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How to Transform a Boring Note Into A Killer Cover Letter - Part I
The AIDA formula is as old as dirt. It was taught when I was in school over a decade ago. And it's still being taught for good reason - it works! When you apply it to your cover letter, it has the power to transform a regular cover letter into an attention-grabbing "Killer Cover Letter" that'll make your phone ring off the hook.
AIDA is an acronym. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It describes the process marketers want to take their prospect through in order to make a sale.
In this case, the prospect is the hiring manager and you're selling yourself in the sense that you want the hiring manager to contact you for an interview. So I'm going to show you how to grab the hiring manager's attention, create interest, arouse desire, and ultimately get him or her to take action (pick up the phone and call you for an interview).
By the way, I've tested this killer "System" so I know it works. Ready to get started? Then let's go.
The first thing you need to do is grab the reader's attention. You must get the reader's attention before he or she can become interested and desirous of your offer to come in for an interview. We're all busy and we all have several things going on in our lives. So how do you cut through the clutter and grab the reader's attention?
There are several ways actually. One way is to create an attention-grabbing opening sentence or headline as copywriters call it. Think of it like the headlines in newspapers and magazines. You choose which articles to read by quickly glancing at the headlines, don't you?
So why not put an attention-grabbing headline on your cover letter? Most cover letters don't have an attention-grabbing opening sentence so the mere fact that your cover letter even has a headline separates you from the pack and draws attention to your message, wouldn't you agree?
Let's say you're walking along a crowded street and you spot a friend of yours on the other side of the street. Let say his name is Joe. How do you get Joe's attention? You could start jumping up and down and yelling, "Hey! Over Here!" That might work.
A better way would be to yell "Hey Joe! Over Here!" That'd be more likely to catch Joe's attention, wouldn't it? Because he hears his name. Personalization increases response dramatically.
Now let's take that thought and apply it to your headline. Adding personalization to your headline is a great idea. Use the recipient's name right there in the headline. It makes the message more personal and increases the chance the message is read.
Let's take that one step further. Say you're looking for a job as a nurse and you know the hiring manger's name is Susan. Susan is understaffed and looking for nurses. So give Susan an attention-grabbing headline to open your cover letter.
How about this, "Susan, Finally! A Nurse Who Can Do More Than Take A Temperature! But don't stop there. Make it big and bold. Remember, it's a headline. Make sure Susan notices the headline. Grab Susan's attention.
How could Susan possibly not notice that headline strategically placed at the top of your cover letter? And you can take that simple concept and apply it to a cover letter to any hiring manager for any job.
So work on an attention-grabbing opening sentence and in Part II we'll talk about interest, desire, and action.
Robert is an author, speaker, and real estate entrepreneur(both on & offline). Robert applied his direct response marketing skills to develop a Killer Cover Letter System that produced 3 job offers in 72 hours. Please visit http://www.CoverLetterGuru.com to find out more about Robert's Killer Cover Letter "System." To request your FREE Report send a blank email to report@CoverLetterGuru.com
The 7 Tough Job Interview Questions That Can Make or Break You - and How to Answer Them
Some interview questions are asked so frequently that they've become classics. Practically every interview you go on you'll be answering one or more of these seven interview questions.
Job dissatisfaction is a driving force behind individuals seeking employment elsewhere. When evaluating your employment it is important to distinguish between the work you do and your workplace.
Using Freelance Websites to Telecommute
How is your job hunting going? Have you had problems finding legitimate jobs? I don't know if you've ever thought about using freelance websites to obtain work at home, but this should be something you look into. It might not be for you, but you never know until you try.
Top Ten Guidelines For Working With Executive Recruiters
1. Select the right type of recruitment partner
Successful Job Search: Knocking Out The Competition
Most of the time, competition stimulates us, gets our juices flowing, generates creativity, a sense of excitement, and motivates us to perform at our best. Looking for work is another matter! When it comes to financial survival, to regaining independence and self-worth, competition can be crippling.
Preparing For Your Job Interview: What You Need To Know To Be Successful
In the limited time an interviewer has with you, their mission is to know you and assess your worth, especially in relationship to the other candidates interviewed. Asking you questions is the way they accomplish that mission.
Interview Thank-You Letters
The number one etiquette tip for interviews is writing a thank-you letter. This is not a tool commonly used by job seekers right now. If you are looking for an advantage and a way to stick out above the other job applicants then follow up your interview by showing appreciation and courtesy.
Difficult Relationships at Work - Dealing with Workplace Conflict
Difficult Relationships at Work - How to Influence the Uncooperative
Learning a Foreign Language
Many people love learning languages or would like to learn a language and use their language skills in a job. In today's global economy the demand for language skills continues to grow as governments, businesses and organisations build relationships with foreign interests.
Minding Your Own Business
Think you have gone as far as you can in your present job? Instead of looking around for a similar position in another company, you may want to strike out on your own as a consultant.
How To Find A Job Writing Grant Applications
Do you have what it takes to land a job doing grant writing? Many people are looking for ways to develop a freelance business, but unless you know what it takes to do so, you might as well stop trying. There are several fields in which you can learn and have many jobs waiting for you. But, in others, you will need to properly be prepared for them before they pass you by. Here, we will talk a little about how to find jobs in grant writing.
What Do You Want From Life?
The tragedy for millions of people is that they never decide what they want from life and make plans for it. Life will provide whatever we demand. Most of us don't demand what we want but simply settle for what our job supplies. Too many jobs are dead-end with little room for advancement.
Losing A Career Can Feel Like Getting A Divorce
Most of us are aware that we need to grieve the death of a close friend, relative or favorite pet. We are beginning to learn that other events -- relocation, divorce, illness -- can also be experienced as loss.
How To Pick The Best Career For You, Part 1
In Part One we'll look at how Positioning or "Coming to a Theater Near You" simplifies and expedites your employment hunt by reinforcing employer buy-in through justification of the sale.
The Changing Values Landscape of the U.S. and How It Impacts Midlife Job Searchers, Part Two
The values landscape of our nation is changing, and with it your personal values landscape is changing as well. What does this mean and what does it have to do with midlife?
10 Things to Do to Get the Job
10. Understand all of the opportunities available to you. Don't just assume that you can only work at the standard place of employment for your area of study. The key to finding a great career is to think outside of the box. Don't get caught being narrow-minded when considering where to apply your skills and energy. Every firm needs accountants, project managers, sales people, etc. 9. Get to know a successful person. Your dad's friend doesn't count if he doesn't know you. You must be able to find someone that has had decent success in any field and become their new friend. The tendency for those that are mentored to go much farther in their career is significant. You can take the world on all by yourself or you can benefit from the experience and wisdom of others. Mentors can make all the difference at every stage of your career. 8. Learn to sell yourself. You have a lot more to offer than you may think. Whether your history is full of experience or education, you are bringing unique qualities to a company. You must learn to express your skills in a succinct and convincing manner. It may feel like boasting at first, but your ability to sell yourself will help you tremendously. 7. Network in professional associations. If you really want to make an impression, meet people that already work in your industry. Volunteer with them for projects and get to know them. Building a relationship is the fastest way into a company. Learn what they do and what you should do to get ahead in the field or at a particular company. These people are there to make friends and network as well. Don't be shy about your professional ambitions and you will get very far. 6. Network inside the company. If you want to ensure your role at a company then you need to get to know several people in the company. No matter what you may be applying for, you will be competing with others to make an impression with people. The fact is that people love to work with those that they trust and like. If you can make a good impression with multiple people inside a company, you have a built-in competitive advantage when deciding to hire you or another qualified candidate. Use professional organizations to meet company employees if you can. For the more direct route, try contacting a manager in the department you want to work in to meet and ask questions. If you are personable, you will probably not have any problems getting to know a few people inside a company. 5. Bring something to your job. Just like JFK said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." If you have done your homework, you know what the company is doing now, where it is going, and what issues that your department is facing or will have to deal with in the future. Talk about what you can do in the interview and with as many managers as you can. Sure you are going to be told what to do, but never underestimate the impact of taking on extra responsibility. You may not be applying for a management position, but this could help you get there. 4. Get your résumé to the best people. There are several strategies for marketing yourself to the decision makers in a company. Whatever your method may be, it is crucial that you get your résumé to the highest-ranking managers possible. If you can impress an executive with a great résumé, you will find your path through the company door wide open. If an executive passes along your résumé or just mentions that they received your résumé to a hiring manager, you are going to get serious bonus points. The desire to please is prevalent at many larger companies, so any chance you can take advantage of to get your name dropped (or recognized) by top management is a great. 3. Do your homework. You have heard this all of your school career, but it is even more important in the your career search. You can easily blow a great job opportunity by not knowing enough information about the company. Be sure to read industry news and trends to have a better perspective on the challenges and opportunities the company is facing. Read the company's website thoroughly. There is so much information readily available, including key personnel's names, positions, and contact info. Take advantage of this information and any other knowledge you can attain from the multitude of sources available. 2. Hit the pavement. Don't be afraid to show up at the company you want to work for. Nobody can sell yourself like you can. Even if the company isn't advertising a position, they are almost always looking for great employees to hire. The information age has nearly eliminated the need for face-to-face contact, which is why it is so effective now. If you meet the people that you want to work for then you are demonstrating your commitment and confidence in yourself. The younger generation of job seekers have forgotten the importance of personal relationships in business, leaving many talented people wondering why they aren't being hired. Get out there and show that there is a person behind the résumé. 1. Ask for the job you want. If you bring quality skills and/or experience to the table, let it be known. If the open position won't challenge you enough, find ways to add responsibility. Tell interviewers that you want to make a difference at their company. Confidence in one's ability is key to landing great jobs. If the decision maker can see that you have a lot to offer and are willing to work harder than current employees, there is no decision; you are hired!
A Job is Not a Job
It only happened on Mondays. Sometimes I escaped the unpleasant ritual. But, more often than not, right before boarding I threw up in the ladies room of the train station. It wasn't the commute I hated. It was the job. The reasons don't matter why a job I once enjoyed turned into a job I didn't. It happens. Bosses change, companies change, priorities change, budgets change, responsibilities change. Some changes bring personal growth and opportunity. Some don't. What does matter was the lesson learned that stayed with me the rest of my career: a job is not just a job. That job I hated helped my checking account. But my confidence, creativity, health, energy for life and view of the world was not as fortunate. When the alarm clock sounded, my previous excitement to face a new day became cocoon-like behavior, both in and out of the covers, wanting protection from another day's battle. It was safer for those I loved to refrain from sharing important issues or concerns with me, never knowing how I would react. How you spend a significant part of your day rubs off on the rest of your day, and on those you share your life with. Over time, it rubs off on your life. I'm not talking about temporary potholes and work hiccups that come with change or periods of work intensity, or the interim choices to increase finances, or the normal setbacks and challenges that should be dealt with at work. I'm talking about the long term match between who you are and the job you have. When you're in a job that's good for you, you can feel it. And you can feel it when you're not. I agree with Barbara DeAngeles, "No job is a good job if it isn't good for you." You see, you can't be winning at working if you don't like what you're doing, where you're doing it, or who you're doing it for. If what you do feels like work the majority of the time, you might want to think about why, and what you can do to change it. That doesn't necessarily mean you should change jobs or companies. Transferring to another team, volunteering for a new project, or asking your boss for new responsibilities may be all it takes. But, whatever it takes, you won't be able to offer your best you at work and get rewarded with interesting work, personal growth and financial rewards, if you aren't in a good workplace environment and a good position match for who you are, what you want, and what you have to offer. I've worked in jobs where I couldn't wait until Monday. That's when I'm so excited about the new project or the new idea or the next thing I'm working on that it's not work to me. It's a challenging, interesting, stimulating and fun way to spend my day. And, I'm a lot happier when that's the case. (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Building Performance Trust
You can have outstanding ideas, yet never leverage them into winning at working results. That's because the secret behind those ideas lies in performance. Yours.
Sample Resume Objectives: What They All Tend To Miss
Sample resume objectives. When a harried and possibly panicked job seeker finds one he thinks is good, he feels like the drowning man who just got rescued.
The Top Ten Strategies of A Great Interview
You've just received a call to interview with your dream company. Do you know how to prepare for the interview so that you'll feel confident, have a good experience and set yourself apart from others? Try following the steps below and you'll not only be well prepared, you'll present yourself as a true professional.
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