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Vol. 11, Issue 16 - April 16, 2012

Want a job? Write a letter Abridged: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA, GA -- In an age of tweets and posts, some job search experts argue that the cover letter is obsolete. The truth: Cover letters still play an important part in the job search process. It's a great way to make a good first impression. All job seekers should make sure that it's part of their professional tool kit. Many managers disregard resumes that come in without a cover letter.

Hiring managers want to see that a candidate can follow directions; that he understands the job requirements; and that he's enthusiastic about the position. When writing a cover letter, follow directions. Use the specific file format requested, answer the questions asked and show evidence of the skills required. Use key words from the job post and show enthusiasm. Keep the letter short and sweet. It should be a one-page letter of three paragraphs.

The first should introduce yourself, name the position and tell why you are interested. If you were referred by someone, mention that too. The second paragraph should tell what strengths you have that the employer needs. Pull examples from your resume. Quantify your achievements when possible. Numbers stand out. The final paragraph should thank the manager for reviewing your resume and say how you will follow up. Make sure the letter looks attractive and is easy to read. Use white space, short sentences, and bullet points to keep it concise.

Other Articles in This Issue:

How long should your job search take?

How to organize your search and save time!

Employment trends index dips in March

Tips to maintain optimism during your job search

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Easily crank out a perfectly-written cover letter

4 career realities to keep in mind

Free-Subscriptions: Keep up-to-date with industry trends

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