“Letters leading to interviews”
Do you hardly ever hear back from employers when you respond to a job opening? It might have something to do with the letter you sent.
Most people make one major blunder: They spend hours crafting a letter jam packed with the wrong information. Such a letter goes something like this:
“Dear Ms. Jovanavich:
The job you have open for Director of Customer Service seems to be the next logical step in my career. I am looking for a position that offers security and a company that will appreciate my 10 years of experience and skills in customer service.”
That first sentence alone nixed this person’s chances of getting a positive response. Why? She talked about what’s in her best interest. The letter continues to focus on the wrong subject: the letter writer’s personal needs and problems. It is sure to fail the first screening test a company applies to decide whether to invite someone to an interview.
What most job hunters don’t understand is that the employer doesn’t give a hoot about whether this position is logical for their career. The employer also doesn’t give a darn that the worker wants security–which the employer will not be offering.
Employers have their own problems on their mind: finding someone who can help them solve their problems. And if you want to get their attention, your first contact with them must address this. Because initially–as well as throughout the whole hiring process–they’re looking for reasons to screen you out. If you don’t speak their language, most likely you’re out of the running.
Take a lesson from an employer who told this story to the editors of WZ.com on how he found his perfect employee. He ran a three-line ad in his community newspaper that described the job, environment, hours and pay and listed a phone number.
When people called the phone number they heard a three-minute message giving details about the job. At the end, the message instructed interested parties to hand write a letter, telling why the employer should hire them.
Out of about 113 people who listened to the message, only twelve sent handwritten letters. So the employer screened out a lot of people initially. Others were disqualified by their letters.
One person wrote her letter on the back of a paper placemat. Another wrote a letter on a piece of loose-leaf paper ripped out of a notebook.
Moral of the story: When you respond to an opening, tell the employer what they all want to know: why they should hire you. And remember, the only reason they would want to hire you is because of what you can do for them. That means you’d tell them about the specific skills, knowledge and experience you have to make their business better.
You can evaluate whether the job is a logical step for your career and meets your requirements once you get the chance to learn more about the position. For now, though, concentrate on just getting that opportunity. That should be your sole goal when you sit down to write that letter.