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Cover Letter No - No’s (What Kills the Chances of Yours Getting Read) By J.T. O’Donnell
An estimeated 50% of recruiters never read cover letters. It’s no wonder why. After speaking to several recruiters, here’s what they shared.
When they open a cover letter, if they skim it and see it's just a repetition of what is already in the resume, they skip reading it. A cover letter isn’t a resume. A resume is fact-based summary of your skills and accomplishments. A cover letter is your chance to share with the employer how you feel aligned with their company, mission, product, service, etc.
If you want to improve the chances of your cover letter getting read, then you need to give it a F.A.C.E. Lift. You should focus on the content of the letter to include...
Always start with an exciting statement. Don’t be afraid to open the cover letter with a bold statement such as ● ● ● I remember the first time I used your product. My life changed the day I learned to…. I’ve been tied to your company for 10+ years. These are wonderful openers that engage the reader to pay attention to the story you are telling them.
Format Clean-lined font, 11 point in size, lefttext justified with one-inch margins. Stay clear of fancy, scripted fonts and tiny type - both make it impossible to read. And, keep margins in place so there is plenty of whitespace on the page for easier reading.
Attitude Use conversational speech (no fancy words) and don't be afraid to show enthusiasm. This is your chance to let your personality show.
Connection Discuss how you feel connected to the company's product, service, mission, business model, etc. You have to share how you feel part of their corporate tribe.
Experience Tell a story about a personal or professional experience that taught you how important the work is they are doing. Find a way to back-up the connection you share with them by validating it with an experience that taught you what they do is valuable.
These are wonderful openers that engage the reader to pay attention to the story you are sharing with them. And, if you do a great job, they'll be inspired to go over and check out your resume, too - they might even give it the proper attention it deserves!
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