Cover Letters: Leading Lines & the Powerful Close

By Matt Lehrer, Eller Career Coach

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Cover letters can be exciting if you:

*Build a personal connection with the reader quickly

*Keep your writing style friendly and professional

*Avoid form letters

*Make the letter quick and easy to read

You must grab the reader right away in the first sentence.  But how? Here are some samples:

*”When I saw your job post for _____________, I immediately went to your website to learn more.”

*“I recently read about (something relevant to the company.)”

*“For the last __ years, I have been developing my skills in (____________ , which are related to the job)”

*“I know (name of company) from many sources – all of which discuss your stellar reputation.”

Closing the deal is where many cover letters fall way short.  They either fail to ask for the interview entirely, or they weakly suggest the possibility that perhaps, just perhaps the reader might want to talk to you about the position.

Try “I will call your office next week to see when an interview can be arranged” rather than “I look forward to hearing from you.”  If being this assertive does not feel right to you, then try a different approach.  Above all, your cover letter is yours, and it should reflect your unique personality and style.

But remember that the objective of a strong cover letter is to get the prospective employer to read your resume.  And the objective of a strong resume is to get an interview.  It is perfectly fine to sell yourself, because you can rest assured that if you don’t, another equally or even lesser qualified candidate for the position will.

 

 

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