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Sunday, October 26th, 2014


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Get Noticed, Get Hired, Get Paid! Cover Letters are Key

This article is part of our 52 week journey through Bill’s latest book, “The Graduate’s Guide to Life and Money.” Each week, a full excerpt from his book will be presented from beginning to end. To get your copy of his book, visit www.TheGraduatesGuide.com.

Last week we started creating a cover letter that will get you noticed. This week we’ll put the finishing touches on the cover letter and look at a sample of the completed version.

The next couple of paragraphs should state why you are writing to them, and why they would be crazy not to ask you for an interview (don’t use those exact words). You could begin by using something like one of the following:

I am writing because I believe my educational background would allow me to excel at your company.

As a recent graduate in computer science, I feel my up-to-date training and skills could add to your company’s industry ranked, first-rate technology department.

You could also point out specific skills that may not be mentioned on your resume, but were specifically listed in the posted job announcement:

In addition to my work experience, as detailed on my resume, I have four years experience talking one on one with people as a volunteer counselor for…

My work experience as an Order Specialist has really allowed me to pay special attention to details in order to satisfactorily meet my customer’s expectations.

Ending paragraph:

The entry-level economist position is an outstanding opportunity with a highly respected company and I would welcome the chance for an interview to discuss your needs and outline my strengths in person. I can be reached during regular business hours at (301) 555-7777, or by email at kwerk@nojob.com. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to meeting with you.

Sincerely,

Kent Werk

Be sure to leave four spaces between the word “Sincerely” and your name. You need to sign your name in this space.

Having a good resume is the first real step to finding a job. In fact, you should always keep an updated resume throughout your career. You never know when an opportunity might come knocking, or when your boss will call you into the office to tell you, “You’ve been doing a great job here, but corporate office says we have to let some people go.” You know, the corporate equivalent to, “It’s not you, it’s me…” or “We’re just not working out, but we can still be friends.”

To write a good resume you must first know what to put into one. Your name is always a good start. You also need to provide at least two ways to contact you – preferably three. For example, your phone number, email address, and postal address would allow the prospective employer to contact you whichever way they prefer. Remember; don’t make anything too fancy, unless you are applying for a graphic design job. Otherwise, stick with something that looks professional.

Next week we will talk about what it takes to construct the resume that will help you land an interview.

Bill Pratt is a former credit card executive turned student-advocate. He is the author of Extra Credit: The 7 Things Every College Student Needs to Know About Credit Debt & Ca$h and The Graduate’s Guide to Life and Money. Bill speaks at colleges to educate and entertain students about real-life issues in money, leadership, and success. His goal is to help students succeed personally and financially so they can improve the lives of those around them. You can learn more at www.ExtraCreditBook.comor www.TheGraduatesGuide.com.

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