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July 2010
Cover Letter Strategies: What Can You Accomplish?
by Susan Reynolds

Once upon a time, there was no word processing (or LinkedIn or Facebook…arghhh), and resumes were written, and then 500 copies were printed.  No customization was possible, so cover letters had to handle all the specialization.  That was then, and this is now!  So if you’re answering a job posting, what’s the most effective cover letter to send along?

A nearly completely customized cover letter is the most productive answer!  Don’t take your job search back to the Stone Age!  The beauty of our modern technology is the opportunity to make ourselves stand out… to be excellent in the mass of mediocre competition!

Your cover letter strategy should depend on the degree to which you match the particular criteria of the job posting or description.  If you are an exact, fabulous, complete match then call your reader’s attention to the entirety of your perfection!  Show them line by line.  However, if you miss the match in several criteria, you will be better served by highlighting your accomplishments and capabilities in a few of the key areas mentioned in the job description.  Don’t inadvertently actually call attention to your deficiencies!

Don’t be tempted to tediously regurgitate your entire resume into your letter!  I see so many letters of a page or more length, arduously repeating nearly every section of the resume.  Your letter should be brief, clear, and absolutely positive.  So read the job description carefully, and write both your letter and resume to undeniably be the best choice for the needs of the organization!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at sreynolds@newmarketcareers.com or
661-755-3308.

Other Job and Career Success Related Articles:
Negotiating Compensation in this Adverse Economy

Job Search Follow-Up: Pest or Persistent?

Job Search Success: Delusion or Determination?

When the Interview Turns Out to Not Match the Description!

 


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