Past Issues

September 17, 2012

Give YOUR Cover Letter a 'Touch of Class'

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Give YOUR Cover Letter a 'Touch of Class'

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

Think of your cover letter as you would a business suit. It should be neat, clean, and a good fit. In other words, take time to present your best self in written presentation as well as in personal presentation. Consider what you want to say, choose your words carefully, and then put them on paper.

Follow These Steps...

1. Make it NEAT.

Hundreds of cover letters cross the desks of hiring managers every month so make sure yours get noticed--for the right reasons. Use a font and size, such as Times Roman 12, that is easy to read. Include plenty of white space. If possible, limit your information to one page, single-spaced.

2. Keep it CLEAN.

If your letter is wrinkled or a coffee stain mars its appearance, it will likely end up in the round file and you'll never hear from that employer again. Once written, print a copy from your computer onto a fresh, good-quality sheet of white (not colored or perfumed) paper.

2. Check the FIT.

Does what you wrote match your personality and reflect your character, including information about your previous employment, as well as your qualifications for the job you're applying for? Keep in mind that a good cover letter has one purpose--to garner the hiring manager's interest in offering you an interview for the open position.

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

There is nothing worse than being caught in a lie. Don't let that happen to you. Decide now that you will always tell the truth about yourself because if you don't, sooner or later all the lies will catch up with you and it may be too late then to recover from it--personally and professionally. If you're good at what you do, don't be afraid to say so. If you're new to the field you're applying for, admit that too, but also communicate your background in preparing for this kind of work and your willingness to learn on the job and to cooperate with other team members.

Common Sense and Good Taste

A cover letter that is friendly, informative, and sincere will go a long way with any hiring manager. In the end, decision-makers are looking for individuals who will enhance the company with common sense and good taste, work toward stated goals, cooperate with management and earn their salary by doing a first-rate job. If you can communicate all of this in a cover letter that is neat, clean, and a good fit, you will be among the top contenders for the job you want.

Remember that for every job opening there are hundreds of eager applicants. So it won't do to simply 'scribble' out a cover letter with outdated facts and overblown promises. Tell the truth and ask for what you want--but do so with a calm spirit and a confident step, based on knowing something about the company and the specific position you're interested in. Equipped with all this information you'll be among the job-seekers asked to return for another round of conversation and inquiries.

Why? Because your cover letter has a touch of class.

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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