In business, there will be cases where you will need to write to a company cold and introduce your services. This is typically called a letter of introduction, as is a useful icebreaker in certain cases where you might have had previous contact with another individual or firm. Here is a hypothetical example letter of introduction for a publisher to a book author:
September 12, 2012
Mr. James Pickwick
1756 East 35th Street
New York, NY 10016
Dear Mr. Pickwick:
It was a pleasure to meet you at the East End Open Mike for Authors monthly meeting. As you know the East End group is the perfect venue for getting a new author’s work noticed. I am not sure if you know but Dan Brown actually did a reading at the East End long before his Da Vinci Code went ballistic. Your presentation and reading concerning your nonfiction work on climate change caught the eye of everyone present, myself included.
Allow me to introduce myself and the company that I represent. I am the managing editor of a small but substantial publishing company that is specializing in works concerning not only climate change, but all environmental issues, animal rights as related to global warming and energy alternatives. I am attaching a short list of recent works that we have published on this topic. You will note that Mr. Jackson’s book on the peril to coastal locations in the United States when the ice fields in Greenland continue to melt is now #7 on the New York Times bestseller list. Our company works side by side with new authors to get their books in the hands of people in the media with connections to huge national audiences.
After your reading at the East End group, I researched your qualifications and educational background. It was apparent that you were well qualified to write such an intriguing and profound book. I know that you are at present published only online and that the sales are steady but rather weak. I spoke with my colleagues and they expressed great interest in your book and would like to publish your book in hardback.
We all feel that your book is destined to be a bestseller. This year alone with all the hurricanes, tornadoes, drought in mid-west and abnormally high summer heat index all over the country, the American public has finally awakened to the fact that global warming is a reality; one that they experience in their own neighborhood. Your research and information needs to reach, now, this very eager audience.
We at Regency Publishing would very much like to represent you and your book. It would be our pleasure to meet with you at your earliest convenience and discuss in detail how we can increase your sales dramatically. Please call me at 290-439-9651 to discuss a time to meet.
Getting a highly desirable job can often be likened to running a series of increasingly difficult gauntlets. The first and often the toughest part of hiring process is often writing and submitting an effective resume that will catch a HR person’s eye and win them over enough to allow you to get an interview where more socially inclined individuals can shine.
Unless you hire someone else to write a professional resume writer, chances are you will have to write the resume yourself–which is generally fine as long as you know the fundamentals and avoid the common faux pas that might lead your resume to be tossed from consideration.
All right let’s address the common mistakes first:
Too long; Didn’t read
While it might seem like a great idea to list every single job, skill, and achievement this is actually potentially detrimental to your chances of landing that coveted interview. This is the case for two reasons; for starters for most experienced job seekers listing everything is likely to cover more than two pages which is generally the maximum length that you want to have a resume. Remember the hiring manager may potentially have to look over hundreds of applications. Thus, they have only a limited amount of time to read or skim through each resume application. Being direct and to the point will be appreciated in the long run.
Another common mistake that people make is that they put in too much information that is not relevant to the specific job requirements; again as most hiring managers have very little time to review each resume—so if a good chunk of your resume contains details and skills sets that are not immediately relevant to the job requirements that you applying for, then there is a strong chance that they will move on to seemingly more promising job candidates. Thus, you want to make sure that your resume is as targeted towards the specific educational and skill preferences and requirements to warrant more consideration and perhaps move you a few steps closer to that interview.
Specific career goals
Another pitfall of many resumes is the lack of a strong statement of what applicants want to do with their careers and motivation’s for applying the a new position. It is generally wise to have a short paragraph stating the position/career track you are applying for as well as some of the skills that you possess to be good match for that position/career, remember the first rule: keep it brief. This statement will also act as an effective hook and encourage further reading into your resume.
Remember an interested recruiter or manager will always clarify or ask more detailed questions about things contained in your resume. Thus, you want to make sure you resume is a detailed summary of your pertinent skills and experiences–you can always elaborate further during that phone or in person job interview. Until then your resume is not much different than a advertisement on television or online–its to get them hooked and more curious.
There will come a time when you need to write the sample letter of interest. Letters of interest are typically appropriate when are inquiring to see if a particular job position is open at a company , it also is appropriate as a sort of cover letter. Like any other piece of correspondence with a prospective employer, care must be taken to craft a quality message that will set you apart from other candidates.
Fortunately it’s not hard to do if you have a modicum of common sense and follow most of the best practices associated with running the good letter of interest. Let’s get started shall we?
The first thing to do with a good letter of interest is to make sure it has been heavily personalized based on what you know about the company, its products, and the workplace culture. This is critical, if you don’t know much about the company you’re contacting, then its best that you take some time to do the necessary the research. You will notice a significant difference in their results and response that you might get from the company. Likewise, you should make an effort to find out who is in charge of hiring so you can personalize how you address the person in your letter beyond a bland “to whom it may concern” address.
The very first paragraph in your letter should state your intent, which in this case is your interest in gaining employment at the company, it is not a bad idea to specify where you learned about the company and their employment opportunities.
In the subsequent paragraphs, highlight some of the aspects and skills that you have and how they could be potentially valuable to the company a professional setting. Try to tell the story rather than make a list of qualifications—leave that to your resume.
Finally in your last paragraph you should drop of all by thanking the addressee for taking the time to read your letter of interest and consider you as a new hire also this is where you let them know that you will be following up with them. Once you have written the letter you should make sure that’s no longer than one page and has impeccable spelling and grammar, because nothing makes a worse impression than a simple spelling error.
Customer service jobs are among some of the fastest growing job positions in the US, but their low education and experience requirements they are among one of the most competitive as well. Thus, its critical to have a great cover letter and resume that highlights why you would be a great new addition to their customer service department. If you don’t have the budget to pay a professional to write your cover letter, you can always write your own with inspiration or modification using a template like the following:
14506 Pioneer Park Road
Deerfield Beach, FL, 33570
November 17, 2012
Dear Hiring Manager,
The number of women’s attire shops has expanded in recent years making it difficult to stand out. The importance of customer service cannot be emphasized enough. The experience that the customer has in dealing with the store if a problem arises or if she needs special attention makes the difference whether this customer returns or moves on to another store.
My years of working in customer service have taught me to not only meet the customer’s needs, but to exceed them. I have worked in numerous different types of stores, handled a wide range of customers in an incredible number of unique situations. It has been my experience to see how the way I handle any situation with a customer influences the possibility that they will return and become a repeat customer. Every company needs to use their employees, who have contact with the customers, to increase the marketability of the company on a daily basis.
Besides dealing with customers directly, I have worked to train and in several cases mentor new employees. They are often intimidated when they first begin and need to gain experience and self-confidence. It has been my pleasure to watch these people gain superior knowledge and skill.
It would be a pleasure to set up a time and discuss your needs and how I can help your company work with customer service. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.