- Don’t overlook the story-fueling potential of job postings and want ads. The principle here is similar to the language-mirroring described above. In his book, Don’t Send a Resume, Jeffrey Fox calls the best letters written in response to want ads “Boomerang letters”Â because they “fly the want ad words “Â the copy “Â back to the writer of the ad.”Â In employing what Fox calls “a compelling sales technique,”Â he advises letter writers to “flatter the person who wrote the ad with your response letter. Echo the author’s words and intent. Your letter should be a mirror of the ad.”Â Fox notes that when the recipient reads such a letter, the thought process will be: “This person seems to fit the description.”Â In the following example, the employer playfully wrote in the want ad that the prospective new hire should have the characteristics of 1980s TV character “MacGyver,”Â who was highly resourceful in dealing with sticky situations with minimal tools:
- MacGyver to the rescue! Armed with my trusty toothpick and duct tape “Â actually my exceptional facility with hand-coded, highly maintainable HTML “Â I am poised to create high quality, totally usable Web pages for your clients. My three years of experience with Web-development projects make me exactly the kind of value-added employee you need in the Content Architect position you are advertising. My solid communication skills, along with total proficiency in all the areas you require, will enable me to make a significant contribution to your team.
- Don’t forget important additional guidelines for writing a good cover letter. Many resources are available and listed at the end of this chapter, and you can find a handy checklist.