The “T” Cover Letter

I just stumbled across a whole slew of job seeker advice via this excellent thread on Brazen Careerist by recruiting manager La Donna Lokey:

“Jobseekers: When you’re applying for a new position, do you read the full job description or do you skim it? Have you ever considered or tried altering your resume, to gear your experience more towards the position you’re applying for?”

And guess what came up? Cover letters!

Whether you think you’re a whiz at whipping up a Notice Me! cover letter or the mere thought of writing one evokes hours of blank Word documents, pounding headaches and cold coffee mugs, you still need to sit down and do it, and you still need to do it right.

So how do you say “I am EXACTLY what you’re looking for, and here’s why,” to the weary recruiter or hiring manager?

Michael Spiro tells you how in The “T” Cover Letter – The Only Type Worth Sending. This is a format I had not come across before, but the concept seems astonishingly simple and eye-catching at the same time.

Are you picturing a “T” before you? Good. Per Michael, the top line of the T should appear under your usual brief opening paragraph where you say who you are and the job you’re applying for. He then suggests saying something like, “Below is a comparison of your job requirements and my qualifications.”

Then the fun begins. The “T” forms a natural column. On the left side, copy’n’paste the job requirements with their bullet points; on the right, match up your qualifications point for point. Label the two sides appropriately. What results is an at-a-glance snapshot of what you’ve got for what they want.

Is using this format really job seeker-savvy, or will you still get lost in the 20-second decision?

Intrigued, interested or skeptical as all get-out? You can get the full instructions and two “T” templates in Michael’s post.

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