I am a student studying law and I recently decided to apply for a position as a
paralegal with some law firms. I spent some time looking at your Quintessential
Careers website. Now I do not doubt for a minute that much research is able to
substantiate the information that you have presented but I find it difficult to
imagine that some of the techniques you mention do work. What immediately
springs to mind is the section on closing paragraphs: “I will call your office in
the next week to schedule an appointment.”
To me that sounds quite unorthodox and perhaps even pushy and rude. I
actually incorporated a line to the same effect in my cover letters after
reading your website but now I am wondering whether it was the best thing
to do. Could you please explain to me why this works?
The Career Doctor responds:
In any job market but especially in this job market job-seekers need to know
how to best market themselves to prospective employers. This self-marketing strategy has several components when writing cover letters.
First rather than saying something like “I hope you’ll find my qualifications a good
match with what you’re looking for” you need to show — and tell — the employer that
you are a good match for the position. Describe how your accomplishments skills and training are a perfect match for the employer’s needs.
Second you do need to end your letter with an aggressive stance. If you do not want
to be so aggressive as to say you will call for an interview you can simply say you
will call to discuss the job. Employers want go-getters not passive employees.
Third as I have stated numerous other times you MUST follow-up all your cover
letters and job applications. Saying you are going to call is the easy part; the hard
part is actually making the phone call. And in the phone call you need to still be
aggressive in not taking no for an answer — just remember to stay professional
at all times — while showcasing why you are the perfect person for the job.
Find lots more helpful information and resources in the
cover letter resources
section of Quintessential Careers.