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Another reason your free cover letter could be the kiss of death for your resume is that you are using the same free cover letter for each company you are applying for. Not only have you landed your resume in the trash with one company by submitting a cover letter such as the free one you obtained but you landed your resume in the trash with each place you have applied at. Your cover letter should not only be fresh and unique it must be a fresh and unique cover letter for each place in which you are applying. Never submit the same cover letter to more than one prospective employer.
Anyone who has read a few of my articles will know that I do not place much emphasis on resumes and by extension cover letters. I am a big believer that the most effective job search strategies revolve around networking and using contacts to land interview opportunities. Nevertheless there is certainly a place for cover letters and resumes in this process. Of the two for my money the cover letter is the more important. Why? Because the cover letter is the approach. In relationship terms how many guys have ended up punting because they blew the approach? The best resume written with scintillating panache will mean nothing if the reader cannot get past the cover letter.
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This section of your cover letter should be brief and to the point in addressing the needs of the prospective employer. It should be one paragraph long and highlight your qualifications for the position in which you have applied for. So do not allow yourself to be hindered by the example set forth within the cover letter example that you are using. When using your cover letter example checklist look and see if the cover letter example that you are thinking of using shows you how and where to point out to the prospective employer what it is about their company that you like. You should place this below the paragraph in which you tell them why you are fit for the job in which you are applying for. This should be about one paragraph long and should briefly tell them what it is about their specific company that you like as the reasons why you wish to work there. If you are unsure about what it is that you like then do some digging into the company so that you can give them specific reasons. Most cover letter examples when they do show you where to place this paragraph only give you a generalized version of what to write.