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Cover Letters, Part II: Cover Letters Shouldn’t be Boring

Want Your Resume to Be Noticed?

Make Your Cover Letter Shine

I wrote earlier about a job application process I was managing (it was weird to be on the other side of the desk for a change!). Of the approximately one third of applications that I received with cover letters, about half or so included generic and unimpressive varieties. The applicants had an idea that they needed to send something with their resumes, but their techniques did not hit the right tone or level of appropriateness. These letters looked a lot like this one, which is word for word (although anonymized for the purpose of reprinting):

Dear Hiring Department;

I am excited to apply for the Employment supervisor for youth w/mental health issues (in your city) that has been advertised. While my resume will provide you with an outline of my education and experience; the following information highlights additional personal and professional strengths:

  • Creative, resourceful, and flexible; able to adapt to changing priorities, maintain a positive work attitude and strong work ethic.
  • Expert juggler of multiple projects and achieving on-time completion of various projects, while exceeding expectations.
  • Excellent anticipatory skills; adept at foreseeing unanticipated problems.
  • A clear, concise, and logical communicator; competent at building rapport with clients and colleagues.

Please find attached my resume for your further review.  A cover letter and resume cannot possibly tell you if I am the right candidate for your position, so I look forward to hearing from you in the future, for a more personable meeting.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Applicant name]

Can you imagine my reaction to this type of letter? It certainly beat the type sent by the other half, which hardly referenced the position at all, making the candidate sound like he or she was simply blanketing the universe with resumes (one simply included the words “Thank you.”). The only thing keeping me from sleeping through this letter was its impossibly bad format, which made me want to see how awful it was going to get. I also noticed the terrible grammar and formatting, which certainly did not endear the candidate to me.

Of course, my point is that your resume and cover letter should look nothing like the foregoing. It should be engaging, succinct, and address the hiring manager’s needs, not yours. Your professional resume and cover letter writer knows how to select the right language that will make the hiring manager or recruiter want to read your career documentation, so if you don’t feel confident that your skills are in promoting your area of expertise, you might want to consider hiring someone who does this every day.

How to Drive a CAR through Your Resume

Imagine this scenario: You’re driving in your car. The car is about three years old. It’s in pretty good shape—never needed any major repairs. You realize that your brakes are getting soft. You ask yourself, “Should I repair my own brakes, or should I take it to the car mechanic? Which is a more valuable use of my time?”

Now, maybe some of you out there are weekend grease monkeys. Maybe you have lifts, used auto parts, and skills. But if you’re like me, you probably have no idea what to check, how to think about what parts you need, or what repairs to make (is it the brakes? the shoes? the rotors?). And you have no idea if any of your repair attempts will get your car in working order.

Let’s go out on a limb and suggest that you’re an expert in your field, just not in car repair. Likely you’re not an expert in resume writing, either. Take your car to the mechanic, and take your job search to the next level by hiring a Certified Advanced Resume Writer to get your job search on track.

When you hire a professional resume writer, you get specific one-on-one attention to your personal history. Professional resume writers know the kinds of questions to ask to elicit the best accomplishments that belong on a resume. We work with executives, professionals, and entry-level candidates, tailoring our interviews to the specific needs of each client.

Once a resume professional has the best information about the client’s best expertise, she writes the resume to highlight the ways that the client is the best candidate for the job. She will take advantage of training, certifications, and the best practices the resume industry has to offer to develop a tailored marketing package that gets interviews.

If you’re not a car mechanic, you probably want an expert to slide under your car. If you’re a job seeker, you want an expert professional resume writer to develop career documents that get you the interview you deserve. Contact Inscribe / Express to find out how a professional resume writer can improve your job search success.

For more information about collaborating with a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, visit my site: www.inscribeexpress.com.