sir" or "Dear Human Resources Person" or use some equally generic and inane salutation. Call the company and find out the person`s name. If it`s a blind ad, or you have no way of using the name, skip the salutation all together.

-- DO provide information not in your resume. Typically this can include why you are answering the ad, your current (NOT your preferred) salary range, your current (NOT projected) bonus, and information specific to the company you gained through research.

-- DON`T write a cover letter longer than three paragraphs. It won`t be read.

-- DO take time with your cover letters, varying them according to position applied for, type of contact (ad, recruiter, referral from friend, etc), individually applicable reasons for applying, etc.

Cover letters are time consuming to write - that`s why the temptation is to labor over one, and then use it for everything you apply for.

Resist the temptation. It`s the person`s - or company`s - first method of contact with you. Why short change yourself just because it`s too laborious to take time with a well written and customized letter?

Generic cover letters can be detected at 20 paces. Even with an outstanding resume, they don`t put you at the front of the line. Keep yourself in control and take the extra time.

You can`t take control of your career if you aren`t worth contacting!

Judi Perkins
career guru for lifetips.com

For more information on Cover Letters - see special report #02 which will be one of the Special Reports available on http://www.findtheperfectjob.com by Friday, April 23 (see details at end of this newsletter)

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