Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cover Letter For Resume: Amazing Resume Creator Review is Live!

Thought you might want to jump from Cover Letter For Resume over to Resume Objectives and read up on the Amazing Resume Creator.

The A.R.C. also contains a super-good package for cover letters. We'll bring you your regularly scheduled program... Part 3 of the AIDA strategy tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cover Letter For Resume: AIDA Cover Letter Strategy Part 2

Ok, so what part of your cover letter for resume always gets read?

The Post Script. Are you adding one? If someone sees a P.S. at the bottom of anything and they can’t help but be drawn to it… it’s human nature... but you can’t put “just anything” in the P.S.

Post Scripts have to be brief, but contain information that's powerful enough to warrant an independent mention. I would NOT put something like:

P.S. References available on request.

Because while it is brief… it’s not worth a personal mention and doesn’t “sale” you at all… to be honest it even deflates the power of the P.S. because it’s anti-climactic.

No, instead put something substantial that caters to what the employer needs, for example something like:

P.S. At Sampson’s International I maintained a high-volume inventory system and handled the issues that come with one. I’d love to sit down and discuss my experiences and solutions that reduced lead times by as much as half and improved overall inventory throughput by 20%.

Use something tangible that you've done, and if at all possible something measurable (the "by half" and "20%" parts). This shows your experience instead of just telling it (more on showing vs. telling in a future article) and your insight on their needs will approach them on a deeper level of rapport.

Two more quick points about this P.S.

1) During the interview don’t spill all the beans on everything you've done to fix problems they may be having… you want to sale yourself, not give away free solutions and...

2) When this catches their “leaping around” eyes… there’s a good chance they’ll head over to your work experience on your resume and pay special attention to the “Sampson’s International” part. Knowing this has its advantages...

A powerful post script is one example of leveraging a hire-person’s attention and creating interest, step two in the AIDA process.

So now you know that you can direct focus onto parts of your cover letter and resume. Good stuff. The Amazing Resume Creator accomplishes this with strategic placement of A.G.I.s (or Attention-Getting Ingredients). Just one of its benefits.

Stay tuned and we'll examine how to create desire with your cover letter, that's the next piece in the Cover Letter For Resume AIDA battle plan.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cover Letter For Resume: Does Yours Have A Strategy? Part 1

Imagine a stack of resume packages on an employer’s desk. A cover letter is picked up and examined. How much time spent on the first paragraph? Second paragraph? Third? What points are they interested in? Where do they simply stop reading? Do they pick up the enclosed resume that came with it… or the next cover letter?

Does your cover letter have a strategy? Consider AIDA.

AIDA is an acronym standing for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It’s been around forever and is better than letting your cover letter just “drift” along.

The hire-person's been reading several covers/resumes for the job... words are blending together, starting to all look the same. If they’re like me their focus wonders off…

Your cover letter has between ten to twenty seconds to make a good impression. What can you do in that time to get them to focus on it instead of just cruise on through. The first crucial step in having it placed in the “to be interviewed” pile?

Gain their attention... be unique and yank them off autopilot... but avoid looking gimmicky or obvious while doing it.

Consider starting off your cover letter with a headlining statement, something focusing on your ability and availability to help their business. Something concrete, specific and measurable in terms of success. Here's an example.

Experienced database administrator with eight years experience managing and growing three unique company infrastructures is available immediately.

I usually preach strict conciseness on resumes (check out my other sites: Resume Objectives and How To Make A Resume Great) but cover letters are just a bit more informal and inviting. Though the headline has an adverb (immediately) it's one of the few times that an adverb adds value and doesn't look trite. 9 times out of 10 eliminate ALL adverbs.

The Amazing Resume Creator has a cover letter addition that shows great ways to open cover letters. If you're interested I’ll have a personal review of it up soon. Stay tuned.

People like to pan over documents… skip around at first glance instead of reading it word for word… but there’s always a single portion of any letter that always gets read. Know what it is? Think about it and we’ll discuss it in the next article. We’ll also investigate more into AIDA, in particular the part called Interest.

Stay tuned.