Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A Little Cover Letter Therapy
A while back, I told you about my all-time-FAVE resume book, Gallery of Best Resumes. I guess now would be the time to tell you about my all-time-FAVE cover letter book. And you guessed it- it's called the Gallery of Best Cover Letters and it's also by Dr. David F. Noble.
At a time when there is a huge demand in the job market, one way to set yourself apart is to have a creative cover letter. I've discovered over the years that the cover letter is oftentimes thought of as second-rate compared to the resume. In a way, the cover letter can be more important because it is usually the first document the prospective employer sees. Also, us creative folks tend to think we can "get away" with having a so-so CVL. If you've ever neglected your cover letter writing skills, here's a few tips from Noble to get you in gear.
1. Your resume and cover letter should work together in presenting you effectively. The cover letter should draw attention to the most important information in the resume, the information you want the reader to be certain to see.
2. The main purpose of the cover letter is to express that you want to do the work required, while the resume shows that you can do the work required.
3. You should allow plenty of time to write and revise...and revise...and revise....a cover letter to get it just right for a particular reader. You really want the cover letter to completely error-free and fully reflect your extreme desire to land the job.
The cover letter above is by far one of my favorites in Noble's book. It's geared toward the retail industry, which I LOVE. In my findings, a lot of books out there don't have good examples of fashion and retail positions. This letter also has a very creative format that links the job seeker's qualifications to company requirements line by line. Bullets in both columns help the reader see matching items from column to column.
Another perk of Noble's book is its list of formatting, content, grammar and punctuation tips. There are also a few great resume samples in the back of the book. If you're ready to revamp your cover letter, I highly suggest grabbing a copy of Noble's book. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!