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Why Viewing a Free Cover Letter Could Cost You a Shot at Your Dream Job
A quick view of a free cover letter can be a good way to get started writing the sort of attention grabbing, interview landing cover letter that you need to write to get a job. After all, when you view a free cover letter that gives you some of the basic information that you need to know to make sure that your cover letter is formatted correctly and looks more or less like other cover letters. So there is nothing wrong with wanting to view a free cover letter.
Where job seekers get into trouble is when they are less interested in viewing a free cover letter than they are in copying that free cover letter and using it as their own. These job seekers, nervous about writing the "wrong" thing in their cover letter and perhaps anxious about the time constraints of getting a cover letter in before the rush of other applicants, think that a quick and easy solution is to simply change some words around in a free cover letter they find online or in a book and send it.
Youíre Always the Last to Know
Unfortunately, these job seekers are wrong/ whatís worse, they will continue to be wrong for a very long time, without even knowing it. After all, itís highly unlikely that the Hiring Manager is going to call the candidate and say "well we love your resume, but your cover letter struck us as being a bit boring and stale and frankly something that weíve seen before a thousand times. We arenít interested in hiring someone that is incapable of expressing themselves originally and clearly, so weíve gone with someone else. Sorry."
Instead, the applicant will simply never hear from the Hiring Manager again. So they will continue to send out the same, stolen, boring, stale free cover letter over and over. They will grow old and bitter, trapped in a dead end, boring job or worse yet no job at all, sending out cover letter after cover letter without ever having success finding a new position. As their failures mount, they will become hateful and mean, driving away the ones that loved them. So they wind up alone, homeless and miserable, squatting underneath a bridge wearing tattered plastic sacks for shoes and begging passersby for pizza crusts to feed themselves and sustain their horrible, wretched existence for just a few hours longer. Hoping against hope that their efforts will finally pay off and that the hiring manager will call them at long last to come in for a job interview.
But of course that call will never come, and even if it did the cover letter copier would never be able to receive it because he or she is homeless, remember? And homeless people donít have phones, not even prepaid mobile phones, because where would they charge them up? Itís not like there are electrical sockets underneath that bridge, are there?
So anyhow. The moral of the story is that feel free to view a free cover letter, but donít copy it and send it out or you will be homeless and alone and searching in vain for an electric socket near the nest of cardboard boxes you call home.
Use a Free Cover Letter, Donít Abuse a Free Cover Letter
Instead, take a quick view of a free cover letter and get a sense for the format of the professional cover letter.
See how the addresses are ordered? Note the use of the paragraph spaces? Notice how the writer begins and ends the letter and the professional font and spelling and spacing and margins of the letter? All of these factors are well worth emulating as you write your own cover letter.
As for the content, that is easy to write for yourself. All you need to do is prepare yourself to write the letter with a little advance research and to follow a few simple guidelines.
Start Right and Youíre Halfway Home
Lets start with the research. First, do you know the name and department of the person that will be making the hiring decisions? Additionally, do you now the name of the position and the types of duties that the position requires? Do you know what kind of work the company does? Do you have a general sense of how that company relates in size and market share with other companies in the same field? Do you know of any particular strategies that the company is currently undertaking? Do you know of any changes that the company is going through right now, either in business are marketing or internal practices? The more of these questions you can at least answer to yourself, the better you will be able to anticipate what the problems the business most wants to solve with their new hire.
And, naturally, once you know what the problem they most want to solve is you will be that much better placed to offer yourself as the solution to that exact problem.
A good place to start to look for this information is ht internet. Another good source is someone that you know in your friend or family network that works in a similar field or industry.
Write It Right, Right Away
Once youíve got all this information in your head, the rest is simple. In a clear and direct way, you want to get the Hiring Managerís attention, to establish that you understand the business problem he or she faces, prove that you are the best solution to that problem, tell the Hiring Manager what he or she needs to do to move forward in the hiring process and then sign off. Itís all quite logical, yet so specific that a view of a free cover letter or even copying that letter would never be able to get it all right.
Getting the Hiring Managerís attention is quite easy. After all he or she is looking through the pile of cover letters sitting on his or her desk or on the computer screen desperate for the solution to his or her most pressing business problem. When he or she sees a clue that the solution to that problem is to be found in the cover letter and resume of a candidate, his or her attention is riveted. So the best strategy for making that attention be directed to your letter is to put a clue in big, bold letters right where the Hiring Manager can see it first thing when he or she lays eyes on the cover letter.
Something like "EXPERIENCED SALES MANAGER AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY" for instance, will usually work.
Make Your Case
Now youíve got the attention, the next step is to convince the Hiring manager that you are aware of his or her biggest business problem and offer a solution to that problem. This takes place in a paragraph or two in which you describe the ways that you have solved that problem for your former and current employers many times over. Additionally, you might want to include information about you education or training or other factors that strengthen your argument.
Besides experience, the second part of the equation is to show a corresponding level of excitement and enthusiasm. Most employers would rather hire someone that loves their job and wants to be there doing their job out of passion. So after the problem-solving paragraph, include a couple of sentences that explain what you enjoy so much about your job and why you want to pursue this as a career.
If youíve done your job right in this letter as the Hiring Manger gets to the end, he or she is thinking one thing "how do I get this person on my staff?"
Thatís where the third part of the cover letter comes in. The last part is when you tell the reader what he or she has to do to bring you to the next step. In most cases, this is calling you up for an interview. If so, just come ahead and say that. A phrase like "I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with you in person. Please call me up so that we can schedule an interview" says that about as well as anything else.
You Deserve a Break Today
Now sign off and get away from your computer screen for a few hours.
When you come back, give the letter a couple of read throughs for clarity an flow. A really great way to see if it sounds natural and clear is to read it out loud. Do some parts sound confusing and awkward? This is your chance to fix them. Remember that fancy words and phrases are not the goal here. You want to sound clear, friendly, direct and intelligent.
Once youíve got the letter edited to your satisfaction, print it up on a white or ivory paper and mail it with a matching resume. Or if you are sending it by email, cut and paste it into the body along with a copy of the resume.
As it goes off, be confident that you are sending out a first class and effective cover letter, much better than a quick view or copy of a free cover letter could give you. And that you arenít going to wind up living beneath an overpass.
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