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Brilliant Cover Letters by James Innes

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CHAPTER 3
Advert-response
letters: getting
together a
winning strategy
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M03_INNE4636_01_SE_C03.QXP:M00_INNE4636_01_SE_C00 27/7/09 11:12 Page 66
Basic principles
brilliant
definition
‘Advert-response letter’
An advert-response letter differs from a speculative letter in that you have
already identified that the prospective employer has a specific vacancy that
they are keen to fill.
In many ways, whilst generally longer than a speculative letter, an advert-
response letter is easier to write because the employer will have already
given you a number of clues as to what they are looking for. They are
already telling you what it is that they need.
However, much effort is still required, as you will most likely be up
against a lot more competition than you would be for a speculative appli-
cation. But it’s not a shot in the dark get it right and you’re in with a
very strong chance of winning an interview.
Choosing your targets
I’ll be talking about how to actually find your targets in Chapter 9, page
189: Job hunting.The point I’d like to make in this chapter is that it’s vital
to choose your targets carefully.You’ll need to be very selective.
Do make sure you match any criteria listed as essential to the role. There
is really very little point applying for a job if you simply do not have the
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68 brilliant Cover L etters
required qualifications and experience it’s a
waste of your own time and the employer’s
time.You can be absolutely sure that there will
be applicants who do fully meet the criteria
and you clearly can’t compete with them.
However, having said that, if you only just fall short of the criteria but do
feel you have other qualities that will give you an edge, it may still be
worth a crack. It is very much a matter of judgement whether or not you
should proceed with your application. However, if you do proceed then it
would be advisable to word your cover letter so as to tackle your ‘weak
point’ and emphasise why you feel that you should still be considered for
the position. (We’ll cover this later in the chapter.)
First steps: read and re-read the advert
Undoubtedly, the key to a perfect advert-response letter one that will
really get you noticed is the employer’s advertisement itself.
The average job advert will normally contain a lot of very useful infor-
mation about:
G the role itself the specific duties and responsibilities entailed;
G the type of candidate the employer is looking for in terms of
qualifications and experience.
You need to read through this very carefully, dissect and break it down
until you’re left with the material you need to help you write your letter.
make sure you match
any criteria listed as
essential to the role
brilliant
tip
The secret is to understand precisely what it is that the recruiter wants and
then make sure that your letter (and your CV, for that matter) delivers this.
Use the job advert to help you identify exactly what it is that the prospec-
tive employer is looking for.Then, make sure you clearly demonstrate how
your skills and experience not only match their requirements, but also
make you the perfect candidate for the role.
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