Past Issues

August 06, 2012

How to use a 'Famous Quote'
in your Cover Letter!

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Use a 'Famous Quote' in your Cover Letter!

By Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy and Author of the Amazing Cover Letter Creator

You may be among the first job seekers to include a great quote in a cover letter when applying for a position in a field that interests you. Suppose you wish to communicate that you're not only qualified for a particular job because of your training and skills, but that you actually love this work. You could make your point with the following great quote from Aristotle.

"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work."

Mention that for you working as a civil engineer or executive assistant or college professor or whatever--is your pleasure, not just your means of livelihood and that you've found over the years that the more you enjoy what you do the better your performance. Or how about this one from the late Steve Jobs?

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
--Steve Jobs

Then you can emphasize that you always expect excellence from yourself and you deliver it as much as is humanly possible, not because you're trying to impress management but because it makes your life worthwhile and contributes to others.

You won't want to overdo a good thing or water down your message. So give the hiring manager just one message to consider about why you're the woman or man for the job.

Advice and Inspiration--A Winning Combination

A well-stated quotation from an expert will elevate your cover letter, make a good impression on the reader, and bring your name to his or her attention as a thoughtful person who is not only applying for a job but who is also eager to enhance the company with sound advice and fresh inspiration.

Where does the quotation belong in a cover letter? That depends on the information you include--about yourself and your experience and the job you are competing for.

Suppose, for example, you're applying for a position as a project manager at a software development company. Start by thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity to introduce yourself, mention how you found out about the job, the good report you've heard about the company's performance, and why you believe you're a good fit for the position. Also refer to your previous employment and the tasks you were responsible for. Add a sentence that asks the employer to look at your enclosed resume for further details.

Next, start a new paragraph with an appropriate quotation.


Far and away the best prize that life has to offer
is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
-- Theodore Roosevelt

Then add a sentence stating how you believe that the job you hope to land is definitely a job worth doing--and you promise to do it well.

If your cover letter includes not only details about your experience and skills, but also insight into who you are as a person, you can be sure a hiring manage will notice...YOU.

Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the brand new, "Amazing Cover Letter Creator." Jimmy is also the author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, "Job Search Secrets."

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