© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Cover Letter Creator"
Email cover letters can be very powerful, but have to work harder to avoid the DELETE key.
Because most people's emails are casual messages to friends, it's a common
mistake for many job-seekers to write an email cover letter in the same informal
style as their friendly emails. Though these job-hunters might not go as far
as to use "creative" spelling like, (C-U-L8er and FYI) or smiley face
emoticons, they do leave out some of the important elements that job candidates
should include in a "real" cover letters, email or otherwise.
When writing an email cover letter for instance, one should start with an attention-grabbing first sentence to grip the reader. This should be done for all cover letters but with an email cover letter it is especially important because it is so easy for the reader to hit the delete key. It is also difficult for the companys' hiring managers to "scan" an email cover letter and this makes the first few sentences even more important.
Where Email Cover Letters Go Wrong
Instead, those writing an email cover letter might hastily write a sentence or two basically saying "I saw your ad, here's my resume" and let it go at that.
Unfortunately for these job-hunters, "throwing away" a substandard email cover letter is even easier for the hiring manager than getting rid of a printed cover letter. After all, the hiring manager doesn't even have to wad it up and throw it into the garbage can, which requires a coordinated effort of the hand and arm! For an email cover letter, all the hiring manager has to do is flex a single finger, press 'delete' and the unfortunate job-hunter's chances are vanished forever.
However, this doesn't mean that an email cover letter needs to be identical to a printed cover letter, either. It's a simple fact that people are even less likely to read a long email than they are to read a long letter. So an email cover letter needs to be even shorter, sweeter and snappier to the point than a traditional cover letter that gets printed and mailed out. Otherwise, you guessed it, the hiring manager flexes that deadly delete finger again.
Some Basic Email Cover Letter Requirements:
The solution, as in most areas of life, is to find that happy medium. To make your email cover letter stand out against the competition, you've got to include just enough information in a way that makes the reader pay attention. At minimum, this information should include:
1. The name of the position you are applying for.
2. How your experience makes you the ideal candidate for the position being offered.
3. What you want the reader to do (hint --- call you for the job interview).
4. How they can reach you, by phone, email or otherwise.
Start your email cover letter off with a bang by spending extra time writing
the first two sentences to grab the attention of the recipient. This will produce
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