JS Tip 433: Writing Cover Letters II

From the Changing Jobs Workshops: Writing Cover Letters II

We’ve been talking about cover letters.

Last week, we suggested building your cover letter on the job posting, being direct and audience-oriented, and connecting your experience with the requirements.

This week, we have three more suggestions about cover letters:

Suggestion Four: Do your homework. 

Who is the company? What is their specialty? Who are the decision-makers? What are their interests?

Never, ever, use “To whom it may concern.” That has all the power of “Occupant.” If you can’t find the information from the job posting or the internet, call the company switchboard. 

Suggestion Five: Keep it short.  

No more than three-quarters of a page. Your brevity makes you more attractive. Your cover letter (and resume) will get you an interview. Your interview will get you a job.

Do not put every detail of your life in your cover letter and resume.

Suggestion Six: Maintain contact.

Close with something like, “I’ll call your office next week to answer questions.” This isn’t pressure. This is enthusiasm. This is customer service.

Mark your calendar so you won’t forget to call. (Hey. The worst they can say is, “We haven’t made a decision yet.” Then you can say, “Thank you. I appreciate your time.” Professional.)

    Next week, we’ll share some suggestions about resumes.

    Mark Brooks