Posted tagged ‘job search’

How to Write a Cover Letter

October 13, 2008

Cover letters are a must-have in today’s job world. Even if, sadly, most of them do not get read. Without one, you stand out as unprepared. With one, you stand a chance to catch the readers attention, present yourself and your resume in a little more detail and explain (briefly) why they should want you.

Do not put what you do not know, or what you want to know in your cover letter. The company wants to know what you can do for them; not what they can do for you. They are paying you – not the other way around.

Most cover letters are 3 paragraphs long. Any longer, and you will lose interest. Here is a break down of what should be in each paragraph:

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Advertising yourself: resume and cover letter

April 1, 2008

Reading my textbook for the class I’m taking on Writing for the Media this week I realized how much writing a cover letter is really advertising for yourself. We were doing a section on ads, and had to write copy platforms – for a advertising campaign.

When you’re looking for a job, that becomes your advertising campaign. You are advertising yourself – so you should keep in mind all the things that ‘sell’ you. Basically, you should create a copy platform for yourself.

Unless you’ve studied marketing, that probably doesn’t help you much. So heres the break down:

A copy platform is, according to our text book, “a way of getting ideas and information of an advertising situation down on paper and of organizing those ideas in such a way that effective advertising copy can be produced from them.”

It is putting down on paper:

  • The Ad subject (You)
  • The Ad problem (getting you a job)
  • The product characteristics (in a few short bullet points, your best selling points with facts and details included – what you have to offer in a much shorter version then your resume)
  •  Ad objective (getting you a job),
  • Market (types of places you’re applying)
  •  Competition (things other people that are applying don’t have or are unlikely to have that you do – you’re advantage),
  • A statement of benefit or appeal (the one or 2 TOP points, things you are offering a potential employer)
  • Creative theme (come up with your own slogan or maing selling point)
  • Supportive selling points (again, selling points but put in a way that can is short and precise)

The entire piece should still be less then a page. I’ve attached one I did for myself as an example. I think that doing one of these before going in for an interview would help set in your mind exactly what you want to convey to the potential employer. You want to make sure all this information comes across clearly in your cover letter and that it is part of your (much broader ) resume. Then, when you sit down for an interview, you can hit all your points and ‘sell yourself’ to your interviewer. It will make you come across as confident and organized and, if you do a good job, they will be ‘sold’ on your product – yourself.

Copy Platform

Our text book is : Writing for the Mass Media by James Glen Stovall

Other Relevant Posts:
How To Write a Resume
How To Write a Cover Letter