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Are You Following the Cover Letter Standards Employers Expect to See?

Communication styles have changed in the last few years with technology. Instant messaging, text messaging, Twitter, and the likes have trained us to use abbreviated words, sentence structure, and punctuation only rarely. Unfortunately, most businesses require formal communication styles, and not just because they are stuck in a time warp. Business communications carry legal implications, which are exactly the result of the words and punctuation chosen. A single misplaced comma or misspelled word can completely change the meaning of sentences, paragraphs, and entire cover letters in a legal sense.

Like law, businesses must maintain proper English standards and employers expect to see you do the same, even in email. When drafting your cover letter be sure to:

1. Spell correctly – a single typo can cause your resume to be rejected. Businesses cannot afford to hire people who do not take the time to proofread their work, especially when they are trying to make their best impression.

2. Punctuate properly – basic punctuation needs to be correct. A missed comma in a legal agreement can change an entire litigation case.

3. Avoid complex sentences – multiple independent clauses and compound sentences are harder to punctuate and harder to read and comprehend unless written skillfully.

4. State your qualifications – do not rely on the resume to make your case for being interviewed because it will not get read unless you create interest in the cover letter. Include summary statements of your most relevant skills.

5. Ask for the interview – you have to close the sale by asking for the order: the interview. You should offer to meet at the convenience of the employer with limited availability, but be very clear that you want to interview for the job.

If you follow these proven cover letter standards, your resume has a greater chance of being reviewed, and you have a better chance of getting the interview.

Find out more about resume writing and job interview questions. Copyright 2009© by Joe Beeswax

BoomersNextStep Guest Author

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