Monday, October 23, 2006

Don't Summarize Your Resume in Your Cover Letter

Lots of people think a cover letter should summarize the accompanying resume. Not so!

Think about it — you spent a few hours writing a resume that summarizes your qualifications. So why would you turn around and do it again in your cover letter?

Because your resume already says why you’d be good at a certain job, your cover letter needs to take that thought one step further. It should pinpoint why you’d fit into the company you want to work for.

Use the valuable real estate of your letter to do what your resume has not done: show personality, establish a connection with the reader, and initiate action (a job interview!).

See what I mean in this sample letter, which I borrowed from my collection of sample letters ?

May 17, 2004

Mr. Dennis Greenbrott
Director of Marketing
Walt Disney Travel Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 1234
Anaheim, CA 12345

Dear Mr. Greenbrott,

It’s the positive theme of Disney’s entertainment that appeals so much to me. As your Regional Marketing Representative, I’d like to promote Disney vacation packages to audiences young and old throughout Arizona.

I have substantial experience in recreation marketing and, as my family can attest, I’m a committed supporter of Disney’s home and vacation entertainment.

Could we schedule a time to speak on the phone? I will call your assistant in the next few days to see when you are available.

Thank you!

Bill Lockheed

Enclosure: resume

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