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Why Cover Letter Samples for Entry Level Jobs Donít Always Work
For many first time job seekers a cover letter sample for an entry level job seems like just the resource they need to land the position that will put them on the fast track to success. However, just like the old saying goes about how if you "give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for life" these neophyte job-hunters would be better off receiving some good advice.
Even though a cover letter sample for entry level jobs will provide a short term solution to their dilemma as the alter the letter to match their particular circumstance, the entry level job seeker is likely to be disappointed. The cover letter samples for entry level jobs tend to be so badly written and generic that they rarely, if ever, make the kind of impression that leads to the interview that gets the job.
Write Your Own Cover Letter Sample for an Entry Level Job
In the long run, jobseekers who rely on cover letter samples for entry level jobs to provide their guidelines for writing cover letters will fare even worse. Even if they get lucky and land the job, they will never learn the simple rules of cover letter writing and will be in exactly the same situation again the next time they need to write a cover letter and apply for a position.
Instead of a cover letter for sample entry level job applications, this site will provide a conceptual framework for what makes a great entry level cover letter. Basically the entry level cover letter writer needs to think of the cover letter as his sales representative to the Hiring Manager. Not a summary of the resume, not a personal note to show the Hiring Manager how personable the applicant is, not a chance to show off the applicantís smarts --- a sales representative for that candidate.
This helps to explain why a cover letter sample for an entry level job is not going to work for the candidate. To be truly effective, a sales representative needs to be fully informed and aware of the prospective customer and the product that he or she is selling and to tailor the sales pitch to the specifics of both. A cover letter sample for an entry level job will never be able to achieve that level of specificity.
Put Your Super Salesman to Work for You
To secure a sale, a sales representative must do three things. The sales representative must secure the attention of the potential customer. The sales representative must convince the potential customer that the product he or she is selling provides the best solution to the problem that the prospective customer faces. The sales representative must convert the prospective customer to an actual customer. In other words, he or she must close the deal and inspire the customer to take the action necessary to complete the transaction.
Looking through the various cover letter samples for entry level jobs should give you an idea about what kind of attention grabbing techniques various cover letter writers have used. Some start with a thought provoking question. Others simply begin with an introduction. Others donít really try that hard and merely begin the cover letter plainly.
Itís always a mistake to be too contrived and gimmicky and lose credibility with some attention grabbing tactics. But at the same time, starting off without some sort of bang could lose the busy and impatient reader before youíve made your pitch. A good compromise is a simple and direct headline, in all caps that summarizes what you are offering in a way that stands out to the reader.
A Good Way to Start
For instance, starting the cover letter with something along the lines of "AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY: ENTHUSIASTIC ENTRY LEVEL EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT" immediately lets the reader know what he or she will get by continuing to read.
Once youíve got the attention, the next step is to use it to make the case that you are the solution to the business problem that the Hiring Manager is hoping to solve. Obviously to answer this question, you will need to have a clear and accurate idea in your mind about what the problem is. Remember, the more completely you are able to answer this the better. For instance, the problem is not "the department needs a great sales assistant." The problem might be that the sales executives are wasting their valuable time doing entry level tasks that distract them from using their experience and expertise. The problem might be that the volume of business has grown to the point that another employee is needed to handle the overflow. The problem might be that one of the seasoned workers is planning on leaving soon and a replacement needs to be found to take over his or her duties. Or the problem might be a combination of these factors.
In these cases, the solution is "the department needs a great sales assistant." To help you determine this, you are obviously going to need to do some research. A good place to start is with the job description and with a little bit of knowledge about the department and business where the opening is found. Furthermore, without going overboard, it will help to take a little higher level perspective and think about the company overall and what it does and what challenges it faces. On a more mundane note, itís a necessity to find out the name and contact details about the Hiring Manager while you are at it.
Now, Youíre Ready to Start Writing
When you have all this information clearly in your mind, itís time to make your pitch. The purpose, again, is to show and tell and prove that you are the solution to the problem that the business faces. To prove this, you are going to indicate that you understand the problem and that you have the following characteristics that make you the best choice to solve it. To make this case, you can use your education, your characteristics, your interests, your achievements, your accomplishments, whatever you believe is relevant to proving that you can solve their problem.
Most of all, you want to highlight your prior experience solving that problem for someone else. If you can prove that you already know how to solve that problem and in fact have done it many, many times already, this is the best argument that you can make. Having solved the problem already makes you a sure bet, someone that can come in and begin doing the job from the first day and much more likely to get the interview. Naturally, since this is an entry level job, you might be a little limited in your job experiences that you can use as proof of your problem solving expertise, but you probably have other things you can offer instead, such as internships.
Enthusiasm Matters a Lot
Immediately following this section of the cover letter sample for entry level jobs put a couple of sentences explaining and illustrating the enthusiasm you hold for the job and for the challenges it presents. Every employer prefers to hire someone who loves their job over someone who is begrudgingly performing it for the paycheck, so be sure to establish that you are in the first category.
Lastly, you need to close the deal. If the sales representative were selling a house or car, this is the point where he or she would be getting the contract ready to sign and handing the customer a pen. But since itís a cover letter, this is the point where you ask the Hiring Manager to give you a call to set up the interview. Donít assume that he or she knows what to do already, or where to find your phone number on the resume. Go ahead and tell him or her that you are looking forward to sharing your enthusiasm for the job in person and that you can be reached at this number.
Close the letter with something along the lines of "thank you" and leave space for the signature.
The Final Flourish that Catches the Eye
After the signature, put one of the secret weapons of cover letters that you will never se on a cover letter sample for entry level jobs --- a Post Script, or PS.
Thereís something about human nature that makes us unable to read a Post Script, usually before reading the rest of the letter, and adding one will ensure that he Hiring Manager at least glances at your letter. So put something that reiterates your enthusiasm and eagerness for the position.
Once youíve written the letter itís time to take a break and get away from the computer for a while. When you come back, print the letter up and read it out loud to see how it sounds to you. It should be a natural, smooth and logical letter.
If there are parts that sound awkward, this is the time to change them. Likewise, if there are fancy words that you have put in there to make the letter sound more formal, this is a great time to take those out as well. The cover letter should be an honest representative of the sort of person you are in person, and should pretty much sound like you would if you were there speaking to the Hiring Manager.
Once youíve got it edited to your approval, print it up on white or ivory paper and mail it in with a matching resume. Or cut and paste it and send it to the Hiring Manager with a word document of your resume attached.
Send With Confidence
If you have followed these guidelines correctly, you can send it with the confidence that this letter will be better than 99% of the cover letter samples for entry level jobs that will share its space in the inbox.
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