Past Issues

July 07, 2014

Add A Little 'Fire' To Your Cover Letter...

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Add 'Fire' To Your Cover Letter...

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

"Fire!" The word itself is a call to action. Fire gets our attention every time!

You can apply this truth to your job search cover letter. By adding a little fire to your writing, you call an employer to attention and in a sense, compel him or her to take action on your behalf. This could mean he or she will read your entire letter and consider it seriously over all the others.

A few pieces of kindling is all it takes to start a fire. Yet, many job seekers ignore its power. Don't be one of them. Consider how to ignite your cover letter with the following fire-starters:

Your current contact information. Place your name, address, phone, and email details at the top of the page or left justified. Use Times New Roman font, size 12 print. This is the standard in the industry. Avoid fancy, hard-to-read fonts.

A descriptive headline. Place this description in the center of the line between the contact info and the cover letter greeting. Example: Twenty-year trained and weapon-licensed military police veteran eager to join the Cityville Police Department. Can start immediately.

A clear and accurate greeting. Address the hiring manager by name and be sure to spell it correctly. If you don't have a name, call the company or check the website. If you cannot locate this detail, greet the person by his or her title: Dear Hiring Manager. Then you can state that you tired to get the correct name and were unable to do so. That simple acknowledgment will show your sincerity.

A well-focused description of your skills and experience. Show how they relate to the new job and how the skills are easily transferable. For example, if you are currently the manager of a fast-food restaurant but now want to apply for a job as assistant manager of a dinner house, it would be easy to show how customer service, a quality eating experience, problem solving and staff management apply to both positions.

If you indicate that you're willing to align with the company values, work alongside fellow employees, express leadership when called upon to do so, and offer creative solutions to problems, the hiring manager will catch your fire. Employers are looking for individuals who express a team spirit, quality personal values and a high work ethic. In short, people who are on fire for their job and who communicate that fire in writing and in their daily experience.

Therefore, add a little fire to your cover letter.

Example:
"I'm excited to be considered for the job of assistant manager at Steak and Ale Dinner House, where I promise to serve your clients, increase company profits by providing the best possible care and living up to your impressive mission statement--"to more than satisfy our customers with quality food and service."

I've worked in the restaurant industry for five years, and have been commended for increasing my current employer's profile and profits through an innovative customer care campaign, which I designed and delivered successfully.

May I come in for an interview to discuss how I can add my time and talent to your dinner house and learn from those already there?

A cover letter like this, written with passion and fire, will compel the hiring manager to move you to the head of the queue for an upcoming interview and even the job itself.

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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