Tuesday, May 6, 2014


By Achara 0gochukwu Larry

Writing a cover letter for your dream job, but
don’t know where to start? It’s a common
problem. Many people are so intimidated by
having to write a cover letter they skip it
completely — which can be a mistake: It’s
your first opportunity to make a stellar
impression with anything but your resume,
which can be dry.
Your cover letter has to be excellent to
make a good impression. If you include
these five elements in your letter, you’re
almost guaranteed job-hunting success. Try it
— play along as you read.
You need…
1. A compelling first
Too many cover letters start with “I am
pleased to submit my application for the
marketing assistant job posted on your
website,” which is a snooze-fest. Even “I’m
excited to apply for your marketing assistant
position” is about eight hundred times better
because you sound like a human being.
If you want to go beyond “I’m excited to
apply for…” you have a few options.
Consider starting by dropping a name or with
an anecdote

By the way, it’s helpful to include a name (as
long as it’s spelled correctly — quadruple
check this, please), but you don’t need one.
“Dear hiring manager” is fine and preferable
to “To whom it may concern” or “Dear sir or
madam,” no matter what MS Office’s Clippy
tells you.
2. A list (but not
actually) of all you
bring to the company
The meat of your cover letter should talk
about your skills and accomplishments,
but not in the same way as your resume. Your
resume is a bulleted list; your cover letter
should be written in sentences.
For example: “I thrive in fast-paced
environments and love tight deadlines. At my
previous position, I often filed reports finished
long before they were due.” Or: “I’m a
multitasker — I manage four social media
accounts and have grown followers an
average of 30 percent over each year I’ve had
this job.” Or “My marketing strategy at XYZ
company yielded purchase orders of over #2
Not “I have extensively researched your
company and can contribute to your bottom
line.” That’s meaningless.

3. A story: show it,
don’t tell it
Ever since the first cavemen huddled around
a fire and tried to explain the stars, human
beings have been storytelling creatures. You
can use your cover letter to tell the story of
why you want to work at company X, how
you became interested in field Y or why
there’s a big gap on your resume. Nobody
wants to hear your whole life story from birth
4. Some humility
“I know I am the perfect candidate for your
job.” No, you don’t. “You owe it to yourself to
invite me in for an interview.” Yikes. Don’t put
yourself down, but keep in mind that you’re
one candidate out of many, and you definitely
don’t know that you’re the best (even if you
feel that way and your mom agrees).
Besides, your cover letter is an
opportunity to line up your skills with
the company’s needs — not to talk about
how great the job would be for you.
Some experts recommend using twice as
many “you”s in your cover letter as “I”s.
That’s hard to do, but it’s a good goal to aim
for, since it keeps you focused on the
company’s needs. Consider the differences
between these two examples:
“I’m really excited about this opportunity
because working with children has been a
lifelong dream of mine, and your company
would give me the potential to grow. This is
definitely my dream job, and I know I’m the
perfect candidate for you.” (Six “I”s, “me”s or
“my”s, two “you”s.)
“Your ad mentions you’re looking for someone
who’s good with numbers. At my last job, I
was nicknamed ‘human calculator’ for my
skill with reports.” (Two “you”s, two “I”s —
much closer.)
5. A great closing line
Here’s what is not a great closing line: “I’ll call
you next week to set up an interview.” Maybe
that worked in your parents’ generation, but
these days, that’s far too pushy.
Instead, try:
“I’m excited to speak with you about the
opportunity to join the team!”
Or “I’m eager to help ABC Co. continue to set
itself apart from the competition.”
Or even just “My resume is attached, as
requested, and I look forward to speaking
with you further about this job.”
 Then just add a “Sincerely, your name”
and you’re done. Seriously, that’s it.
For additional help contact us because we are commited to your sucess
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