“3 Cover Letter Tips that Guarantee an Interview” (Rebecca Thorman, “U.S. News & World Report”)

In “3 Cover Letter Tips that Guarantee an Interview,” Rebecca Thorman presents solid advice for crafting an impressive and memorable cover letter.  To get an introduction, I recommend calling over sending emails; the added effort is well worth it.  Begin the call by asking if the person has a few minutes to talk and then keep the call short and concise.  If you don’t get much of a response, ask if you might call back in a week to touch base and see if anything came to mind.  It is wise to avoid putting anything in writing as emails are easily forwarded and may end up in the hands of someone at your company.  In terms of the cover letter itself, I generally like using three bullet points to summarize the skills and experiences that make you perfect for the job; the extent to which you need to quantify your accomplishments varies greatly by industry and more creative roles might require a more unique approach.  Overall, anecdotes (supported by names and numbers) are better than lists of adjectives.  When you do use adjectives, keep them precise and focused; generic strings of adjectives such as “ambitious, enthusiastic, hard-working and creative” are self-defeating.  My only objection to Ms. Thorman’s example is the phrase “With no prior sales or marketing experience.”  Although she goes on to describe an impressive accomplishment, it is never a good idea to begin by exposing a significant weakness.  

For the original article, see http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2013/07/25/3-cover-letter-tips-that-guarantee-an-interview.

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