© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Cover Letter Creator"
Well-written entry level cover letters can be the smart job-hunter's secret weapon.
A poorly-written, entry level cover letter however, can kill a job search faster than Donald Trump can say "you're fired!" Oh, the entry level job Catch-22. To get the job, you need to have experience, but how can you get the experience you need, if you can't get the job?
What effective entry level cover letters do, is to perform two key tasks for the entry level job seeker. First, it allows the candidate to BREAK THROUGH the clutter of other applicants who are also seeking that very same job. This is accomplished by getting the Hiring Manager's undivided attention. Secondly, it must SUPER-SELL the candidate for the position, showing how the candidate's qualities, 'relevant' experience, passion, interest, academic qualifications, etc., make that them the perfect fit for the job.
Entry Level Cover Letters Must...
... GRAB the attention of the hiring manager! This can be as simple as including some basic Attention Getting Ingredients, or AGI's to your cover letter. Some of these AGI's are as simple as making sure that you address the letter to a SPECIFIC person by name. Preferably the one who makes the interview decisions. You can also gain attention by listing your skills in an easy-to-read bullet point type of format.
A Common Entry Level Cover Letter Mistake
The vast majority of job-seekers needing to write an entry level cover letter will simply copy a sample out of a book or off the Internet and attempt to personalize it for their own purposes. Enjoy this fact and don't make that same mistake yourself. Using a few basic attention-getting-ingredients for your own entry level cover letter will have it reading like you're THE polished, professional candidate deserving of the job interview.
Once the attention of the Hiring Manager is secured, by using a attention-grabbing headline, a killer opening sentence and perhaps some bullet points to display your skills, then the SELLING part of your cover letter begins. A big part of this is simply writing a cover letter that is easy to read and uses clear language and reasoning. Once the Hiring Manager sees that you know how to communicate and write clearly, you are already head and shoulders above most of the competition.
The next element should be to show that you understand the duties and responsibilities of the job opening, and that you can fulfil those duties AND have a passion for this particular field or industry. That last part is very important, Hiring Managers are not interested in employees that simply show up for work and "go through the motions" every day. Remember, you are at the "entry level" and displaying your desire and passion is a must!
What every company wants is someone that has a PASSION for their work. So a
well-written entry level cover letter should contain what I like to call a "Passion
Paragraph" that conveys that enthusiasm. Put it all together, the Attention
Getting Ingredients, 'relevant' experience and passion for this position and
that should be enough to get the entry level cover letter put into the "must
interview" pile. Cover letters like these are the ones that land dream
jobs. Essentially you are creating your own luck!
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