August Cohen calls in with a great ip about formatting your cover letter. 30 sec (download mp3)
One listener also wrote in:
My name is Janet Ruck. I am the co-author of the recently published book – “Guide to America’s Federal Jobs”. I am a career coach with experience in the private and federal sectors.
What is the best way to craft a cover letter? The most important thing to remember about a cover letter is that it markets your resume, which markets you. A cover letter gets your resume read – a resume gets you an interview – an interview gets you a job.
There are no generic cover letters: You need to spend time targeting your cover letter to the job that you are applying for.
A cover letter is divided into 3 main sections:
- Introduction – the first paragraph tells the reader how you learned about the position.
- Body – provides some specifics about your skills and qualifications for the job
- Closing – what action you are seeking, usually this is where you request an intervie
Always remember who your reader is: the person who will be interviewing you for a job. Write for this reader – what does he or she need to know about you to interest him/her to read your resume?
Remember the “WIIFM: What’s In It for Me?” from the perspective of the reader and ultimately the interviewer. What do you have to offer that will benefit the employer?
If you remember to market yourself from the point of view of the reader, your cover letter will get your resume read which, in turn, will get you the interview, which is how you get the job!