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To whom should you address your cover letter, its purpose and audience

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One of the most important tools for any job seeker is a cover letter that it accompanies their resume. Many underestimate the importance of this valuable asset and choose to use a standard cover letter for all positions to which they apply. This can be a tremendous mistake for the person seeking employment.

The cover letter needs to be specific to the person that posted the position. If you are using LinkedIn the person’s information is shown in the upper right-hand corner of the job listing. Take a time to research the company to personalize your cover letter with their name and the company’s address.

Be sure to include information that addresses the job requirements, your experience, why you are interested in working for this company and what you will deliver if hired. Use keywords from the job posting as often times the cover letter is scanned by a robot and prioritized with other applications.

Even though there is a lot that needs to go in to the cover letter is important to keep the cover letter short, preferably one side of one page in at least a 10 point font. The reason is that the purpose of the cover letter is not to get the job, but to spur enough interest to get an interview.

Remember that the cover letter will possibly be forwarded to the hiring manager and others involved in the hiring decision. Regardless, you need to focus on the person that will be scheduling the appointment as without that passed from the gatekeeper you will never see the balance of the recruiting team.

©2014 Max Impact, used with permission.

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