In the ultra-competitive job market of today's world, it's getting tougher and tougher to find a decent job that pays well. Statistics show that it could easily take the average American over 9 months to find a job, and even then there's no guarantee that the job he gets is one that's going to take him the places he wants to go. Would not it be great to have some sort of edge over the competition?
Well, there is such an edge. Your cover letter is that edge, as having the right cover letter with the right follow-up action could cement your chances of getting that sweet job that allows you to live comfortably and without constant financial worries. Sounds pretty good, does not it? Well, read on!
Cover letters are not quite what they used to be nowdays … they've become almost a simple necessity, as standard as the resume to which they're attached. Getting a really good job without one is almost impossible, and even with one it's getting to be tough and competitive. Your cover letter has to be a gorgeous example, and if you really want to boost your chances you should have some solid follow-up action on your part.
Here are just a few abbreviated tips for when you're composing your cover letter:
- Always make sure your cover letter is 100% free of spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Grade-school mistakes do not cut it in the big time.
- Research the company and the position thoroughly before ever writing your letter. Know what you're getting into, so you can sound like you have a clue in your letter.
- Never send your cover letter to Human Resources or whatever their employment department is. Find out who has the singular power to hire you, and make sure your cover letter gets on his / her desk.
- Keep your cover letter to a page maximum. Most employers will not read any further than that anyways.
- Make every word count. With the size restrictions, you do not have valuable space to waste on irrelevant personal information or rehashing your resume. Vital info only.
- Avoid sounding desperate, even if you are. It does not make the employee want to hire you any more … if anything, it makes them want to hire you less.
- Be the driving force behind making an appointment for an interview. Do not wait for them to call you, tell them in your letter when you plan to call to make the appointment … and DO it.
Always remember that your amazing cover letter is only half the battle, really more like a third. Before you write your cover letter, the first third is to do your research. THEN the cover letter. Last, the final third is your follow-up. Think of it like being in high school and taking a 3-question test that counts for your entire class grade. Getting 3/3 right is 100% … A +, wonderful! Getting a 2/3 is roughly 66% … D, awful. 1/3 … well, you do the math.
Probably the best advice I can give you right now is for you to be proactive through the entire process. Get out there, do everything you can with a feverish dedication. Ok, maybe you should not be "feverish," but take no shortcuts and drive forward. Employers respect someone who has that extra "oomph" it takes to get the job done. Sending out some cookie-cutter cover letter to every business on the block and waiting for responses is not going to get you a job with any of them.
If you have that drive to succeed, you will. It may not be with the first company you apply to, but you WILL impress SOMEONE. Get in front of people, get aware. Your cover letter can get you noticed … if it's written well, and delivered to the right person.