Engaging Your Audience in Job Search – The Cover Letter (Part I of II)

This may seem like a rather simplistic article title, however, the goal is to have you think about the importance of your cover letters within your job search toolkit.

The cover letter is like the opening of a new book you are considering purchasing. If the first few paragraphs or pages embrace you, and totally grab your attention, you will undoubtedly go ahead and make the purchase. The same holds true for your cover letters.

This is not to suggest that the layout and content of your resume is not important, as of course they are. However, this is not the first page that prospective new employers will be, or should be, viewing.

We have 20 seconds or less to create an immediate and positive impression, thus enticing our readers to take the time to move forward, continuing to read our entire submission, which should be no more than three (3) pages.

There has been much written about how to go about creating and circulating cover letters, that is; should they be ‘individualized’ for each position and ‘industry’, or is it better to have a ‘general’ cover letter that is succinct, and immediately delivers the message that we are talented professionals within our niche.

Whichever method you choose to go with, and the one which you feel most comfortable with, should yield the same positive results – feedback!

As long as your cover letter is professional in terms of salutation, structure, content, and closing, and takes up no more than three quarters of a page, with equal top and bottom margins, you should not experience any negative response.

To draw a parallel, look at famous movie stars – they love to be in the news as much, and as often as possible, because even ‘bad’ press is better than ‘no press’ at all – take Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan for example.

Once a return communication is established, you can take control and move forward. How do you do this? Respond with a reiteration of keen interest in the firm, and the position that you have applied for to begin with.

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Jenni Proctor

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