Indeed Cover Letter
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.
In fact I am unaware of any institution other than Universities which offer career centers which give any sort of education on how to write an effective cover letter. Thankfully there are only a few things to remember when it comes to writing a good cover letter. One of the key elements to writing a good cover letter is the first sentence. It should be a strong sentence and grasp the reader s attention and then should keep building. It is also important to address a good cover letter to the actual individual that is overseeing hiring for that position. This may require a little research but it will be worth it in the end. Once the first paragraph has the hiring manager s attention it s all downhill. The second part of a good cover letter is the paragraph which sells the job-seeker. This should be a carefully worded concise paragraph that contains aspects of personality and expands on job experience. The point of this paragraph in a good cover letter is to let the hiring manager know what the company will reap if they are chosen. The hiring process is tedious for all parties so the hiring manager wants to ensure the person they take on is the right individual.
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When applying for an Internship it is important to stand out amongst the crowd. Remember Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and her pink paper resume? While that is just a movie and colored paper is not recommended the concept is still the same-- Be unique and get their attention. A passionate and focused cover letter is the key to getting that desired Internship. An internship cover letter should reflect the potential one had has. Most people who apply for an Internship do not have resumes filled with career related experience. It is the cover letter which is going to be the deciding factor.
A cover letter is as easy to come by as going to "Google" or some other search engine and typing in "sample cover letter". There are thousands upon thousands of options out there ready to have information plugged into the appropriate spots and sent out. However a cover letter like this is generic. The definition of generic is: characteristic of or relating to a class or group of things; not specific. Not specific indeed that doesn t tell us much. Let s look at a couple synonyms-- general common nonspecific no-name. Those aren t very flattering words are they? That is exactly the type of impression a generic cover letter gives. It is a big flashing neon sign that the applicant is generic. It also says to the hiring manager that if the applicant cannot manage to do the work needed to create a personalized cover letter perhaps they are not committed to doing any work whatsoever. The key to landing a job interview and most likely the position is writing a clear concise and attention-grabbing cover letter. A cover letter should make a statement about the applicant about their qualifications and skills and about their enthusiasm about their job.