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Cover Letter Advice

At one time or another, we have all written a coverletter and hated it. As you might expect, the dreaded coverletter is a necessary evil. So, get over it and get on with it. The fundamental coverletter advice is that every resume you send out must have a coverletter.

Fundamentals

A coverletter can be your worst enemy, if not done properly. The common mistakes include:

  • Poor spelling
  • The wrong salutation
  • No direction

The solutions are simple enough, use a dictionary and spell check. Find out who your target audience is; call the company and ask how the name is spelled and if it is Miss, Mrs, or Ms. Above all, have an idea of what you want to accomplish with the coverletter.

 

Direction

Maybe we should spend some time here. Standup if you use one coverletter for every and all occasions. The first step is to stop talking and listen. Read the job description. Then, decide how your qualifications match the requirements of the position. No two coverletters should be the same because the job requirements are going to be different and you will want to emphasise different skills.

  • Introduce yourself
  • State what you want
  • Say why your qualifications match
  • Establish a next step
  • Provide all of your contact information

Keep this sacred document short and to the point. The person that has the pleasure of reading your work of art will not have time to see much other than the mistakes.

 

StandOuts

In good times and in bad, people will understand what they understand. Numbers work. Highlight your accomplishments, number of employees managed, revenue/expense responsibility, etc. Without writing a novel, put in the accomplishments that match the opportunity and will draw attention. Market yourself!

Expectations

Understand that the coverletter is one tool in your arsenal, not the only one. Expect that your coverletter is going to be thrown in the trash along with your resume. Don't fret, but make your shot the best that it can be. If you really want the job, then spend the time to create a unique coverletter that is specific to the job.

Honesty

Tell the truth and do not embellish. If you embark upon stretching the truth or mentioning folks that you do not really know, it may and probablly will catch up with you at some point. Honesty is always the best and safest policy.

© Lynch Information 2001 - 2003