Greg Vervais Cover Letter Presentation Sing September 2009


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Greg Vervais Cover Letter Presentation Sing September 2009

  1. 1. Cover Letters: Selling your skills on paper Vervais & Associates
  2. 2. What is a cover letter? <ul><li>Your formal introduction </li></ul><ul><li>A ‘must’ with your resume </li></ul><ul><li>The first read, it can make or break your entry </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  3. 3. Generating interest <ul><li>The goal is to get an interview! </li></ul><ul><li>Should be brief and interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Should not be a carbon copy of your resume </li></ul><ul><li>Should highlight what you’ll bring to the job </li></ul><ul><li>Should be versatile, suitable for several jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Should never be sent in ‘form letter’ style </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  4. 4. Presenting yourself in two ways <ul><li>A cover letter comes in two basic forms… </li></ul><ul><li>Letter of application </li></ul><ul><li>Letter of inquiry </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  5. 5. Letter of application <ul><li>Targeted for a specific ad </li></ul><ul><li>Outline skills to meet company’s needs </li></ul><ul><li>Helpful to use ad’s terms, lingo </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  6. 6. Letter of inquiry <ul><li>A marketing tool to… </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain an informational interview </li></ul><ul><li>Correspond with a networking contact </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct company/industry research </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  7. 7. Create the right impression: 10 Tips <ul><li>1. Letter geared for specific job opening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapt letter to needs of the job you want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refer to that job in opening sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Describe your related skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tie your experience to your skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show how they directly relate to the job description </li></ul></ul>Vervais & Associates
  8. 8. Create the right impression: 10 Tips <ul><li>3. Make it personal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Address letter to a specific person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you don’t have a contact, call and ask </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a comma after the name </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Create a catchy opener </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Readers scan for content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open with attention-grabbing sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe why you’re the best for the job </li></ul></ul>Vervais & Associates
  9. 9. Create the right impression: 10 Tips <ul><li>5. Include vital information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name, address, phone with area code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should be clearly visible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First thing reader will need to contact you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>6. Type and proofread </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s your first impression…make it good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure it’s neat and professional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Errors will reflect badly on you </li></ul></ul>Vervais & Associates
  10. 10. Create the right impression: 10 Tips <ul><li>7. Keep it brief </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use action words, active sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limit letter to one page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three or four paragraphs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>8. Be confident, creative, enthusiastic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s a tool to sell your best asset… you! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let your personality shine in your letter </li></ul></ul>Vervais & Associates
  11. 11. Create the right impression: 10 Tips <ul><li>9. Keep copies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep a copy of every letter you send </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Past letters make job search easier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copies make follow up easier </li></ul></ul><ul><li>10. Request a response </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your letter is written to get an interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for one! </li></ul></ul>Vervais & Associates
  12. 12. Sending email cover letters (1 of 3) <ul><li>Know the rules of a dynamic cover letter </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t waste your subject line </li></ul><ul><li>Your opening paragraph is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your cover letter short </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  13. 13. Sending email cover letters (2 of 3) <ul><li>Take advantage of key words </li></ul><ul><li>Stick with plain styling </li></ul><ul><li>Check your length </li></ul><ul><li>Always use standard cover letter protocol </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  14. 14. Sending email cover letters (3 of 3) <ul><li>Don’t both with attachments* </li></ul><ul><li>Always follow company guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>WAIT to hit send </li></ul><ul><li>Test your message </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  15. 15. Example: Information Technology Project Manager <ul><li>Technology Cover Letter (handout) </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing Cover Letter (handout) </li></ul>Vervais & Associates
  16. 16. Summing Up <ul><li>Cover Letter Checklist (handout) </li></ul>Vervais & Associates