cover letters

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cover letters

Postby Russell » Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:28 pm

I am very confused about the writing of cover letters.

I checked out some recent job adds and they all specify education level, experience level and a variety of technical skills. Plus, they look for one or all of the following buzz words: 'interpersonal skills', 'leadership skills', 'well organized', 'excellent oral and written communication skills' etc.

It seems like the former info can be gained from the CV, and the latter skills would come through in an interview. So what should the function of a cover letter be?

If I had to write one now it would be, half a page, max, with the following info:

(i) job info
(ii) basic statement of qualifications
(iii) basic statement of what I am looking for
(iv) basic statement of how excellent my leadership, organizational, interpersonal and communication skills are etc.

Am I on the right track here or I am I going about this the wrong way?

Thank you


cover letters

Postby Dave Jensen » Sun Nov 14, 2004 4:45 pm

Hi Russell!

Great question. I think that you are on the right path, with one exception. You've put the focus on "you" and "what you are looking for," instead of "them" and "what they need." A cover letter should really be geared towards showing how it is that you are going to help the company with their needs, and not telling them what you are looking for.

Remember, cover letters are read, and resumes/CVs are "skimmed." Therefore, put some punch into that cover letter. It is a sales piece -- that's a critical comment to remember. If you can remember the C-A-R analogy, use one of your three or four paragraphs to identify a problem you faced, the CHALLENGE, then state YOUR APPROACH, and finally, WHAT THE RESULT WAS. Write very succinctly.

I'll post a "fairy tale" about resumes and cover letters soon, and I hope you'll get a laugh while getting my point.

Dave Jensen, Moderator
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