Winning Cover Letters

by Robin Ryan
Wiley Publishing, 192 pages, $10.17

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If you’re looking for a goldmine of information on cover letters this book is chock full of nuggets that will elevate your cover letters to the next level. Robin Ryan used extensive research to develop her Power Impact Technique, an easy-to-master formula that injects a new writing style into the often overlooked aspect of cover letters. Winning Cover Letters features numerous examples of market-tested cover letters with success stories to back them up. It guarantees that if you practice these methods what you will learn will carry through to your resume and throughout your interview process.

According to Ryan, “You absolutely must grab the employer’s attention in your opening sentence.” The Power Impact Technique uses the two step process of analyzing the job and the skills the employer is looking for, then addressing how you will meet the employer’s needs. She includes success stories with examples of the cover letters people used in different situations. For example, there is one woman whose challenge is to find a new position after being fired. Another’s challenge is to compose a letter after a three-year sabbatical. Studying the sample cover letter reveals proven techniques that applicants can use in their own letters.

Surveying 600 hiring managers in various fields yields the basic truth that getting a job is about selling yourself. The book includes lists of Words with Impact and Notable Abilities to help you fashion a sales pitch that fits your background. According to Ryan, the keys to creating winning cover letters are:

  • Writing From a Hiring Manager’s Perspective
  • Developing Succinct Sound Bites on Your Skills
  • Effectively Summarizing the Results and Contributions You Can Make

Winning Cover Letters addresses other related topics like Thank-You letters and methods for tracking what you send out. More importantly, there is a section on the Internet, faxing and scanning that speaks to e-mailing resumes. Whether you are looking to change careers or move further along on your current career path, investing time and money in this book will pay off. Career seekers would be hard pressed to find this much valuable information on cover letters in one place.

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