Job Interview Tip :
The letter should be addressed to the person mentioned in the advertisement if you are answering one or to a specific person. Otherwise you run the risk of your letter reaching someone who may not be interested, resulting in your letter ending in the waste paper basket or a file that may never be opened.
Every sentence in your letter must be compelling and must prove that you - and nobody else - are right for the job.
How do you achieve this?
Take the "So, what?" test. It will compel you to write more effective letters. It works like this…. after reading every sentence ask yourself…. "So, what?" Is that last sentence compelling or just hot air? Is it necessary? Is it true? Does it excite? If not, rewrite or remove it. Then ask yourself,
"So, what?" again.
BEFORE : I am currently employed with Alpha Systems in Mumbai in the Production Logistic Equipment Assembly Division as a Technical Support Manager. (SO, WHAT?) I am willing to take up any engineering post. (SO, WHAT?)
AFTER: I am applying for a position where my eight years of engineering and end-user training experience will add value to logistical operations for your clients.
In the AFTER example, the writer clearly states the type of job he's seeking, while promising to add value for the employer's clients. It is much more powerful.
BEFORE : The message you are now reading is not a typical cover letter with an attached resume. Please do not be afraid to continue reading because this evolving communique
describes what I can do for Suraj Airways (SA), if I am chosen as its new marketing manager. (SO WHAT?)
Stop! Don't take forever to appeal to an employer's self-interest. Often, you can find better opening paragraphs halfway down the page, as in this AFTER example.
AFTER : I am energised by the opportunity to achieve significant things for your firm. Here is what I can give to Suraj Airways (SA): Five years of publication and marketing experience for Fortune 500 clientele, resulting in repeat business, 210% revenue growth and three industry awards.
If every sentence passes the "So what?" test, your cover letters will be concise, hard-hitting and irresistible to employers.
Write the letter using a word-processing program so that you can use features such as spell check to ensure there are no mistakes.
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