Job Seeker Blog

Cover Letters: You Are What You Write
CampusCareerCenter.comHow and what you write tells potential employers a great deal about your professionalism, competence, and personality. Being busy people, employers make quick judgements about you based upon limited information presented to them. Within only a few seconds, your written message motivates them to either select you in or take you out of consideration for a job interview. Neglect the importance of a dynamite cover letter--and other types of job search letters--and you neglect one of the most important elements in a successful job search.

The art of good letter writing is more important than ever in today's busy world where many different channels and mediums of communication must compete for limited attention. When you initially meet strangers through the written word, you essentially are what you write. Readers of your letters draw certain conclusions about your professionalism, competence and personality based on both the form and content of your written message. If, for example, you write poorly organized and constructed letters, employers will conclude you are a disorganized individual. If you make grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors, employers may conclude you are a careless person who is likely to make errors on the job; or perhaps you lack basic literacy skills. If you type your letter on cheap paper, use a typewriter or dot matrix printer that produces unattractive print, or mass produce your letter on a copy machine, you communicate a lack of class. Worst of all, such choices make the wrong impression on the employer--he or she does not appear important enough to you to warrant a quality presentation of your qualifications. If you fail to accurately address an employer by his or her proper name, title, and address, you communicate other negative messages--you're probably lazy because you didn't take the time to determine to whom the letter should be targeted.

In the end, employers don't want to be bothered with incompetent, inconsiderate, and lazy individuals. They don't want to talk with them nor see them. They definitely have no interest in putting them on their payroll! What they really seek are individuals who are likely to add value to their operations and thereby raise the company's I.Q. They examine your written communication for signals of probable value-added behavior. The key questions for you is this: Does my letter and resume' indicate that I will add value to this company?

Excerpted from the book, DYNAMITE COVER LETTERS and OTHER GREAT JOB SEARCH LETTERS, Ronald L. Krannich, Ph.D. and Caryl Rae Krannich, Ph.D., Impact Publications; Manassas Park, VA

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