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Few hiring managers want to think they're reading a newly discovered missing page from James Joyce's Ulysses. Especially when all they really want to understand is why they should read enclosed resume. Tightly written sentences and three or four short paragraphs that communicate answer to that question will help ensure your resume gets read, not tossed.
5. Writing long letters, even if well focused and well written.
Here's a good rule to live by: Don't go over one page. It's a cover letter, not your autobiography. Capture your reader's attention quickly and impress him or her with your well written main points. Then let your resume do rest of talking. Until interview of course.
6. Writing a letter that is all about you, and not about what you can do for your prospective employer.
Do you listen to WIFM? Sure you do. That's What's In it For Me, little radio station in our heads that everyone listens to, including person who receives your letter. Your potential employer wants to know what you can do for him or her, not other way around. Make sure your letter highlights why you will be able to help their company sell more widgets, design better satellites or otherwise make its future brighter.
7. Using odd layouts, too many fonts, colors and other attention getting devices.
With rare exception, attention getters like overly busy layouts, exotic multi-color designs and odd sized paper have no place in a cover letter or resume. Save it for decorations at next office party.
Follow these common sense suggestions and you'll write a cover letter that is bound to make you stand out-and land you an interview.
Copyright 2005 by Vincent Czaplyski, all rights reserved.
You may republish this article in its entirety, as long as you include complete signature file above without modification.
Copywriter and consultant Vincent Czaplyski is founder of www.impressive-resumes.com, your online source for professionally written "industrial strength" resumes and cover letters guaranteed to land you an interview.