Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the October 25, 2004 issue of QuintZine.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, writer Joann S. Lublin reported that, according to career coaches, an estimated 85 percent of cover letters are so flawed that senders never land an interview.
Interviewing an entrepreneur who had reviewed several hundred thousand cover letters since founding her business in 1983, Lublin discovered that the business owner found not even 1 percent of those letters acceptable. In response to a recent vacancy at the 150-employee firm, about 100 of the 150 job-seekers sent letters. “Two-thirds contained mistakes (including a misspelled current job title),” Lublin reported. “Fifteen applicants addressed the female CEO as ‘Dear Sir.'” Only six cover letters specifically addressed qualifications listed in the ad, and the CEO found only three letters interesting enough to inspire her to read the senders’ resumes.
“Human-resources managers state that cover-letter writing is becoming a lost art,” Ryan writes, “since job hunters think they can skip this step when they apply electronically.”
“A well-written cover letter has great power with employers and should always precede any resume sent. Open the letter with a powerful first paragraph that sums up the background, key strengths, skills and accomplishments you have to offer. Human-resource managers say that a good cover letter demonstrates your communication skills and can capture the interview,” Ryan advises.
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