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March 10, 2009

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Often, people look at the cover letter as an afterthought in the application process, amere formality. Dangerous thinking.

The cover letter is your first chance to have a conversation with your prospectiveemployer, to tell them who you are, why you’re contacting them, and to explain awayany inconsistencies or peculiarities about your resume. It’s a brief, one-sidedconversation, of course, but one you should enter.

Because your cover letter serves as a fuller expression of your personality, it is, ina sense, more important than your resume. While employers want employees with the skillsto fit the job, candidates who can put together three words, and express themselves in aclear, appealing manner, are favored by any future boss.

While creating a good cover letter can be an elusive task, creating a bad cover letterthat will trash your employment chances is surprisingly easy. Like resumes, manyapplicants instantly lose legitimacy because of careless typos or oddball inclusions.

Since cover letters require more subjective writing, there’s more that can gowrong. The cover letter demands that you display your command of the language, yourgrammatical expertise and your social grace. Only through study and practice can youensure success.

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