Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cover Letters Count

I was talking to a professor last weekend who told me that when he left his two-year post doctoral fellowship at Stanford his supervising faculty told him that the only reason he brought him to interview for the position was because he WAS THE ONLY CANDIDATE WITHOUT A TYPO ON HIS COVER LETTER! Subsequently, he was hired and is thriving in his field; all that because he wrote a strong, well-written cover letter.

There is always debate among career counselors and recruiters alike as to how important a cover letter really is. I consider it an essential job search piece as it can be a strong writing sample demonstrating a candidate's skill in communication. These days, when communication can be whittled down to a LOL or BRB, any demonstration of this skill is highly valued.

Whether ten people read your cover letter or just one, it's important that it be perfectly written and include these three main points:
  • Catchy introduction... why you are applying
  • Strong pitch... your skills, experience, and passion for the position
  • Call to action... what you want, how to reach you

Don't underestimate the power of a cover letter!

For tips on writing your cover letter click here.

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