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October 06, 2014

Cover Letter 'Secret' Lands More Job Interviews

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Cover Letter Secret Lands More Interviews

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

Pam combed the pages of the newspaper and she spent hours on the Internet checking out potential jobs. She also read articles about how to write a stellar cover letter that would rise to the top of the slush pile on a hiring manager's desk.

But what difference did all this make? "Not much," claims Pam, a 28-year-old college grad who wanted to work in the accounting industry as a credit manager. "I knew I had to do something drastic," she said, "something no one else does. I looked for a way to stand out in a crowd."

If only she could create a job search cover letter that was unlike any other--totally different from the typical templates she found in books and online. A letter that would inspire a hiring manager to pay attention to her letter in a way that stopped him and made him want to meet her in person for an interview.

Then one morning as Pam scanned the daily newspaper while sipping her coffee a headline caught her attention. TEEN STUDENT STARTS OWN BUSINESS AND MAKES A MINT. "I didn't have time to read the entire article right then," she said, "but I definitely wanted to find out more. The headline stayed with me all morning. I knew I'd return to it."

An A-HA Moment

Later that day Pam finished reading the article and suddenly had an a-ha moment, realizing she could apply the headline principle to her cover letter. What if she created a headline at the top of her letter to grab a hiring manager's attention before he could put it down. It was worth a try. Here is what Pam came up with and how it can work for you too:
  • Create a smashing two-line headline. (Study newspaper headlines for examples of powerful words.)
  • Type the headline in boldface print.
  • Place the phrase just above the greeting (Dear Ms. Doe) in your cover letter.
  • Center it on the page.
Here is the winning cover letter that packed Pam's basic message into a few words and was easy to notice and read.

Looking for a CREDIT MANAGER?
Search no more. I'm ready. I'm set.
Just waiting to GO!

How could any hiring manager turn his back on such a creative headline? None could! Pam's creativity alone stopped several hiring managers on the spot, compelling them to invite her in for an interview. One led to a job offer she couldn't turn down. It met all of her criteria.

You might be thinking that's a good story about someone else. It sounds good but can it really work--for you? You're not certain you can create a clever headline like Pam did. Or you might worry that even if you do it will fall flat or it won't give you the results you want.

All of that might be true. But there are no guarantees in life--we all know that. And we also know that unless we try new things, take new actions, test our comfort zone, life won't change. We have to be pro-active if we want to be productive. So why not give it a go? The act itself will empower you. Following are a few headlines to get you thinking and creating.

Experienced Secretary With Skills That Sizzle.
Hire Me And I'll Transform Your Office.

Skilled Auto Mechanic Ready for Hire.
I Don't Just Fix Cars, I Retool Them.

Now it's time for you to create your own fabulous headline that will lead you to the job interview of your dreams and the words you long to hear; "You're hired."

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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