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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.
When you don t address the specific hiring needs that the company has you are showing that you did not pay attention to their job advertisement. Prospective employers look closely at this and when they don t see that you have taken the time to address their needs and how you can fill their needs then they move on to the next applicant. Again this is another reason why your free cover letter is the kiss of death for your resume. Free cover letters are used by almost anyone who has access to the same place where you got your free cover letter. This means that your prospective employer is seeing the same old cover letter over and over again.
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Cover letter templates are not ready to use templates. They are just a basis for which to give you an idea on how to create your cover letter. When you send one out the way it is you are basically just sending the prospective employer a stale already seen a thousand times before cover letter. Another cover letter misconception is that job seekers believe that the cover letter templates that are on the internet and in books are designed just the way prospective employers want the cover letters to look. While prospective employers want to see professional looking cover letters they are also looking for the fresh and unique cover letter that makes them take notice of the applicant.