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  • Personal Branding Toolkit – Part 4: Cover Letters

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    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Career Development, Personal Branding, Recruitment, Success Strategies
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    3 comments on “Personal Branding Toolkit – Part 4: Cover Letters
    1. avatar

      Hi Dan,

      Good tips on the cover letter. Here are a few more:

      1. DO use times new roman or arial for your CONTENT text – it must be easy to read and accessible by varied computer systems as many companies import the docs to their applicant tracking systems.

      2. What’s your brand? Communicate this in the letter. For example, one of my clients was dubbed the PR Martyr by her colleagues. Why? She slept on a cot to meet a tight deadline. Talk about commitment! She was targeting PR gigs with non profit companies. They love people who live for the job – and have those martyr qualities. We used the PR Martyr brand in her letter. Next, I had a client dubbed the Cold Call King by his boss – we used his boss’s quote right in the letter.

      3. What’s your brand – and how can you capitalize on this in your letter?

      As Dan said, recruiters read cover letters for about 30 seconds – what makes you stand out?

    2. avatar
      Eric Kramer says:

      I am a big proponent of personal branding, however I would suggest a different format for a cover letter.

      A cover letter has a specific goal – get the reader to look at your resume. It has to be read in 30-40 seconds and it needs to communicate quickly and succinctly that you are a good candidate for the job.

      As a career coach, when I work with clients I have them write a “T” letter. The first paragraph is their positioning statement (a good place for some personal branding). This paragraph is followed by a table. The left side of the table is the job requirements and the right side is how the client matches those requirements. Just a quick read through the table will communicate to the recruiter/hiring manager that the client is qualified and should be considered for the position.

      After the table is a brief paragraph expressing interest in the job and a closing.

      This format has had good results and is easy to modify for multiple job applications.

      Eric Kramer

    3. avatar
      WhiskeyJim says:

      All the most successful ‘cold’ mailers, as measured by response, have included 4-5 page cover letters. Short blurbs typically yield nothing.

      Why is that successful since it is contrary to expert advice?

      BTW, having hired hundreds of people, I can tell you that a cover letter can be everything. In my view, it is like a lawyer using his summation statement for a two minute summary when he could be interpreting the whole trial. If I want a $300k job response from someone I do not know, I better have something to say.

      I would appreciate any feedback.

    4 Pings/Trackbacks for "Personal Branding Toolkit – Part 4: Cover Letters"
    1. […] 1) Business cards 2) Portfolios 3) Resumes 4) Cover letters […]

    2. […] Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Tool Kit: Personal Branding Tool Kit: Part I Business Cards Personal Branding Tool Kit: Part II Portfolios Personal Branding Tool Kit: Part III Resumes Personal Branding Tool Kit: Part IV Cover Letters […]

    3. […] Cover Letters – Personal Branding Blog – Sep ‘08 […]

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