Cover Letters and Career Advice



Cover Letters and Career Advice :



Most of this section is devoted to cover letters in an outreach context. Namely…. cases in which you have identified a potential employer and want to write to him / her on your own initiative. In some circumstances, a different kind of letter is appropriate. Those letters are the topic of this section.


Answering a help-wanted ad


One reason we have emphasized an outreach campaign is that many, perhaps most, jobs are not publicly advertised. Still, newspapers and trade publications are one possible source of employment. So it makes sense to utilize them.


The same principles apply as with outreach letters. However, there is often one advantage for you. The employer will probably describe the positive characteristics of most importance to him / her. That gives you a ready-made agenda for your second paragraph and some hints for your third as well.


Let's take a look at an ancient example to see how a cover letter can be useful even in a most difficult situation.


The Bible relates a story from the time of King Saul. A Philistine giant, Goliath, challenged the Israelites to send a champion against him in a fight to the death. It should come as no surprise that there were no immediate takers. Goliath's height was more than six cubits, his armor weighed 5,000 shekels of brass and the shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam.


Now let us imagine that Saul decided to put a help-wanted ad in the newspaper. It might have read like this.


Want ad in the Bethlehem Post


Are you prepared to risk your life for a good cause? A small but dedicated army seeks a champion to fight the fearsome giant Galiath. The King’s own armor and sword are available, if needed. You will be rewarded with the nation’s aternal gratitude. Only mighty men of valor need apply. Reply to King Saul c/o Hillside Camp….


For the sake of our story, let's say a shepherd boy named David reads the ad and wants to apply. David is young, small and has never been to war. He is not an obvious candidate. But David knew that if you want something, you go for it Never turn yourself down for a job by not applying. So he wrote the letter trying to maximize his probability of getting an interview.


David's cover letter gained him an interview with a skeptical Saul. The rest is history.

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