I was speaking with a candidate yesterday for this Dallas CD search, and he mentioned he'd read my last posting on job descriptions and cover letter responses. He made the comment to me that he had a lot of friends who didn't think the cover letter was "very important". It is.
I thought maybe a good way of illustrating the point from my side of the desk would be to share some "opening lines" with you. It didn't take me more than 15 minutes to go through responses and pick these as examples. I don't want to be cruel or rude about this. I realize that everyone isn't an expert in how to respond to an employer or recruiter to express interest in a job opportunity (which is part of the reason I'm writing this blog to begin with!). My goal is to help you understand from the recipient's perspective (mine) that some of this just doesn't work. A typo is death. You will (instantly) be disqualified for a typo! Take your time. Think about what you're saying and target your response.
Here are some examples:
"Please recognize that my formal education and recent job experience are exactly what your organization needs to expand in a positive direction."
"Hi, my name is Annie, I read the requirements and qualifications posted about this job and would like to know more. It definitely peaks my interest, and is the avenue I want to take in the next step of my career."
"I am a talented and fun designer looking for employment in the Dallas area."
“Creating enticing visual concepts for direct mail, catalogs and target base marketing, I am experienced and well-versed in SC3, InDesign . . . “
“Your open Creative Director - position caught my attention because my experience aligns nicely with the requirements. I would be interested in learning more.”
"I am interested in the position you are looking to fill. I believe that I am uniquely qualified and have the skills that you are in need of."
"“I am an inspired and highly experienced communications professional who partners with my clients and colleagues to create brands that are differentiated from the competition and highly relevant to the customer. I am well qualified for this position. What more, one of my strongest abilities . . . “
"I do work that works.
Work available upon request."
And finally . . . (I'm not kidding about this):
Strategic Leadership, Business Leadership, Business Development, Business Planning, Department Management, Integrated Marketing Communications, Internet Marketing, Product Marketing, Retail Marketing, Corporate Marketing, Interactive Conversational Marketing, Social Marketing, Global Marketing, Strategic Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Website Development, Content, Writing, Page Design, Site Architecture, Software Direction, Metrics Design, Corporate Communications, Brand Management, Brand Steward, Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, Consumer Brand Experience, Brand Voice, Brand Development, Brand Architecture, Brand Bible, Hybrid Technologies, Technology Development, Systems Development, Product Development, Product Strategy, Product Origination, Product Definition, Product Management, Production Management, Product Placement, Consumer Insights, Retail Advertising, Trade Advertising, Electronic Media, New Media, Media Planning, Research Planning, Quantitative and Qualitative ! Analysis, Budget Planning, Visual Identity, Virtual Team Management, Promotions, Experiential Programs, In-store Merchandising, C-Commerce, E-Commerce, Print Design, Television, Display, Packaging, Production Management, Music, Classical Arts, Fashion Design.”
I hope those examples will help to illustrate my point. You have (as they say) only one opportunity to make that first impression. That's also true with your cover letter. For starters, you can look at a previous posting "Introducing Yourself . . . Cover Letters", for some direction on a better approach.