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Step-by-Step Cover Letters

Book Description

An overall framework to help students, job seekers, and career changers easily build outstanding cover letters.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. About This Book
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Contents
  7. Introduction
    1. WHY COVER LETTERS ARE IMPORTANT
      1. What Your Cover Letter Isn’t and What It Is
      2. What Makes a Successful Cover Letter
      3. What to Do and What Not to Do in a Cover Letter
      4. What a Compelling Cover Letter Contains
      5. How to Make Your Cover Letter Really Work
    2. WHAT ARE THE 10 STEPS?
      1. The Benefits of Completing This 10-Step Process
      2. How to Use the Worksheets in This Book
      3. Why This 10-Step Process Works
    3. HOW TO WRITE YOUR COVER LETTER
    4. WHAT ABOUT YOUR RESUME?
    5. HOW TO INSTALL AND USE THE ACCOMPANYING CD
      1. Installing the CD
      2. Using the Cover Letter Foundations
  8. step 1 Understand Your Personal Brand
    1. COVER LETTERS AND YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
    2. BUSINESS BRANDING DEFINED
    3. PERSONAL BRANDING DEFINED
    4. THE BENEFITS OF PERSONAL BRANDING
    5. A PERSONAL BRANDING EPIPHANY
      1. Multiple Talents, One Brand
      2. The Business of Branding
    6. IDENTIFY YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
    7. THE FIVE CRITICAL COMPONENTS OF PERSONAL BRANDING
    8. TARGET POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS’ NEEDS
      1. Apply Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
      2. Determine an Employer’s Needs
      3. Base Your Marketing Strategy on Your Prospective Employer’s Achilles’ Heel
      4. Satisfy Others’ Needs to Get What You Want
    9. DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING CAMPAIGN
    10. BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
  9. step 2 Develop Your Unique Personal Brand Message
    1. KEEP THE FIVE CRITICAL COMPONENTS OF PERSONAL BRANDING IN MIND
    2. ASSESS YOUR GOALS AND THE PURPOSE OF YOUR COVER LETTER
    3. IDENTIFY YOUR ASSETS/FEATURES
      1. Determine Your Personal Attributes and Characteristics
      2. Determine Your Transferable Skills and Areas of Expertise
      3. List Your Degrees, Licenses, and Certifications
      4. List Any Other Acquired Knowledge or Related Skills
    4. TARGET YOUR ASSETS AND FEATURES TO PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS
      1. Research and Identify Employers’ Requirements
      2. Match Your Assets and Features to Prospective Employers’ Requirements
      3. Identify Matching Achievements That Prove Your Expertise
    5. DOCUMENT THE BENEFITS YOU OFFER TO EMPLOYERS
      1. Find Out Employers’ Needs and Challenges
      2. Determine How Your Assets Help Employers
    6. DETERMINE YOUR COMPETITIVE EDGE
    7. DEVELOP YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION
    8. UNCOVER YOUR RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI) TO PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS
    9. CREATE AND EDIT YOUR BRAND MESSAGE
      1. Example: Marketing Specialist
      2. Example: Customer Service Manager
      3. Example: Compliance Officer
      4. Example: Purchasing Agent
      5. Example: Vice President of New Business Development
      6. Determine the Best Strategy to Convey Your Brand
      7. Develop Your Slogan/Tagline
      8. Create Your Final Brand Message
  10. step 3 Write a Compelling First Paragraph
    1. UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF THE FIRST PARAGRAPH
    2. DETERMINE HOW TO USE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND MESSAGE
    3. DRAW THE READER IN
    4. INCLUDE THE POSITION PARTICULARS
    5. MAKE THE READER WANT TO READ FURTHER BY INTRODUCING YOUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE
    6. SELECT A FIRST PARAGRAPH FOUNDATION
      1. EXAMPLE: CORPORATE TRAINER
      2. EXAMPLE: REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF SALES (CONTRIBUTED BY LAURIE BERENSON, CPRW)
      3. EXAMPLE: SENIOR FINANCIAL SALES MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY LAURIE BERENSON, CPRW)
      4. EXAMPLE: MANUFACTURING EXECUTIVE
      5. EXAMPLE: GRAPHIC DESIGNER
      6. EXAMPLE: ELECTRONIC ENGINEER
      7. EXAMPLE: MARKETING OR BRAND MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY BARBARA SAFANI, MA, CERW, MCRW, CPRW, CCM)
      8. EXAMPLE: GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT (CONTRIBUTED BY AUGUST COHEN CARW, NCRW)
      9. EXAMPLE: GROUND OPERATIONS MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      10. EXAMPLE: LAND ACQUISITION PROFESSIONAL (CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE JONES, CPRW, CEIC)
      11. EXAMPLE: CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER (CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE JONES, CPRW, CEIC)
      12. EXAMPLE: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      13. EXAMPLE: PERSONAL TRAINER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      14. EXAMPLE: SPECIAL ASSISTANT (CONTRIBUTED BY DON ORLANDO MBA, CPRW, JCTC, CCM, CCMC)
      15. EXAMPLE: HIGHER EDUCATION SENIOR ADMINISTRATOR (CONTRIBUTED BY BARBARA SAFANI, MA, CERW, MCRW, CRPW, CCM)
      16. EXAMPLE: APPLICATION DEVELOPER (CONTRIBUTED BY REYA STEVENS, MA, MRW)
      17. EXAMPLE: NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
      18. EXAMPLE: VICE PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH (CONTRIBUTED BY MARJORIE SUSSMAN, MRW, ACRW, CPRW)
      19. EXAMPLE: VICE PRESIDENT, LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT (CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY WELCH, CPRW, MA, GPHR)
      20. EXAMPLE: BUSINESS CONSULTANT (CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY WELCH, CPRW, MA, GPHR)
      21. EXAMPLE: SCHOOL PROGRAM DIRECTOR (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      22. EXAMPLE: INFORMATION SYSTEMS DIRECTOR (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      23. EXAMPLE: TEACHER (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      24. EXAMPLE: HEALTH CARE OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE
      25. EXAMPLE: RETAIL MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY LAURIE BERENSON, CPRW)
      26. EXAMPLE: SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY LAURIE BERENSON, CPRW)
      27. EXAMPLE: FREELANCE EVENT MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
    7. WRITE AND FINALIZE YOUR FIRST PARAGRAPH
  11. step 4 State Your Qualifications and Benefits
    1. A WINNING COVER LETTER FORMULA
    2. DEVELOP YOUR SECOND PARAGRAPH
      1. List the Job Requirements and Your Matching Qualifications
      2. State the Benefits of Your Qualifications
      3. Identify and Include the Value Proposition of Your Benefits
      4. State Your Return on Investment (ROI)
      5. Include Your Competitive Edge
    3. REVIEW SECOND PARAGRAPH FOUNDATIONS AND EXAMPLES
      1. EXAMPLE: CORPORATE TRAINER
      2. EXAMPLE: GRAPHIC DESIGNER
      3. EXAMPLE: GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT (CONTRIBUTED BY AUGUST COHEN)
      4. EXAMPLE: MANUFACTURING EXECUTIVE
      5. EXAMPLE: ELECTRONIC ENGINEER
      6. EXAMPLE: IT SECURITY SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT (CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE JONES, CPRW, CEIC)
      7. EXAMPLE: COMPUTER PROGRAMMER (CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE JONES, CPRW, CEIC)
      8. EXAMPLE: CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER (CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE JONES, CPRW, CEIC)
      9. EXAMPLE: CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER (CONTRIBUTED BY ANGIE JONES, CPRW, CEIC)
      10. EXAMPLE: VICE PRESIDENT (CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY WELCH, CPRW, MA, GPHR)
      11. EXAMPLE: MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT (CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY WELCH, CPRW, MA, GPHR)
      12. EXAMPLE: DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATOR (CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      13. EXAMPLE: CORPORATE TRAINER
      14. EXAMPLE: STORE MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY LAURIE BERENSON, CPRW)
      15. EXAMPLE: TEACHER (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      16. EXAMPLE: TEACHER (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      17. EXAMPLE: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      18. EXAMPLE: VICE PRESIDENT (CONTRIBUTED BY MARJORIE SUSSMAN, MRW, ACRW, CPRW)
      19. EXAMPLE: CHILDREN’S TELEVISION SHOW HOST (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL, CRW, CERW)
    4. FINALIZE YOUR SECOND COVER LETTER PARAGRAPH
  12. step 5 Summarize Your Key Accomplishments
    1. SELECT ACHIEVEMENTS TO VALIDATE YOUR SKILL STATEMENTS
    2. SUMMARIZE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS IN CONCISE STATEMENTS
    3. REVIEW EXAMPLES AND SELECT A THIRD PARAGRAPH FOUNDATION
      1. EXAMPLE: MANUFACTURING EXECUTIVE
      2. EXAMPLE: ELECTRONIC ENGINEER
      3. EXAMPLE: GRAPHIC DESIGNER
      4. EXAMPLE: ELECTRONIC ENGINEER
      5. EXAMPLE: A GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT (AUGUST COHEN, CARW, NCRW, CPRW)
      6. EXAMPLE: REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL (CONTINUED BY ANGIE JONES, CPRW, CEIC)
      7. EXAMPLE: HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONAL (CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY WELCH, CPRW, MA, AND GPHR)
      8. EXAMPLE: RETAIL MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY LAURIE BERENSON, CPRW)
      9. EXAMPLE: EVENT PLANNER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      10. EXAMPLE: OPERATIONS MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      11. EXAMPLE: SALES MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY MARJORIE SUSSMAN, MRW, ACRW, CPRW)
      12. EXAMPLE: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      13. EXAMPLE: HEALTH CARE EXECUTIVE (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      14. EXAMPLE: HEALTH CARE MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      15. EXAMPLE: VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS (CONTRIBUTED BY REYA STEVENS, MA, MRW)
      16. EXAMPLE: TEACHER/SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST (CONTRIBUTED BY ROLETA FOWLER VASQUEZ, CPRW, CEIP)
      17. EXAMPLE: SCHOOL PROGRAM DIRECTOR (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      18. EXAMPLE: CORPORATE TRAINER (CONTRIBUTED BY LAURIE BERENSON, CPRW)
      19. EXAMPLE: FINANCIAL SALES MANAGER (CONTRIBUTED BY LAURIE BERENSON, CPRW)
      20. EXAMPLE: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CONTRIBUTED BY DON ORLANDO, MBA, CPRW, JCTC, CCM, CCMC)
    4. WRITE YOUR THIRD PARAGRAPH
  13. Step 6 Personalize Your Message
    1. DETERMINE WHETHER TO INCLUDE A FOURTH PARAGRAPH
    2. STATE WHY YOU WANT THIS JOB
      1. EXAMPLE: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR (CONTRIBUTED BY CHARLOTTE WEEKS, CCMC, CPRW)
      2. EXAMPLE: TELEVISION HOST/REPORTER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      3. EXAMPLE: SENIOR COLLEGE ADMINISTRATOR (CONTRIBUTED BY BARBARA SAFANI, MA, CERW, NCRW, CPRW, CCM)
    3. ADDRESS INDUSTRY OR COMPANY ISSUES OR NEEDS
      1. EXAMPLE: MARKETING SPECIALIST (CONTRIBUTED BY BARBARA SAFANI, MA, CERW, NCRW, CPRW, CCM)
      2. EXAMPLE: SENIOR COLLEGE ADMINISTRATOR (CONTRIBUTED BY BARBARA SAFANI, MA, CERW, NCRW, CPRW, CCM)
      3. EXAMPLE: TEACHER/SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST (CONTRIBUTED BY ROLETA FOWLER VASQUEZ, CPRW, CEIP)
      4. EXAMPLE: SPECIAL ASSISTANT (CONTRIBUTED BY DON ORLANDO, MBA, CPRW, JCTC, CCM, CCMC)
      5. EXAMPLE: MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT (CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY WELCH, CPRW, MA, GPHR)
      6. EXAMPLE: SALES PROFESSIONAL (CONTRIBUTED BY DON ORLANDO, MBA, CPRW, JCTC, CCM, CCMC)
    4. TELL A COMPELLING STORY
      1. EXAMPLE: MINISTER (ROLETA FOWLER VASQUEZ, CPRW, CEIP)
    5. REVIEW FOURTH PARAGRAPH FOUNDATIONS
      1. EXAMPLE: PERSONAL TRAINER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      2. EXAMPLE: TELEVISION HOST/REPORTER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      3. EXAMPLE: PERSONAL TRAINER (CONTRIBUTED BY BEVERLEY NEIL)
      4. EXAMPLE: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CONTRIBUTED BY DON ORLANDO, MBA, CPRW, JCTC, CCM, CCMC)
      5. EXAMPLE: APPLICATION DEVELOPER (CONTRIBUTED BY REYA STEVENS, MA, MRW)
    6. WRITE YOUR FOURTH PARAGRAPH
  14. step 7 Close with a Statement of Interest and a Call to Action
    1. STATE YOUR INTEREST
    2. INCLUDE YOUR CALL TO ACTION
    3. REVIEW AND CHOOSE A CLOSING PARAGRAPH FOUNDATION
    4. WRITE YOUR LAST COVER LETTER PARAGRAPH
    5. CLOSE YOUR COVER LETTER
      1. Your Complimentary Close
      2. Your Signature
        1. SIGNATURE ANALYSIS AND THE HIRING PROCESS
        2. SIGNATURE SIZE
      3. Your Typed Name
  15. step 8 Complete Your Cover Letter Draft
    1. PULL YOUR COVER LETTER TOGETHER
    2. ENSURE YOUR COVER LETTER CONTAINS THE FIVE CRITICAL COMPONENTS OF YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
    3. SPRINKLE YOUR COVER LETTER WITH INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC KEYWORDS
      1. Industry-Specific Keywords by Profession
      2. Keyword-Rich Paragraph Examples
    4. MAKE YOUR COVER LETTER THE BEST IT CAN BE
  16. step 9 Format and Design Your Cover Letter
    1. FOLLOW THE COVER LETTER FORMATTING GUIDELINES
    2. SELECT A PROFESSIONAL LETTERHEAD DESIGN OR CREATE ONE OF YOUR OWN
    3. ADD BRAND IDENTIFICATION ELEMENTS
      1. Add a Slogan or Tagline
      2. Add Testimonials
      3. Add a Mission Statement
    4. CREATE AN EMAIL VERSION OF YOUR COVER LETTER
    5. SEND IT OUT!
  17. step 10 Review Complete Cover Letter Foundations and Samples
    1. COMPLETE PERSONALLY BRANDED COVER LETTERS AND FOUNDATIONS
    2. SITUATIONAL COVER LETTER FOUNDATIONS AND SAMPLES
    3. PROFESSION-SPECIFIC COVER LETTER FOUNDATIONS
    4. OTHER PERSONALLY BRANDED COVER LETTER SAMPLES
  18. Index of Contributors
  19. Index