PR/Communications Job Search–10 Tips for Writing a Winning Cover Letter
By Marie Raperto, President, CIM Search
In today’s competitive job market, a business professional–especially for someone searching for a PR/communications job–a strong cover letter is a MUST. The cover letter is your first impression. It’s got to be strong. You’ve got to apply your professional skills on yourself. Step back and focus on the cover letter. Avoid the cover letter pitfalls:
- Cover letters are the big question when you are answering a job ad. Many people read them, many don’t. As a job candidate, you can’t take the chance of not sending one. However, you must be keenly aware of cover letter pitfalls.
- Unfortunately, statistics show that approximately 80% of cover letters are ineffective and inappropriate.
- To start, do not send a generic cover letter. Even I get angry when I get these. It should be short, concise and powerful. Keep it to approximately 200 words. A cover letter allows your personality to shine through and an opportunity to highlight your strongest attribute or skill to get you this job.
- The tone of your cover letter should be positive and upbeat.
- The position that you are applying for should be stated.
- Give a statement of where you are now.
- Mention how much experience you have.
- Make sure to use keywords from the ad or description in your cover letter.
- Leave out meaningless adjective like dynamic, energetic, motivated etc.
- Don’t apologize for taking some ones time.
- If someone referred you, mention their name up front. If sending an email, you can mention it in the subject line.
- Never use Dear Sir or other generic titles. If you don’t have a name, start with a subject line and the job title/number.
- Close with one or two sentences linking your experience to the needs and qualifications of the position.
If someone is reading a cover letter, it should make them want to read the resume!