If you're sitting in your pajamas and doing your routine job search online, you should remember that not all jobs are posted on websites or even in the back of newspapers. If you want to get your foot in the door, take your chances and write an open cover letter to your dream company. While getting a job can feel like an uphill journey, with the right cover letter and resume, you can scratch and claw your way to the top before everyone else.
The Right Hands
You've found the perfect company. Now all you need is for them to think that you are perfect too. If the letter gets in the wrong hands, you are screwed. Research the company and find out what department you are interested in working in. Get the name and address of the head of the department, the department's head assistant and human resources. Even though you have to tailor your letter for each person who will read it, your chances of it getting read are much higher.
It may not be all about who you know, but it certainly doesn't hurt. If you know someone who works at your dream company, don't bury that in the middle of the letter. Say it up front in the first sentence. Let her know who referred you from the start, and you'll have her attention, at least for the next paragraph. However, you have to be sure that your reference is someone with a good reputation. The last thing that you want to do is blacklist yourself by association.
Short and Sweet
Don't ramble on about your accomplishments. Stick to facts and let them speak for you. Your prospective employer's attention span is probably very short. Instead of repeating your resume, demonstrate your previous tasks and results. Think of an elevator speech that explains why you belong there and what makes you unique. After reading your letter, she should feel that calling you in for an interview is a no-brainer.
Just in case your prospective employer spills coffee all over your resume your contact information should also be on your cover letter. Let her know how you plan on getting in contact; for example, a follow-up email. In your open letter, include your mailing address, cell number and professional email address for her convenience. If the job is out of town, but you will be in her neighborhood soon, let her know that you would love to sit down and talk about a prospective position.
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