Experience bears this out: If we put thought and time in our cover letters, the odds are excellent that we will get to the next step. That's the interview.
The employer or potential client, we find out, might be interviewing 20 by phone. Then, next, about a half of those in person. It could take up to a month or more for the process to be complete and an offer made.
We may decide not to try so hard on the cover letter. Just press "send" on a generic version. Then we won't feel so "cheated" when the interim prize we win is to enter ever more severe competition.
Well, the good news is that if we put as much thought and time in the interview or interviews as the cover letter we could be the one who gets the offer. I found that out when I made it my business not to be discouraged by the kind of competition I had never faced previously.
How to do the interview right? Listen. Don't enter with a set script. Sure, play around in our heads with what they might ask and what we might reply. But that isn't set in stone.
If we listen we will be able to tap into the agenda under the literal words. Sometimes the interviewer wants to unmask our "sins" of the past. Or they are trying to gauge if we will go the distance to win one for gipper. Only when we pick up on that should be present our response. That might be very different than what we had planned.
Cover letters which are effective only set up a Catch-22 situation when we have a defeatist mindset about bringing home the gold in the interview process.
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