The best one is short and has a hook in
it that will make
the employer’s eyes pop out.
will make someone's eyes pop out?
That depends on whose
eyes are reading it, what that
person's business problems are, and what you can do to help solve those
The company is located in Ohio
and in the biotech business. Biotech companies tend to be
clustered in a
handful of areas - Philadelphia/New Jersey, Boston, North Carolina and
California. If your cover letter mentions that you have a
background and that you would like to move back to the Midwest because
up in rural Indiana and still have family there, you could solve two of
reader’s problems: she's had trouble getting biotech people
to move to
her small-town Ohio location, and when she has, most have moved back to
Philadelphia or Chapel Hill, whenst they came, within a year or
know her industry and want to be there. She's interested.
The company has been trying to break into
ten years. You opened up Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot for
company, have been selling to all three of those retailers for 10
told them that in the first line of your cover letter. The
Resources is on the phone to you within minutes.
Direct Mail Copy Writing
Research on direct
mail indicates the following:
The parts of a letter that are read first are
sentence and the P.S.
Bullets in a letter naturally draw the eye to
sections, and if you put bullets in a letter, the bulleted sections
read first, even before the first sentence and the P.S.
Whether it’s being
delivered by email or snail mail, and
whether you’re sending one or a thousand, your cover letter is a piece
mail. Bearing this in mind, your letter should have a strong
sentence and an engaging P.S.
I'll leave it up to
you as to whether you want to use
bullets or not. Bullets will attract the reader's attention,
will also make your resume look more like advertising (and as we all
advertising is less believable). I think you can go either
bullets and have an effective cover letter.
The Hook: Your
cover letter needs to have a hook in
it that grabs the reader's attention within five to ten
all the time you have to get the employer to read further,
which means you
have at best a couple of sentences to accomplish this. If you’re not
bullets, then your hook needs to be in the first sentence. If you use
sections, your hook should follow your first bullet.
Here is where you need
to immediately, instantaneously
open their eyes, grab their attention and get them thinking about how
solve their problems. In the cover letter sample
you’ll see how
Harcourt Potter came up with a hook that was irresistible to his
For more on how to develop the hook, get a copy of How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds
or Less, by Milo Frank.
letters need to be customized. Forget the
general, one-size-fits-all, cover letter. The cover letter
needs to be
targeted towards the employer’s industry and sub-industry,
numerous other differentials that are specific to the
doesn't mean that if you send out a thousand letters that each letter
unique. However, by using the miracle of word processing, you
develop a dozen or two dozen form letters, each a little different from
other, producing each time a letter that makes it look like you
just for the company that will be on the receiving
Hortense H. Granger,
Fantasy Home Goods
426 Princeton Pike
Lambertville, New Jersey 08111
Dear Ms. Granger:
As a VP/Sales
& Marketing, I recruited and led a
sales force that opened up Wal-Mart, Macy’s, L L Bean and
our sales increased from $23-million- to $77-million in nine
During that time, the
Marketing Director I recruited
conceived and developed our award-winning Twinkle Barrels
line that now
represents 44% of company sales that you have probably seen on our
programs on QVC (and if you saw these, you’ve probably seen
me, as I
regularly appear on our QVC programs).
Now that we have
completed our IPO and it appears that
our marketing and sales directors are both seasoned enough to move into
position, I'd like to move to a larger company. I'd prefer a location
less remote and offers better educational and cultural opportunities
children as they move into junior high school.
earning a base salary of $215,000, plus
variable compensation in the range of 35% to 65%, including options.
I’ll be in New York
City and New Jersey several times
during the next four weeks, and would like to stop by to meet you
Can we meet?
P.S. I went
to college at Princeton, and would love
to return to the Princeton area.
This letter was aimed
at a major housewares manufacturer
located 20 miles from Princeton, New Jersey. Harcourt has
caught Ms. Granger’s
attention in several key areas. He knows her customers and
well. It also appears that he knows how to recruit and
develop a team,
rather than do everything himself. She hasn't seen him on
QVC, but is
aware of the Twinkle
Barrels line, and feels that her company could be doing
big dollars on the home shopping networks. In addition, this
be the right person to start up the infomercial program that marketing
consultants have told her could easily increase their sales by
when you include the boost their sales in the major chains would get
increased publicity. Harcourt also has ties to and a reason for moving
If Harcourt was also
interested in moving back to Upstate
New York where he grew up, he could mention where he grew up in letters
companies in Upstate New York. In letters to Ohio companies,
mention how much he enjoyed Ohio during the four years he worked in
and how he still spends two weeks every summer there, visiting friends.
In letters sent to
food manufacturers, he can open
someone's eyes by mentioning the Kroger promotion that was featured in
Supermarket News, and his experience selling to Albertsons, Wegmans and
Ralph's. In letters to clothing importers, he can lead by
Dillard's, Macy's and Bloomingdale's.
and hook, hook and hook again when
creating cover letters.