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February 17, 2014

Put a Little 'Heart' Into Your Next Cover Letter

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Put 'Heart' Into Your Next Cover Letter

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

Flowers, hearts, chocolates, love letters and Valentine's Day cards crowd the shelves in supermarkets and floral shops at this time of year. People rush to buy their loved ones some tangible expression of their affection.

But what does this have to do with job-search cover letters? Well, a lot, actually. You're not going to send a Valentine's Day card or flowers to a hiring manager. That would likely have the opposite effect of the one you hope for. But you can put a little 'heart' into your next cover letter. By that I mean a bit of passion for the job you hope to win.

Show your emotional as well as your professional self so you will come across as a human being with feelings. Someone who cares about others, who wants to be a team player, who is excited about helping company employees meet the goals of the organization.


All day long, hiring managers open cover letters--without heart. They glance, toss, and shred. Why? Because they're the same old, same old. There is nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing to compel them to call the job seeker for an interview.

Do you want yours to be in this mix or do you want to stand out--bring a smile to the hiring manager's face, and make him or her want to sit up and notice you--the person with a fresh way of writing, with a message that is compelling, with some passion and desire expressed in the wording.

Many job seekers forget who they are the moment they begin writing. They choose stiff language, create long-winded and convoluted sentences that require the reader to have a dictionary on hand. You can stay clear of such a practice by putting a little heart into your cover letter. Here are a few tips for doing just that.

Heart to Heart

  • Greet the hiring manager by name. Avoid the sterile and impersonal 'to whom it may concern.' If you don't have a name, call the company and find out. Yes, this is an extra step but it's one that counts.

  • State your purpose for the cover letter.
    Let the employer know that you're aware of the opening (insert the job title or department) and you're excited about the opportunity to compete for it. State your qualifications and give an example of an action or two that you performed that benefited the company you worked for and how that trait will carry over to the new job if you're hired.

  • List your skills and abilities related to the job. Busy people retain what they read more easily if main points are presented with bullets or by number.

    - Pulled a team together to...
    - Organized a training day to boost morale...
    - Created a sales slogan, printed it on shirts, and boosted sales quota...

  • Refer the reader to your enclosed resume. That document will provide details about your education, work experience, awards, and professional organizations.

  • Conclude With a Sweet Touch

    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 warmth, common sense, a sound work ethic, customer care, employee sensitivity, respect for management and the ability to do the job well. If you can communicate all of this in a one-page cover letter, you'll be among the top contenders for the job you want.

    Tell the truth and ask for what you want--but do so with heart! And be sure to give your cover letter a sweet touch at the end--a hearty 'thank you' for reading and considering you for the job.

    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."

    Visit our friends at Amazing Cover Letters for your "instant" cover letter today. "In just 3.5 minutes you will have an amazing cover letter guaranteed to cut through YOUR competition like a hot knife through butter!"
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