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  #1  
Old 10-25-2006, 01:16 PM
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Cover letter

I'm applying for a new mechanics job and I have to write a cover letter to go with my resume. I hate writing and dont really have any idea how to write a cover letter. Any ideas what to do? I googled cover letters and there were too many choices. Anyone have a good template or example they would like to share?

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  #2  
Old 10-25-2006, 01:23 PM
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I receive hundreds per year, yet have never written one (for a job). I can only offer what does/does not piss me off:

Keep it short, because a long one is a sure sign that it was a form letter sent to every member in the Bar Address book

I would break it into three paragraphs: what you can offer the company, why you are interested in leaving your current job, and what the company can offer you (why you are attracted to the new company). I would close with "I look forward to scheduling an interview with you as soon as possible"

Hand delivery may make an impression--it would at least force me to read it instead of sending back a form rejection letter without having read it.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:28 PM
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I read cover letters constantly (I'm a professional staffing consultant). The truth is, I pay very little attention to them. The only time I read them closely is if something in the resume makes me suspect there are communication skills issues, so I will go back to the cover letter to check for grammar/spelling mistakes. Most people take the time to have a resume proof-read by someone but will do a cover letter on the fly, so it gives a more accurate reflection of writing skills.

Having said that, keep it short. The three paragraph suggestion is good. Use the letter to directly address your strengths for this particular job. Get specific about why you are a particularly good match. Your resume is probably more general in how it is prepared, so a cover letter that addresses specific keys for the job/company you are applying for will be appreciated. You should also take the time to personalize the letter. Call reception and get the proper spelling of the name of the person you are addressing it to, and get their proper title. And have someone proof-read your letter for any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:31 PM
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Proof read it carefully and then get someone else to proof read it. Typos are the kiss of death in cover letters and resumes.

You should take John Doe's recommendations and the forms you found on-line and try a draft for us to review. I'm sure you'll get blasted by somebody on here, but so what?

Keep it short. Use plain language.

EDIT: I didn't see jloman's comment before I posted this. Those are all great recommendations.

Do a draft and let us see it. We'll be gentle.

Last edited by Honus; 10-25-2006 at 01:44 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2006, 02:09 PM
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Yeah, i was going to add i don't mind getting it pm or email if you don't want to share it with the whole group.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2006, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
Yeah, i was going to add i don't mind getting it pm or email if you don't want to share it with the whole group.
That's a good idea. Same here.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2006, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
I receive hundreds per year, yet have never written one (for a job). I can only offer what does/does not piss me off:

Keep it short, because a long one is a sure sign that it was a form letter sent to every member in the Bar Address book

I would break it into three paragraphs: what you can offer the company, why you are interested in leaving your current job, and what the company can offer you (why you are attracted to the new company). I would close with "I look forward to scheduling an interview with you as soon as possible"

Hand delivery may make an impression--it would at least force me to read it instead of sending back a form rejection letter without having read it.
Mistress agrees, short is good.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2006, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMEGAMAN View Post
. . . I hate writing and dont really have any idea how to write a cover letter. . .
The person reading it will hate reading it even more than you hated writing it, so you're in luck.

Having said that, I will say that getting your thoughts across is more difficult with fewer words than with more. Good luck.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2006, 04:19 PM
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All good advice. I see a ton of resumes every day and rarely have any interest in the cover letter either.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2006, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by S320drvr View Post
All good advice. I see a ton of resumes every day and rarely have any interest in the cover letter either.
I used to. All good advice
Short, straight to the point. Don't pad out the resume either.

Follow up, follow up...
Too many people shotgun the job market and never follow up. Employers know this. Show them you want THE job, not just any job.
If you don't get the position, they will remember you if the new guy doesn't work out.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2006, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mistress View Post
Mistress agrees, short is good.
Never thought you would ever say that, didn't you?
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2006, 07:41 PM
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Been reading lots of cover letters recently. The job is for an English professor so the cover letters are quite important. I suspect they may play a different role when applying for a mechanic's job. For me, cover letters are often the determining factor since all the qualification issues have been resolved before I get the application. One page is usually better, but if you can get my attention enough to want to read the second page, you're doing well. I find that personalities often come across quite clearly in cover letters, helping with a decision. I think it helps to ask the question, 'What questions might the reader have upon reading this?" and try to answer them in the cover letter. So, if you describe a short period of employment, give a good reason to explain it (if you have one).
A mistake I have seen repeatedly, is a cover letter addressed to a different employer! Oooops
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2006, 07:50 PM
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One other thing you may want to add is a request to keep the cover letter and your resume confidential if your current employer is not aware you are actively seeking another position.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:35 PM
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Keep it crisp and concise. Avoid calling your current employer a steaming pile of dogsheet.

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