Cover Letter No Nos

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Cover Letter No - No’s (What Kills the Chances of Yours Getting Read) By J.T. O’Donnell

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An estimeated 50% of recruiters never read cover letters. It’s no wonder why. After speaking to several recruiters, here’s what they shared.

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When they open a cover letter, if they skim it and see it's just a repetition of what is already in the resume, they skip reading it. A cover letter isn’t a resume. A resume is fact-based summary of your skills and accomplishments. A cover letter is your chance to share with the employer how you feel aligned with their company, mission, product, service, etc.

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If you want to improve the chances of your cover letter getting read, then you need to give it a F.A.C.E. Lift. You should focus on the content of the letter to include...

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Always start with an exciting statement. Don’t be afraid to open the cover letter with a bold statement such as ● ● ● I remember the first time I used your product. My life changed the day I learned to…. I’ve been tied to your company for 10+ years. These are wonderful openers that engage the reader to pay attention to the story you are telling them.

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Format Clean-lined font, 11 point in size, lefttext justified with one-inch margins. Stay clear of fancy, scripted fonts and tiny type - both make it impossible to read. And, keep margins in place so there is plenty of whitespace on the page for easier reading.

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Attitude Use conversational speech (no fancy words) and don't be afraid to show enthusiasm. This is your chance to let your personality show.

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Connection Discuss how you feel connected to the company's product, service, mission, business model, etc. You have to share how you feel part of their corporate tribe.

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Experience Tell a story about a personal or professional experience that taught you how important the work is they are doing. Find a way to back-up the connection you share with them by validating it with an experience that taught you what they do is valuable.

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These are wonderful openers that engage the reader to pay attention to the story you are sharing with them. And, if you do a great job, they'll be inspired to go over and check out your resume, too - they might even give it the proper attention it deserves!

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