Tag Archive: letter

Email Cover Letter and Resume Tips

When you send an email that contains your cover letter and resume, it is very important to keep in mind that you only have between 15 and 20 seconds to get the attention of your prospective employer. During this time, you have to get the person who receives the email to open your email, read your email and not delete your email. To make these things happen and to get your submissions considered, it is important to remember the following rules:

  1. Use a subject line that catches your reader’s attention. When you respond to a job listing, include the job title and/or job code in the subject. When you are not responding to a jobs listing, use a short sentence that specifies the purpose of your email. This helps your recipient quickly understand what your email is about without having to actually open the email message.
  2. The first part of your email message should include your cover letter. Don’t attach the cover letter in a second document. Including the cover letter in the first part of your message will allow your reader to quickly get into the important details of you fit the position.
  3. Never send your resume as an attachment to an email. The resume should be included direct below the cover letter. Including attachments in your email could cause your message to be rejected by email systems and no one wants to download an attachment that might take a long time to download and isn’t from someone they know.
  4. Unless your email is properly formatted for email, it may not appear correctly in all email clients and operating systems. Format your email message using a plain text editor, such as Note Pad, and then copy and paste into your email client. Try to check how your message looks on multiple operating systems and email clients.
  5. Always follow the directions specified by the job posting, even if some of the specification break some of the above rules. It is more important that you show the prospective employer that you can follow direction. If they tell you to send the message as a PDF or a Word document, then that is exactly what you should do.

Top 10 Cover Letter Writing Tips

Below are the top things that are critical to successful cover letter writing. If you remember to apply these simply tips, they will definetly have a positive effect in your job search.

  1. Try to find the hiring managers name and use it along with a standard business letter format when constructing a cover letter.
  2. When you write an opening sentence for a cover letter, always give a clear purpose for the letter.
  3. Show potential employers that you know something about the company by including a reference to a company specific piece of information in your cover letter.
  4. Let employers know facts about your current life situation that will have an effect on the position.
  5. Let potential employers know the reasons the position is of interest and how your skills can make you successful in fulfilling the requirements of the position.
  6. Draw attention to your resume by referencing particular parts of it within your cover letter.
  7. When you write your cover letter, don’t repeat the same information that is contained within your resume.
  8. Proofread everything for grammar and spelling errors a few times, and when you are done, have a friend do the same thing.
  9. End the letter with standard formal business letter closing phrases.
  10. Electronic cover letters can be written similarly to standard cover letter format, accept they can generally be shorter and it is more critical to include detailed contact information.

Bad News Letter & How to Tell Someone Bad News

Bad News Letter Or In Person | BAD NEWS STRATEGY

When communicating bad news (either spoken or written letter), use the following step-by-step strategy:

Bad News Letter Or In Person | 1. Provide a Buffer

Don’t hit the person right off with the bad news. You should ease into the information. A buffer can be:

Appreciation
-“Thank you for taking the time to write me about the unfortunate experience you had at our restaurant this past weekend.”

Agreement
-“I agree that a product you purchase should last longer than a few months.”

Apology
-“I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you concerning your loan application.”

Bad News Letter Or In Person | Technique Used In Negotiation

The “buffer” is a technique used in negotiation. Finding something that can be agreed upon by both parties sets a more positive tone for future negotiation.

There are other possible buffers, whatever seems to be appropriate (and sincere) for the situation.

Bad News Letter Or In Person | 2. Give Explanation/Provide Information

In this step, you are providing the information that the reader/listener will need to understand the outcome. For example, when responding to a job applicant you did not hire, you might write, “We had many excellent applicants for this position—making it a difficult decision.” Sometimes this step is simply a neutral piece of information that sets a tone for what’s to come. “We pride ourselves on offering customers the best possible service.”

Bad News Letter Or In Person | 3. Offer the Decision (Either Stated or Implied)

One of the more interesting parts of this step is to decide whether you directly state the decision (“We’re not refunding your money” or “You didn’t get the job.”) or imply the decision (“We gladly refund money within 90 days of purchase” or “We found someone who closely matched our desired qualifications.”)

My advice would be—whenever possible—to imply the decision. Most of us can better handle a statement like, “We found someone who closely matched our desired qualifications,” as opposed to, “You don’t have the skills we’re looking for.”

The only time that I believe directly stating the decision would be preferable is when you’re afraid of legal ramifications or that the decision will be misunderstood. In these cases, I would directly and clearly state the decision.

Bad News Letter Or In Person | 4. Provide a Positive/Neutral Closing

Examples of this would be: “Good luck on your future job search,” “Although I’m unable to refund your money, I would welcome the chance to repair the product,” or “As an individual’s financial situation changes, we are always willing to re-evaluate loan requests.”

Bad News Letter Or In Person | COMMUNICATING BAD NEWS

Next to persuasive communication, the most common type of communicating in the workplace is relaying “bad news”—you didn’t get the job, we’re not extending you the loan, we will be closing our branches on Friday, we’ve sold out of the product you ordered, etc.

To “spin” bad news into at least neutral news is an art in and of itself. In fact, many politicians hire people who are talented at making bad situations seem acceptable (e.g. “fooling around” with a White House intern!) This is where the term “Spin Doctor” comes from.

Bad News Letter Or In Person | Soften Bad News

Sometimes you want to soften the bad news to save a customers’/clients’ feelings. Sometimes you do it for legal reasons (“covering” yourself). Here are some hints to communicating bad news:

Bad News Letter Or In Person | Don’t Use Personal Pronouns

Try not to use personal pronouns. Instead of saying, “You must not have read the warranty information when you purchased the product—of course, we won’t refund your money after 90 days!” It is much less abrasive to say, “Oftentimes, customers overlook the warranty information that comes in the package.”

Don’t be “phony” with your “spin” on the situation. Once I received a letter from my bank that stated, “To serve you better, we will be closing some of our branches on Wednesdays.” How does that serve me better? I think we can see through that pretty quickly.

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