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Cover Letter Magic , 4th Edition

Book Description

Reveals the inside secrets for creating phenomenal cover letters that get noticed and land interviews.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
    1. The Cover Letter Is How It All Starts
    2. How This Book Is Organized
    3. The Purpose and Objectives of a Cover Letter
    4. The Importance of Cover Letters in Your Winning Job Search Campaign
    5. The Rules: There Aren’t Any!
      1. The Top 10 Strategies for Writing Winning Cover Letters
  6. Part I: Creating and Distributing Your Cover Letters
    1. Chapter 1. Cover Letter Formats and Types for Every Situation
      1. Cover Letter Formats
        1. Paragraph Style
        2. Comparison-List Style
        3. Sample Paragraph-Style Letter
        4. Sample Comparison-List-Style Letter
        5. Bullet Style
      2. A Word About Electronic Communication
        1. Sample Bullet-Style Letter
      3. The Nine Types of Cover Letters
        1. 1. Ad-Response Letter to a Company
          1. Characteristics
        2. Sample Ad-Response Letter to a Company
        3. 2. Ad-Response Letter to a Recruiter
          1. Characteristics
        4. Sample Ad-Response Letter to a Recruiter
        5. 3. Cold-Call Letter to a Company
          1. Characteristics
        6. Sample Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        7. 4. Cold-Call Letter to a Recruiter
          1. Characteristics
        8. Sample Cold-Call Letter to a Recruiter
        9. 5. Referral Letter
          1. Characteristics
        10. Sample Referral Letter
        11. 6. Networking Letter
          1. Characteristics
        12. Sample Networking Letter
        13. 7. Follow-Up Letter
        14. When Is It Appropriate to Send a Follow-Up Letter?
        15. When Is It Not Appropriate to Send a Follow-Up Letter?
          1. Characteristics
        16. Sample Follow-Up Letter
        17. 8. Broadcast Letter
          1. Characteristics
        18. Sample Broadcast Letter
        19. 10. Sponsor Letter
          1. Characteristics
        20. Sample Sponsor Letter
    2. Chapter 2. Preparing to Write
      1. Six Steps to Better Cover Letters
      2. Step 1: Identify Your Key Selling Points
        1. Know Your Objective
        2. Summarize Your Experience
        3. What Is a Summary Sentence?
        4. Sample Summary Sentences
        5. Where Did You Get Your Experience?
        6. Let Your Achievements Sell for You
        7. Identify Your Achievements
        8. Sample Achievement Statements
    3. Chapter 3. Writing Your Cover Letters
      1. Step 2: Pre-Plan
        1. An Example: Chris Matthews
      2. Step 3: Write the Opening Paragraph
        1. Sample Opening Paragraphs
        2. Sample 1: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        3. Sample 2: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        4. Sample 3: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        5. Sample 4: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        6. Sample 5: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        7. Sample 6: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        8. Sample 7: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        9. Sample 8: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        10. Sample 9: Ad-Response Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        11. Sample 10: Ad-Response Letter to a Company
        12. Sample 11: Ad-Response Letter to a Company
        13. Sample 12: Ad-Response Letter to a Recruiter
        14. Sample 13: Online Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        15. Sample 14: Online Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        16. Sample 15: Cold-Call Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        17. Sample 16: Cold-Call Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        18. Sample 17: Cold-Call Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        19. Sample 18: Cold-Call Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        20. Sample 19: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        21. Sample 20: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        22. Sample 21: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        23. Sample 22: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        24. Sample 23: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        25. Sample 24: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        26. Sample 25: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        27. Sample 26: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        28. Sample 27: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        29. Sample 28: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        30. Sample 29: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        31. Sample 30: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        32. Sample 31: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        33. Sample 32: Cold-Call Letter to a Company
        34. Sample 33: Cold-Call Letter to a Recruiter
        35. Sample 34: Referral Letter
        36. Sample 35: Referral Letter
        37. Sample 36: Networking Letter
        38. Sample 37: Networking Letter
        39. Sample 38: Follow-Up Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        40. Sample 39: Follow-Up Letter to a Company or Recruiter
        41. Sample 40: Sponsor Letter
        42. Sample 41: Sponsor Letter
        43. Chris Starts His Letter
      3. Step 4: Write the Body
        1. Highlight Your Features and Benefits
        2. Refer to Your Key Selling Points Lists
        3. Chris Writes the Body of His Letter
      4. Step 5: Write the Closing
        1. The Salary Question
        2. Sample Closing Paragraphs
        3. Sample 1: Ideal if responding to a recruiter advertisement
        4. Sample 2: Solid closing for a company ad-response letter
        5. Sample 3: Aggressive closing for a company ad-response letter
        6. Sample 4: Strong closing for a company ad-response letter
        7. Sample 5: Ideal closing for an ad-response letter (to recruiters or companies)
        8. Sample 6: Clearly positions the candidate as an asset and highlights qualifications for a specific position
        9. Sample 7: Closing for a cold-call letter to a recruiter
        10. Sample 8: Concise and versatile closing for ad-response and cold-call letters
        11. Sample 9: Cold-call letter closing
        12. Sample 10: Concise and direct closing for a cold-call letter to a company
        13. Sample 11: Focuses on how to contact the candidate
        14. Sample 12: Focuses on a relocation requirement
        15. Sample 13: Ideal if the candidate is seeking a position that requires relocation or travel
        16. Sample 14: Ideal if the candidate is looking to remain in the same geographic area
        17. Sample 15: Focuses on personal attributes and the reason for wanting to work for a specific company
        18. Sample 16: Focuses on personal attributes
        19. Sample 17: Focuses on professional competencies
        20. Sample 18: Explains past employment experience
        21. Sample 19: Explains the reason for leaving a company
        22. Sample 20: Explains why the candidate is seeking to return to an industry where he had previous experience
        23. Sample 21: Explains why the candidate is interested in changing careers and industry focus
        24. Sample 22: Explains why the candidate wants to work for that particular company
        25. Sample 23: Explains why the candidate is transitioning from consulting back to a corporate role
        26. Sample 24: Explains why the candidate is remaining in the profession, but just changing industry focus
        27. Sample 25: Excellent strategy to explain why the candidate is in the job market
        28. Sample 26: Explains why the candidate is choosing to leave a company after years of employment
        29. Sample 27: Clearly communicates why the candidate wants to remain in a particular industry
        30. Sample 28: Demonstrates strong leadership and communicates a positive message of performance
        31. Sample 29: Communicates stability with the current employer
        32. Sample 30: Communicates performance and accomplishment
        33. Sample 31: Follow-up letter to a recruiter, announcing that the candidate has accepted a new position
        34. Sample 32: Informal network contact
        35. Sample 33: Formal network contact
        36. Sample 34: Ideal for a network contact with someone the candidate knows quite well
        37. Sample 35: Effective, professional closing for use when writing to a venture capital firm
        38. Chris Writes His Closing Paragraph
        39. You’re Done with the Writing Part!
        40. Chris’s Cover Letter
      5. Step 6: Polish, Proofread, and Finalize
        1. Things to Watch For
        2. Tips and Tricks from the Top
        3. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
        4. Specialist Versus Generalist Letters
        5. Sell It to Me; Don’t Tell It to Me
        6. Getting Over Writer’s Block
        7. Answer the Employer’s Most Important Question: “What Can You Do for Me?”
        8. Cover Letter Checklist
    4. Chapter 4. The Anatomy of a Winning Electronic Cover Letter (Plus Electronic Resume Tips)
      1. Electronic Cover Letters
        1. Electronic Cover Letter Hints
        2. Sample Electronic Cover Letters
        3. The Preferred Electronic Cover Letter Style for Companies
        4. The Preferred Electronic Cover Letter Style for Network Contacts
        5. The Preferred Electronic Cover Letter Style for Recruiters
        6. Final Thoughts on Electronic Cover Letters
      2. Electronic and Scannable Resumes
        1. Electronic Resume Hints
        2. A Word About Scannable Resumes
    5. Chapter 5. Cover Letter Presentation
      1. Developing Winning Visual Presentations
      2. Design Considerations
        1. What Format Should I Use?
        2. Block-Style Letter: Everything Is Flush Left
        3. Modified Block-Style Letter: Indented Date, First Lines of Paragraphs, and Closings
        4. What Font Should I Use?
        5. Exercise: Experiment with Typestyles
        6. What Type Enhancements Should I Use?
        7. What Paper Color Should I Use?
        8. What Type of Paper Should I Use?
    6. Chapter 6. Answers to Common Cover Letter Questions—and Tips to Help You Beat the Odds
      1. Frequently Asked Cover Letter and Resume Questions
        1. How Long Should My Cover Letter Be?
        2. Exceptions to the One-Page Rule
        3. Broadcast Letters
        4. Should I Include Salary Information in My Cover Letter?
        5. How Can I Best Communicate Salary History or Salary Requirements?
        6. Should I Send My Resume to the Human Resources Department?
        7. Should I Follow Up a Faxed or E-mailed Resume?
        8. What Size Paper Should I Use?
        9. Should I Use the Same Paper for Everything?
        10. Do My Communications Need a Consistent Look?
        11. What Size Envelope Should I Use?
        12. What If I Don’t Know the Addressee’s Name?
        13. What If I Am Unsure of the Addressee’s Gender?
        14. Should I Follow Up with a Phone Call After Each Resume and Cover Letter I Send?
        15. Exceptions to the Rule
        16. Do I Need to Mention Why I’m in the Job Market?
        17. Do I Need to Make My Cover Letter “Scannable”?
      2. Using Your PC in Your Job Search
        1. Word Processing and Desktop Publishing
        2. Quick Typesetting Rules
        3. Mail Merge
        4. Database Management
        5. PC-Based Calendars and Appointment Books
        6. The Internet
        7. Create a Text (ASCII) Version of Your Resume
        8. Post Your Resume on Resume Web Sites
        9. Visit Job-Posting Sites
        10. Visit Professional Association Sites in Your Field
        11. Explore the Sites of Companies That Interest You
        12. Research Companies, Industries, Business Trends, and Salaries
      3. Distributing Your Resumes and Cover Letters
      4. Managing the Paperwork and the Job Search Process
        1. Managing Your Campaign on Paper
        2. Managing Your Campaign with Your PC
        3. Helpful Hints
        4. Keep Everything
        5. Touch Everything Only Once!
        6. Write Down Everything!
        7. Checklists Are Great Things
        8. Develop a Schedule and Stick to It
  7. Part II: Sample Cover Letters
    1. Chapter 7. Before-and-After Cover Letter Transformations
      1. How to Use the Samples
    2. Chapter 8. Winning Cover Letters for Blue-Collar and Trades Positions
      1. Top 5 Cover Letter Writing Tips for Blue-Collar and Trades Positions
    3. Chapter 9. Winning Cover Letters for Young Professionals/ New Graduates
      1. Top 5 Cover Letter Writing Tips for Young Professionals/New Graduates
    4. Chapter 10. Winning Cover Letters for Mid-Career Professionals
      1. Top 5 Cover Letter Writing Tips for Mid-Career Professionals
    5. Chapter 11. Winning Cover Letters for Senior Managers and Executives
      1. Top 5 Cover Letter Writing Tips for Senior Managers and Executives
    6. Chapter 12. Winning Cover Letters for Technical and Scientific Professionals
      1. Top 5 Cover Letter Writing Tips for Technical and Scientific Professionals
    7. Chapter 13. Winning Cover Letters for Career Changers
      1. Top 5 Cover Letter Writing Tips for Career Changers
  8. Part III: The Total Job Search: Thank-You Letters, Recruiters, and Resumes
    1. Chapter 14. Winning Thank-You Letters
      1. How Thank-You Letters Can Help You Land a Job
        1. Reinforce Points from the Interview
        2. Communicate New Information
        3. Respond to Objections from the Interview
        4. Share Relevant Personal Information
        5. Keep Your Qualifications on the Manager’s Mind
        6. Distinguish Yourself from Other Candidates
        7. Build a Relationship
      2. Frequently Asked Questions About Thank-You Letters
      3. Thank-You Letter Checklist
      4. One Final Recommendation
      5. Sample Thank-You Letters
    2. Chapter 15. Cover Letter Tips and Techniques from Recruiters
      1. Advice from the Recruiters
        1. Randy Block: Retained Recruiter Information Technology, High-Tech
        2. Position-Specific Letters
        3. General-Contact Letters
        4. Online Cover Letters
        5. Immediate Turnoffs
        6. Shelly Goldman: Retained and Contingency Recruiter Health Care, Finance, Accounting, and Technology Industries
        7. Darrell Gurney: Retained and Contingency Recruiter
        8. Mitch Halaby: Executive Recruiter—Accounting and Finance
        9. What to Include in Your Letter
        10. The Salary Question
        11. Rolande LaPointe: Contingency Recruiter—Generalist
      2. Key Points to Remember
    3. Chapter 16. Next-Generation Job Search Letters
      1. High-Impact Networking Letters
      2. Personal Branding Letters
      3. Reconnecting Letters
      4. Career-Update Letters
    4. Chapter 17. Winning Resume Strategies
      1. Resume Strategy
        1. Focus and Perception: Who You Are
        2. Career Goals and Objectives: Who You Want to Be
        3. Sales and Merchandising: What You Have Accomplished
      2. Resume Writing
        1. Content
        2. Objectives and Career Summaries
        3. Objectives
        4. Career Summaries
        5. Education
        6. Employment Experience
        7. “Older” Experience
        8. Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar, and Syntax
        9. Writing in the First Person and in the Correct Tense
        10. Length
      3. Resume Presentation
        1. Format
        2. Visual Presentation
      4. Recommended Resume Formats
        1. Blue-Collar Job Seeker
        2. Graduating Student with Minimal Work Experience
        3. Young Professional Uncertain About Career Objectives
        4. Career Changer
        5. Industry Changer
        6. Mid-Level Management Candidate
        7. Technologist or Scientist
        8. Candidate Leaving the Military or Government for a Corporate Position
        9. Senior Manager or Executive
        10. Consultant
      5. Magical Tips on Resume Writing
        1. No Rules—Just Write
        2. Sell It to Me; Don’t Tell It to Me
        3. Be Honest, but Not Modest
        4. The Essentials: Employment and Education
        5. It’s OK to Leave Out Some Things
        6. Never Include Salary Information on Your Resume
        7. Wording to Avoid
        8. Presentation Counts
        9. Include Your E-mail Address
        10. Take Everyone’s Advice with a Grain of Salt
        11. Is Your Resume Working for You?
    5. Chapter 18. Strategies, Tips, and Techniques to Recession-Proof Your Career
      1. Job Search in a Challenging Economic Environment
      2. The Eight Most Important Elements of Job Search Success
      3. The Bicycle Model of Job Search
        1. Ad Responses and Online Job Postings
        2. Online Resume Postings
        3. Traditional Networking
        4. Web 2.0 Networking
        5. Recruiter Contacts
        6. Company Contacts
        7. Venture Capital Contacts
        8. Job Fairs
        9. Choose Your Strategy
      4. The Top Eight Lifelong Career-Management Strategies for Success
      5. Moving Forward
  9. Part IV: Appendixes
    1. Appendix A. Using Keywords to Win in Your Job Search
      1. What Are Keywords, and Where Did They Come From?
      2. What Is All This Talk About Keywords and Scanning?
      3. How Do I Use Keywords in My Cover Letters?
        1. Integrating Keywords into the Text
        2. Using Keywords in a Separate Skills Section
        3. Using Keywords in a Career Highlights Paragraph
        4. Using Keywords in a Comparison-List Format
      4. Which Keywords Are Right for Me, My Profession, and My Industry?
        1. Administration
        2. Association and Not-for-Profit Management
        3. Banking
        4. Customer Service
        5. Engineering
        6. Finance, Accounting, and Auditing
        7. General Management, Senior Management, and Consulting
        8. Health Care
        9. Hospitality
        10. Human Resources
        11. Human Services
        12. Information Systems and Telecommunications Technology
        13. Law and Corporate Legal Affairs
        14. Manufacturing and Production
        15. Public Relations and Corporate Communications
        16. Real Estate, Construction, and Property Management
        17. Retail
        18. Sales and Marketing
        19. Security and Law Enforcement
        20. Teaching and Education Administration
    2. Appendix B. Action Verbs for Cover Letters
    3. Appendix C. Recommended Job Search and Career Web Sites
      1. Dictionaries and Glossaries
      2. Job Search Sites
        1. General Sites
        2. Career-Specific Sites
        3. Accounting Careers
        4. Arts and Media Careers
        5. Education Careers
        6. Food Service Careers
        7. Government Careers
        8. Health Care/Medical/Pharmaceutical Careers
        9. Human Resources Careers
        10. International Careers
        11. Legal Careers
        12. Sales and Marketing Careers
        13. Technology/Engineering Careers
        14. Sites for Miscellaneous Specific Fields
      3. Company Information
      4. Interviewing Company Research Tips and Techniques
      5. Salary and Compensation Information
      6. Top 10 Career Blogs
    4. Appendix D. Index of Contributors
      1. Location Unknown
  10. Index
  11. Notes
  12. Footnote
    1. Chapter 15