WorkWise Q&A: Any advice on my cover letter?

culp@workwise.netDecember 16, 2012 

PHRASING

Q: Dear Ms. Culp, Can you advise me?

A highly regarded operations executive, ... I establish firm sales and services goals and turn around under-performing organizations, revitalizing health and profitability to any enterprise.

Providing strategic planning, growth strategies and organizational guidance, I rescue companies. ... My experience ensures business goals and objectives are forward leaning and clearly communicated, leading to increased sales, revenue margins and operational productivity. ... A resourceful and dynamic leader, I manage complex projects, identify areas for revenue growth and provide the strategic planning to achieve those business objectives. Peers note my penchant for building winning teams and identifying future organizational leaders. ...

I believe I can be of value to any operation, regardless of the industry.

By-the-Book

A: Dear Ms. By-the-Book, Your cover letter screams of phrases for SEO, one chunk after another, as if you’ve put a puzzle together.

Worse than that, you state, “I believe I can be of value to any organization.” Come on.

You’re “a highly regarded operations executive ... revitalizing health and profitability to any enterprise. ... a resourceful and dynamic leader ...” Please!

Your self-laudatory statements crucify you. I’ll bet you aren’t the egotist you appear to be. Let others commend you elsewhere. Here, just the facts, ma’am.

mlc

RESUME

Q: Dear Dr. Culp, Please look at my resume and tell me what you think.

Senior Manager

A: Dear Senior Manager, You’ve squeezed your career onto a page with a one-inch margin on all sides. It seems desperately unfocused, lacking a career vision. Research industries and companies you might be interested in before reworking the resume. Then, address it to them rather than yourself.

Clarify your direction in an objective that includes a relevant title, description of a company and the key benefit you bring an employer. Be wary of wasted verbiage from descriptions of what you did rather than what you accomplished. You’ve composed every bit of “Career Summary” from features.

List under the objective not so much the functions of a job you can handle but stand-out accomplishments to draw the eye of the company you’re targeting. Collapse your introductory section and integrate it into accomplishments. Don’t hide your degree but omit the field if it would cause confusion or confirm limitations inherent in your resume.

Start over. Get some spirit. Stop parroting what you read. Create a presentation from inside of you.

mlc

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