Compiled by Katharine Hansen Ph.D. This article is one part of a much larger article on the importance of cover letters to job-seekers. Go to Cover Letter Reboot: A Crowdsourced Update of Traditional Cover-letter Advice for Today’s Job Search. We asked hiring decision-makers to tell us about job-seeker cover letters they’ve received that really made them sit up and take notice. One particular cover letter stands out. It was attached to a resume for a mid-level skilled-trades management job I had open. It summarized the writer’s skills in problem identification and solving leadership conflict resolution and several other areas identified in the job ad. I was impressed. — Fred R. Cooper managing partner Compass HR Consulting LLC When we were recruiting for our marketing manager I asked candidates to submit the most creative cover letter they could muster. One of the job responsibilities for the position was to create one of our electronic newsletters and one particular candidate took the time to create a cover letter for us in the form of an electronic newsletter. It was very cleverly written and designed. — Sheri Graciano human-resource manager Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau When I had been looking for a Web designer I received an email with the cover letter in the body. It was from a woman who had good experience and happened to truly understand what I was looking for. The cover letter was short but she really honed in on my needs. She took the time to review the job description in its entirely reviewed my Website and then in two sentences explained how she could fulfill the needs of my specific business and grow my business. I was very impressed with her going above and beyond and taking the extra time to do a little research. And she did it all in one short paragraph. — Jeff Gordon founder of LA-based online marketing agency InterActive99.com. The first time a received a two-column or T-formation cover letter I was blown away. The person who submitted it was interviewed and hired for the position. It’s rare that I see that format but it’s a very effective way for the job-seeker to articulate how well the individual’s experience matches the job requirements. — Jenson Crawford director of engineering Fetch Technologies El Segundo CA Our current IT director had researched our organization and knew of a particular software that would benefit our company. His cover letter detailed the software he thought would help and included how he would implement it. He said he was passing the information along whether we even interviewed him or not because he thought it would be useful. I’m always going to take the time to visit with someone who is trying to help me. Even if we had not hired him I would have made introductions to other colleagues on his behalf. — David Shelton vice president for operations for Medical Advocacy Services for Healthcare (The MASH Program) Fort Worth TX I recently hired a consultant whose cover letter blew me away. She had clearly read my job posting in detail and addressed nearly every aspect of the job. She also indicated she had read my company Website and mentioned the content which was a huge plus. She had clearly done her research and that translated into the interview and now her job. — Jessica Oman owner/CEO Write Ahead Consulting Vancouver BC Canada One candidate had done a lot of research on me and knew I was once a professional tennis player and actually cited the time he took up tennis lessons as a kid failed at it and hated it. The resourcefulness honesty and humility impressed me a lot. — Mike Sprouse chief marketer entrepreneur author and philanthropist I am most bowled over when while reading a cover letter it is apparent that the candidate has researched my company. I look for candidate selling points in the cover letter that will help alleviate some of the internal problems and issues that my company faces that could only have been gained from researching our company. Candidates that have answered the “what can you do for my company dilemma” by relating their cover letters to problems my company faces are certainly thrust to the top of the good pile! — Ron Kubitz recruiting manager Brayman Construction Corp. Saxonburg PA Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college career and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms. Katharine Hansen Ph.D. creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers is an educator author and blogger who provides content for Quintessential Careers edits QuintZine an electronic newsletter for jobseekers and blogs about storytelling in the job search at A Storied Career. Katharine who earned her PhD in organizational behavior from Union Institute & University Cincinnati OH is author of Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates and A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market (both published by Ten Speed Press) as well as Top Notch Executive Resumes (Career Press); and with Randall S. Hansen Ph.D. Dynamic Cover Letters Write Your Way to a Higher GPA (Ten Speed) and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills (Alpha). Visit her personal Website or reach her by e-mail at kathy(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
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