Seven Pillars of Writing Wisdom

Seven Pillars of Writing Wisdom :

Learning from the efforts, we wrote our own prototype cover letters. Each had a distinct situation to address and none were obvious candidates for the kind of job we wanted. Our letters and the accompanying comments will help you with your own text.

He came to see me with deep concern. A competent professional, she thought she would always have a place in customer service at Calco Computer Corp. Unfortunately, Calco was downsizing - a euphemism for laying off workers.

"I never thought I would have to look for another job," Cecily said to me. "In three weeks I will be out on the street. I'm just not ready for this."

It was easy to empathize with Cecily. She had done everything right for her employer and now she felt terribly wronged. But tea and sympathy are not enough. We had to get to work landing Cecily's next job.

Our first step was to remove some burdens that Cecily shouldn't continue to bear. One was panic. Cecily had heard that it is easier to get a job when you still have a job and she had only three weeks left. I explained to her that there was much less truth in that notion today than in the past. With so many people losing jobs because of downsizing or business failures, being out of work no longer carries the stigma it once did.

The second burden was doubt about her worth. "If they don't need me at Calco, where 1 have worked for years, who is going to need me somewhere else?" Cecily thought to herself. I told Cecily that Calco paid people because their services were needed. Since she had been retained by Calco for many years, she produced something of value to earn her salary. What's more, some of what she demonstrated, achieved or learned for Calco would be attractive to her next employer. I reminded Cecily that, like everyone else, her basic task was to convey, clearly and concisely, these four points.

1. Positive characteristics of importance to the employer

2. Motivation

3. Communication ability

4. Bridging the credibility gap

Her experience at Calco could help Cecily present the first three points very well. The fourth point, the credibility gap, was not insurmountable. I suggested that we plan her letter by constructing a chart for each point. We assumed for this letter that Cecily would pursue similar work, but in a different industry.

For the sake of this exercise, Cecily wrote to a company that manufactures hand tools. Let's see what Cecily had to say.

Planning chart

Key ideas….. Employer wants (based on career research) ….. I offer…..

Positive characteristics ….. Business sense, Organization, Thoroughness….. Give examples from professional context and show results.

Motivation… Job, Firm and Industry…. Enjoy it, continue career, Situation specific and Situation specific.

Conununication…..Written and oral….Staff meetings, Phone work, Written reports and Quality cover letter

Employer will be concerned that I…. Addressed by…..

Credibility Gap…..Am set in my ways, Won't learn new product or service….Show flexibility or adjustment to new situations….Rapid mastery of product knowledge

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