True or False
different experts about cover letters and they will give you to
different answers. I’m so confused I have no idea what works and
what doesn’t. Here are four statements that produce a variety of
1. T F Every
cover letter should have three main thoughts.
2. T F One good
cover letter will work for every employer.
3. T F A cover
letter should convey your personality, style, and taste.
4. T F Employers
don't expect perfection. A typo in your cover letter isn't
a sufficient reason to reject your
Please tell me
what you think.
are my thoughts to add to the other 10 experts.
1. Every cover letter should have three main
Did the word
"every" bamboozle you, because you thought that every, always,
and never are dead giveaways to a false statement? This question
is a good example of how the exception proves the rule.
cover letters should include:
* Why you
are specifically interested in the potential employer
* Why the
employer should be particularly interested in you
and how you will be contacting your addressee to follow up on
your letter and schedule an appointment.
sets you apart from your competition, states exactly why an
employer needs to talk to you, and makes clear your intention to
proactively pursue this opportunity.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world where you
always know the name of the company, the individual you are
contacting and the specific qualifications required for the job.
If you are replying to a blind ad, which only gives a box number
or provides a hazy or nonexistent job description, you can't
compose an ideal cover letter. Consequently, you should
carefully consider the likelihood of a semi-generic letter
yielding positive results. If you decide the opening is worth
pursuing, go for it, but don't waste your time on marginal
2. One good cover letter will work for every
letter and resume should be targeted sales tools, not generic
bits of prose, which attempt to be all things to all people.
Consider how a salesperson approaches a customer who might be
interested in a product or service. First, she determines the
client's specific needs. Then she prepares a verbal/written
proposal highlighting how she will fulfill them. She knows that
discussing extraneous products is a waste of everyone's valuable
that go to companies unsolicited or in response to an ad
generally have a very poor track record for getting their
writers jobs, because they fail to address the potential
employer's needs and expectations. If you want your cover letter
and resume to result in an interview, do some research and
tailor it to grab the recruiter's attention.
3. A cover letter should convey your personality,
style and taste. True
written by professional cover letter writers can be deadly,
especially if they are developed with little or no input from
you. All of us have pet phrases and formats when we write. If
you give a resume consultant a free hand in composing your
letter, you may not recognize yourself.
that your letter represents you personally, write it yourself,
or if you are consumed by writer's block, collaborate with a
savvy professional. Your ideas and phraseology should play a
pivotal role in helping your letter stand out from the crowd and
giving the recruiter a tantalizing glimpse of your potential
4. Employers don't expect perfection. A typo in your
cover letter isn't a sufficient reason to reject an application.
Even the most
understanding employer will be very critical of typos in your
cover letter and resume. She assumes you are exhibiting your
very best effort in these two documents. If she sees a mistake
in one of them, it is only natural for her to question your
attention to detail and concern for quality.
give or send a cover letter to anyone, ask a friend to review
it. Because you have written it yourself, you may automatically
read what you intend to say, rather than what is actually there.
Your friend, on the other hand, has no preconceived notions and
is more likely to catch a missing "and" or a misspelled word.
If you decide
to use a service to send out a number of resumes, always check
each document before it is mailed. Like the taxpayer whose
income tax return is audited because his accountant made a
mistake, the buck stops with you. Your cover letter preparer may
feel just terrible about his unfortunate glitch, but it's your
career that's on the line.