Past IssuesOctober 21, 2013
Avoid These 'Big Bad' Words
In Your Cover Letter
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Avoid These Words In Your Cover Letter
By Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy and Author of the Amazing Cover Letter Creator
Be aware! The Big Bad Word virus can attack your cover letters when you least expect it, knocking out your message and destroying every sentence. And worst of all, if your letter reaches a hiring manager before you've caught the culprit, you could lose your opportunity for a job interview. The moment the employer sees the infection he or she will send your cover letter to the shredder for immediate destruction. And you may never know why you did not receive a response.
So the best thing to do is be on guard ahead of time so this nasty virus never touches any of your cover letters.
What are the Signs?
As you write your cover letters, such words as pursuant, heretofore, credence, and others like them will suddenly pop onto the page. That will be your first clue. Delete them without hesitation and vow never again to give them access to your writing.
Keep in mind that hiring managers are regular people -- just like you and me. Most don't have a big fat dictionary at their fingertips in order to wade through what should be a clear and concisely worded job search cover letter. They want to pick up one to two pages that communicate a simple message about why you are interested in the job they want to fill and why you are qualified to do so.
Everyday conversational language with a light touch and some specific details about what you can do for the company and why you're the one for the job, will make the difference between being noticed and being overlooked. Remember your letter is a handshake, a how do you do, a greeting that introduces yourself and your skills and experience for the hiring manager to consider and act upon.
So take charge of your cover letter today. Select words that anyone can recognize and understand and then write in a friendly manner that will showcase your personality as well as your professionalism.
I was very pleased to see your job post for a position as assistant sales manager at ABC Publishing Company. I've been in the publishing industry for seven years and wouldn't trade it for any other. I especially like presenting products to bookstore buyers, letting them know about the great books that will enhance the lives of their customers.
I'd welcome meeting you in person to share a list of ideas that I'd like to put in place so we can build up the sales force and exceed quarterly goals. I look forward to hearing from you, and setting a date for an interview.
Pursuant to said resume attached, I have compiled a list of my personal and professional characteristics, and carefully analyzed those necessary to extrapolate my purpose and penchant for the kind of work you articulated in your description of the job opening you are hoping to fill with a person of high quality, extreme integrity and willingness to meet expectations. That said, I ask your kind permission to schedule a private meeting with you so I might further explore...
At this point, if the employer even reads that far, he or she will likely shred the letter as well as any thought of calling you for an interview.
To avoid this kind of writing at all costs, read your cover letter out loud -- and to another person, if possible. The moment you or your friend or colleague hear a word or phrase that twists your tongue and turns your mind to mush, take it out. Rewrite until the words and sentences flow from your fingertips across the keyboard. If you feel yourself smile and the other person nods his or her head, you'll know you are conversing like a real human being. Mention your passion for the job and then ask for an interview. Don't wait another second.
Clear concise language is so rare in the business world today, that those who can master it will land the interview of their dreams -- and the job that's behind it!
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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