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cover letter-question

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cover letter-question

Postby V » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:37 am

People,

I feel ...., I am confident.... etc, I would like the interview... ( of course I would like, it is obvious)

I just do not want to use these kind of conventional phrases in the letter. My letter would be ok without this stuff?

H/R is so used to conventional style, would they read my letter? Plus who reads the letter? HR people or the director/manager of the department? H/R people do the screening? and good letters/resumes go to director? - (For a position advertised on H/R website)

Finding out name of the relevant person (if it exists) and directly giving them the resume is considered "back door" or front door, normal? At least that is what I read here that give the resume to directly to hiring authority if you can, instead of HR. But then different people would see it differently? or not?

And English is my third language. I don't want to take risky steps. Do you know some templates, nice unconventional style, safe yet new, opening and closings?

Please advise-Thanks
Last edited by V on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cover letter-conventional phrases

Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:02 am

V wrote:People,

I feel ...., I am confident.... etc, I would like the interview... ( of course I would like, it is obvious)

I just do not want to use these kind of OLD conventional phrases in the letter. My letter would be ok without this stuff?

H/R is so used to conventional style, would they read my letter? Plus who reads the letter? HR people or the director/manager of the department? H/R people do the screening? and good letters/resumes go to director? - (For a position advertised on H/R website)

Finding out name of the relevant person (if it exists) and directly giving them the resume is considered "back door" or front door, normal? At least that is what I read here that give the resume to directly to hiring authority if you can, instead of HR. But then different people would see it differently? or not?

And English is my third language. I don't want to take risky steps. Do you know some templates, nice unconventional style, safe yet new, opening and closings?

Please advise-Thanks



I don't understand why you would want to write something unconventional for a cover letter. A business letter is a formal document, with a lot of emphasis on having it look and sound a certain way. This isn't the place for an unconventional ("Hey, Dude, here's my CV!") approach.

Write your cover letter to the person you are sending it to, and don't use "Dear Sir or Madam" in the lead line. "Dear Ms. Smith" works so much better. Then, put in three paragraphs, with the second one dealing with an example of an accomplishment you've had. Read the Tooling Up columns on cover letters.

Dave
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"I know Dad, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?”
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Re: cover letter-question

Postby V » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:19 am

Thanks Dave.
Last edited by V on Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: cover letter-question

Postby David Taylor » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:40 am

The cover letter is definitely a place where you stand out by following form and by writing well. Outside of a solid message, a good cover letter flows well with sound logic, and is consistent in format.
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Re: cover letter-question

Postby Rich Lemert » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:54 pm

I think most people are willing to grant you some leeway with your language if it's apparent that they shouldn't expect English to be your native language. This will mostly be confined to things like sentence structure or certain phrases that may be more or less common in your native culture. Spelling errors/typos, poor sentence structure, run-on sentences/paragraphs, and things like that, though, will still be considered intolerable.

The use of a cover-letter template might give you a better looking letter, but I think its use would actually be counter-productive. Letters that are based on some sort of template are usually very recognizable precisely because they are so standard. Hiring managers are likely to wonder what else you're hiding if you can't write your own cover letter.

The best option is to have a native English speaker look over your letter for any obvious problems, but even the opinion of someone who's only slightly more comfortable in the language than you are would be helpful. If all else fails, you can even ask people here if they would be willing to look over your letter - once. It's been known to happen in the past.
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Re: cover letter-question

Postby V » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:47 pm

Job finding process could be frustrating for anyone.

At the top of that, I found some comments kind of demoralizing but I know that they are written with best intentions so thanks anyway.
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Re: cover letter-question

Postby Dave Jensen » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:16 pm

V wrote:Job finding process could be frustrating for anyone.

At the top of that, I found some comments kind of demoralizing but I know that they are written with best intentions so thanks anyway.


Hi V,

I hope that wasn't my comment about the unconventional letter approach. I wasn't intending to demoralize. I think it's important to realize that subtle changes are all that are necessary from the "conventional" CV. Don't write on purple paper to stand out, and don't use language that doesn't fit the norm. CV's and business letters have a history to them, a culture of their own,

Dave
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"I know Dad, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?”
― Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury
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