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5 Cover Letter Tips
Competition for jobs these days is fierce. The internet has made it easy for dozens or even hundreds of people to apply for a single job. With that kind of competition, how can you hope to even get your cover letter noticed, and are a cover letter and resume even enough to land the job of your dreams?
Fortunately, for you, so many people do it wrong that you will get your cover letter noticed by following a few cover letter tips that will give you an instant advantage. Follow these tips and you will have a cover letter that works.
If you want to send your cover letter to an early death, start out by addressing it to “Dear Hiring Manager”. Not only does this look like the vast majority of bad cover letters, it shows that the job is not important enough to you to do a little research. Call the company and find out the persons name that is doing the hiring for this position.
People like seeing their own name. If the hiring manager sees their name, they will slow down enough to give your cover letter a second look. Sometimes that second look is all it takes to give you a huge advantage.
Many companies will only accept applications emailed to a specific address, so it may not be possible to send it directly to the person doing the hiring, but you should try. Anything you can do to separate your cover letter from the rest of the stack is worth the effort.
Tip #2 – Ask For an Interview
Another area where many job seekers fall short is asking for an interview before you end your cover letter. They spend a lot of time and effort building a case for why they are the right person for the job, but they never ask for the job. While it is implied that you want the job when you submit your resume and cover letter, you should still ask. There is power in asking.
Successful sales and marketing people will tell you that the most success people are the ones that ask for the sale. That one call to action can be the difference between success and failure. If no one else asks for an interview, and you do, your cover letter is more likely to stand out and be remembered.
Don’t forget to include your contact information. When you ask for the interview, let the hiring manager know, “I can be reached at…then give your phone number. Even though your information is in the header of the cover letter, write it again. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you.
Tip #3 – Make a Follow-Up Telephone Call
After you ask for the interview, let them know when you will be following up with a telephone call. When that day comes, make sure you call. Many hiring managers say that they are more likely to hire a candidate that calls after sending in their resume. It shows that you are serious about wanting the position, and not just applying to every classified ad they see. It only takes a couple of minutes, but that one telephone call can make all the difference.
Tip #4 – Write a Thank You Note
After you get your interview, follow it up within a day or two with a thank you note. Besides being a polite thing to do, is serves the purpose of getting your name in front of the person doing the hiring one more time. When the time comes to make a decision, they are more likely to remember your name. That name recognition is invaluable. They may not even remember anything about the interview, but your name will be familiar to them. It is just one more way to stand out from the crowd.
Tip #5 – Make Sure It Is Correct
Your final step before sending out your cover letter is to check it for spelling and grammar mistakes. With the capabilities of most word processing programs, there is really no excuse for mistakes in this area. Run the spelling and grammar checks, then re-read your cover letter aloud to find any words that are misused, or that your software missed. If there are any parts that are unclear, fix them.
While there is no guarantee that you will get an interview, following these cover letter tips will help you stand out from the crowd. Your cover letter, a telephone call, and a thank you note. Three simple tools that can help land you the job of your dreams.
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