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Continued: Stop Sending Cover Letters

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN
  • Last update: October 13, 2008 - 9:56 AM

Your cover letter should show that you researched the employer. The more relevant, specific facts you can include in your letter, the better your odds that at least one of them will connect with the reader.

Every company hiring has problems to solve and opportunities to capitalize on.

Find them by asking the people you know personally and professionally. Good places to start are your email address book, followed by Linkedin.com. You can also try Facebook, MySpace and Zoominfo.com.

Google can provide a mountain of intelligence. Your main task will be to prioritize which facts to include and which to leave out of your cover letter.

In fact, if you don’t have room for everything, that can be good!

In your cover letter, include two or three relevant bits of information from your research, then language to this effect: “There isn’t room here to discuss all the ways I can contribute to ABC Corp., so please call me today to learn four more areas I can help you with, including the $750,000 opportunity mentioned in yesterday’s New York Times.”

3) Turn I, Me, My into You, You, You

Read any good sales letter and one of the most common words will always be YOU.

That's because good copywriters understand human nature, and how natural it is to be selfish. We care about ourselves first and foremost.

And, because hiring managers are human, they care more about themselves and their problems than about you and yours.

With that in mind, you can instantly improve any cover letters by making one, simple change: Turn all the mentions of “I, me, mine” into “you, You, YOU.”

Example: Don’t write, "I’m applying for a job where my skills will be rewarded with the opportunity for me to advance."

Blech.

Write this: "You will benefit from my 11 years of accounting experience, which will help make a rapid contribution for your clients and your bottom line."

 

4) End with a Call for Action

The best sales letters don't just peter out with language like, "Please drop us a line if you like our product."

Instead, they ask for specific action, NOW.

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    Here's a recent success story that will help you stop sending cover letters, and start sending sales letters that get job interviews.

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