ABOUT THE BOOK
If a resume is a window into your past work experience, a cover letter is the tool you use to install it. Cover letters were once just an after thought, something most people used to simply regurgitate their resumes. In fact, it wasn't until the last decade that cover letters gained wide acceptance and importance. Today, not only is the cover letter just as important s a resume, it can be the deciding factor in whether a hiring manager looks at your resume or throws it in the trash.
But how do you write the kind of amazing cover letter that will get you in the door? How can you create a narrative of your professional experience that makes the HR person sit up and take notice? The key is knowing how to present yourself. It does not matter if you've spent 30 years in the work force or are just entering it: the fact remains that you need to learn to how convince someone else to interview you.
MEET THE AUTHOR
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EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
You've probably figured out a few mistakes to avoid already, but you'd probably be surprised at what many employers are turned off by when reading cover letters:
Lack of proofreading. This is a no-brainer, but many people often miss them, or don't bother to spell check before sending out the cover letter and resume. It's always a good idea to ask a friend or family member to check your letter for spelling errors and typos to give you a fresh perspective.
Not including the name of the hiring manager. If you don't know who is going to read your cover letter and resume, try to find out. When in doubt, call the company and ask who the person in charge of that department is so you can target your letter appropriately.
Not writing to an audience. Focus each letter on each employer. According to Career Builder, “44 percent of executives polled said it's common for applicants to use their cover letters to show they've learned more about the job.” Doing so can give you an edge against the competition.
Failing to sell yourself. If you undersell your skills and qualifications, you won't make an impression on the reader. Don't just talk about your accomplishments, give concrete examples.
Regurgitating the resume. Cover letters weren't meant as a tool to repeat everything that's in your resume. It's a tool to build on it, and an opportunity to correlate your experience with the job you're applying for. Include any training classes, awards, and recognition you've received in the past that might give you an edge over the competition.
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