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In a message dated 95-09-21 11:58:17 EDT, Amy -dot- Smith -at- FMR -dot- COM (Smith, Amy)
>o I make a point to try to find out about the company, as much as possible,
>and say why I'd like to work for them. I recommend a business library, such
>as Boston's Kirstein Library. This is Job Search 101, but it's true - you
>make much more of an impression if you attempt to be prepared.
I often write cover letters for clients. I consider cover letters to be
a form of advertising, and I use the same techniques in writing these cover
letters that I use to write advertising copy. First, I call the company in
question and ask the person on the other end of the line to please tell me
the name of the person to whom the cover letter needs to be sent. While on
the line, I also ask the person on the other end of the line what are the
goals and objectives of the company in question. ( While asking these
questions, I am completely honest with the other person and tell them why I
need this information.) I then interview the person for whom the cover
letter is being written, and compare this person's skills with the goals and
objectives of the company. Then, and only then, do I write the cover letter.
The theme of this cover letter is, "what I can do to make your business more
profitable". I also often restructure the client's resume to reflect the
needs of the prospective company. This does not mean that any information is
fabricated, it merely means that the most relevant information is highlighted
in the resume. This technique has proven to be very effective in getting an
interview for the client. (Is this honest? Well, my area has a 30%
unemployment rate, and because of this the unemployment office offers this
same service. But, the unemployment office does not employ any professional
writers, and their cover letters tend to be rather clunky. Also, once the
client actually goes in for an interview, they are strictly on their own.
And, if the client is out of work and out of money, I do this on a pro-bono