I had a phone consultation with a client who was working multiple part-time jobs while searching for a single, better-paying job. The conversation went something like this:
Question: “Do I really need a cover letter?”
Answer: “Yes, if you want to make a good first impression,” I replied. “A cover letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself and express your interest in the position. In a cover letter, you can mention talking points that are not normally included in a resume.”
Question: “Can I create a generic cover letter?”
Answer: “Situation-specific cover letters get better results.”
Question: “What do you mean?”
Answer: “Cover letters are like t-shirts. One-size doesn’t fit all. Generic, templated letters give the prospective employer the wrong impression that you are sloppy or insincere. For optimal results, write a strong letter of interest.”
Question: “I’m overwhelmed. Where do I start?"
Answer: "Consider your audience."
Here are a few ideas for cold call letters:
Keep your cover letter concise and to the point.
Customize a lean cover letter focused on the employer’s needs.
At Written by a Pro, we offer cover letter and resume review services, professional writing services, and job search strategies to help you land your dream job fast!
Today, the Punctuation Police issued an all-points bulletin that reads, “Be on the lookout for a serial comma killer who goes by the initials A.P. Here’s what we know: The suspect has severed all ties with the Style Guide Gang, is estranged from his college buddies A.P.A. and M.L.A., and has disassociated from his colleagues Chicago and Gregg. We have uncovered evidence that A.P. has repeatedly erased commas falling before the word ‘and’ in a series of three or more items.”
Mission Possible spoke with another officer who told us, “In the beginning of his crime spree, A.P. was acting alone, armed with an eraser that was lethal to serial commas written in pen and pencil.”
A.P.’s mother cried, “I'm afraid that A.P. has lost all comma sense.”
The police officer added, “We believe A.P. has recruited the help of the backspace and delete keys on your computer keyboard. This is serious cause for concern.”
In light of this new development, we encourage job seekers to examine every list of three or more items found in their career correspondence to ensure no further loss of comma life.
In a statement to the media, the remaining members of the Style Guide Gang made this heartfelt plea to citizens, authors, and journalists: “Serial commas provide clarity and consistency in writing. They deserve to be protected in contemporary American usage.”
I’m Sharla Taylor, reporting live from Mission Possible Headquarters. We’re dedicated to keeping you informed of the latest happenings in the written world. Read more at “Punctuated with Humor.”
Copyright 2016 by Sharla Taylor. All rights reserved.
MISSION POSSIBLE: Land a Great Job Fast - Increase Your Interview Opportunities, Write a Killer Cover Letter
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a captivating cover letter—one that grabs your future employer by the shirt collar and compels him or her to pick up the phone, dial your number, and offer you an interview!
Your primary objectives are to:
Five easy steps to write a killer cover letter:
Sharla Taylor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Career Enlightenment LinkedIn Writer (CCELW), experienced job search strategist, and published author. Sharla is the owner of Written by a Pro, a freelance writing and editing service. She approaches her business from a Christian perspective. Her favorite Scripture is Matthew 19:26 "with God all things are possible."
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Austin Farmer, graphic artist, is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where he majored in Industrial Design and minored in Architecture. Austin creates marketing materials for businesses and uses his artistic and musical talents to enhance the worship service at Savannah Christian Church. His favorite Scripture passage is Isaiah 12:2.