The Almighty Letter
Spend Time on It, and You Can Change Your Life
Jan. 19, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 5
IN THE NEWS
More Jobs Being Found Online, but That Doesn't Mean It's Easy
One of the first things Brooke Christiansen did as college graduation neared last spring was post her résumé on three of the largest Internet job boards: Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs. For the most part, she said, it was an exercise in frustration.
—Barbara Whitaker, The New York Times, Jan. 15, 2006
Cover Letters Get You In the Door, So Be Sure Not to Dash Them Off
A great cover letter is the golden key to any job search. Yet despite a glut of advice books and Web sites, an estimated 85% of cover letters are so flawed that senders never land an interview, career coaches say.
—Joann S. Lublin, The New York Times, April 6, 2004
A couple of years ago, a guy with impressive credentials and seemingly many contacts in the world of book publishing contacted me about co-authoring a book.
His title: "Advertising as Literature."
I spent a week on research and found, among other things, a couple of interesting quotes:
"Advertising is the greatest art form of the twentieth century."
"The force of the advertising word and image dwarfs the power of other literature in the 20th century."
—Daniel J. Boorstin
I went back at the guy with a revised title: "ADVERTISING AS LITERATURE: What Authors Can Learn from the Great Copywriters."
He said OK, we signed an agreement, and I put together a book proposal.
It never got off the ground.
Around the same time, I saw Joann Lublin's article in The New York Times on the importance of the cover letter when submitting a résumé. The story started:
Eager to snare a hot job opening, you quickly scribble a cover letter and attach it to your flawless résumé. Too bad. You probably just blew your chance to be hired. Your hastily written missive missed the mark—and you misspelled the target company's name.