Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cover Letter Keys - Part Two - Targeted Market Letters

Targeted market letters cover letters are those that are proactively sent to your target market of employers.

Savvy job seekers do not wait to hear about openings; they look for openings before they become public knowledge. One way to find unpublished job leads is to conduct a target-market search. This strategy involves first identifying a group of companies or organizations that are most likely to be interested in your background and expertise.

Once these companies or organizations are identified, you can then proceed with the next step by contacting hiring managers directly to let them know of your availability. The Reference Librarian at your local library is a valuable source of information on how to research your target companies.

Below are a few hints on writing effective cover letters for your target market.

  • Whenever possible, address your letter to the hiring manager rather than HR. Again, this may require a phone call to sleuth out the information, but could yield great results.

  • Begin your ‘targeted’ letter by indicating your knowledge and interest of the company. You need to give the reader a reason to believe that you have a genuine interest in their company and that you haven’t just pulled their name out of a hat.

  • List briefly your qualifications and accomplishments and the position you’re offering to fill.

  • Use “I” sparingly. This is your opportunity to articulate the many ways that you can be a benefit to their organization.

  • Since this is a proactive contact, it is up to you to initiate phone contact. End your letter with a promise to call by a certain day.

Although using this target market strategy is time consuming, it often yields surprising results. Know that a job lead discovered through proactive methods means little or no competition from other job seekers.