Covering Letters 101

 

© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Cover Letter Creator"

The covering letter has one MAIN purpose for the smart job hunter:

The term "covering letters" is the British term for what is known as "cover letters" stateside. But in either country, its primary, no, make that only, purpose is the same: to get "the" interview that gets "the" job.

A covering letter is simply a cover letter, only "Euro-style."

Unfortunately, whether they are writing a covering letter or a cover letter, applicants on both sides of the "pond" make the same mistakes. They send a bland, pointless letter to an unknown person then wait for that person to give them a call. Nine times out of ten, they've got a long wait ahead of them.

The Simple Truth About Covering Letters

The bad news is the sheer number of applicants for each open position means your covering letter has to be truly exceptional to get a response. But here's the good news, the standard of the "average" covering letter is so pathetically low, that rising head and shoulders above that standard is easy.

Covering letters have one MAIN purpose for the smart job hunter:

If you take away just one valuable lesson from this article, let this be it: The main purpose of your job search covering letter is to land more job interviews. Yet, unbelievably, most covering letters are not actually written to come out and ask for the interview within the letter! Make sure you add this one simple element to your covering letters and this alone will positively separate your letter from the pack.

Covering letters are more important than CV's!

Most job hunters don't give their covering letters much respect. They see them as a 'required' document that must be attached with their CV. Instead, most job-seekers spend all their time writing and crafting the "perfect" CV. Big, big, BIG mistake! A carefully-crafted covering letter (say that five times fast!) is received and read like an effective sales letter. And what is the exact sale are you trying to make? You are selling YOU to be called in for the job interview period. Make sure the focus on all your covering letters is to clearly and directly ask each reader for the chance to interview for the position you are seeking. Want more job interviews? Start asking for them within your covering letters! The CV is not the type of document that allows you to do this. A CV does not effectively 'sell.' Therefore, if you truly want to grab the edge over your competition, then start taking your covering letter more seriously and I predict you'll be surprised at the results you obtain.

One last tip on covering letters:

Follow-up every lead, contact, interview, everything! Following-up is the key to job search success. Make sure to craft follow-up covering letters that are basically the same letter you have already sent but you start the follow-up letter with a new opening sentence that states you are following-up from your original covering letter and CV. This will give your job search TWICE the exposure. And you can secretly enjoy the fact that 99% of your competition uses the 'one and done' job search strategy for minimal results!

Next article: Introduction to the application letter


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