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10 Tips for Writing Cold Cover Letters

10 Tips for Writing Cold Cover Letters

March 25, 2010

Research the Employer: Find out as much as you can about your target company, including past performance, goals and competitors so you can knowledgeably write about how you would help the operation.

Components of Your Letter

The Salutation: Since you are writing an unsolicited letter, it’s crucial that you address a particular person. Do some research so you can get your resume in the hands of the manager most likely to be interested in hiring you.

The Opener: You can use a number of different techniques to open your letter. Here are two examples:

  • The Value Proposition: If you have identified goal-surpassing revenue and market-share growth among your goals for this year, my credentials will be of interest. Allow me to introduce myself: A marketing executive with 15 years of experience within Fortune 500 environments…

  • The News Angle: After reading of your consulting-services expansion in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, I am eager to join your team as an accounting manager. You will benefit from my top credentials, including CPA with Big Four experience and multilingual fluency (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)…

The Body: Summarize the key strengths you bring to the table. A great strategy is to include a bulleted list of achievements and qualifications that would benefit the company. Provide an overview of your main selling points and examples of how you have contributed to your current or former employers.

The Close: End your letter with an action statement, promising to follow up to explore the possibility of an interview. This is a much stronger closing than, “I hope to hear from you soon.”

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