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In addition to being brief the cover letter should be descriptive and informative about your intention to work for the company. To accomplish that cover letters follow a specific structure. A cover letter because it is only a page long covers only three paragraphs. Through those three paragraphs you are supposed to answer three questions in the reviewer s mind since the recruitment officer is trained to follow the letter s structure. The Structure First introduce yourself and your intent to apply for the position. This is done in the first paragraph.
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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Therefore a personalized cover letter which conveys these things are the only way to ensure a job interview. In the thousands of sites mentioned earlier every one of them will make promises of how their cover letter is a guaranteed way to get an interview. Some of the sites may even promise that their cover letter is so personalized that it will be just like it was written by you. However that s just not true. Generic cover letters no matter how "personalized" the site claim have a completely different feel than truly personal cover letters. Everyone has different job skills flaws and strengths and experience and it is impossible for one generic cover letter to cover all possible angles. Don t fall for the gimmick and remember the same type of sales pitch which even makes people consider using a generic cover letter is the same type of pitch one needs to use when selling themselves to a potential employer. What this all boils down to is take the time to write a cover letter for each particular job.