Hungry job seekers focus their cover letters on what they want, what they expect, and what they can do. Then they wait for the phone to ring to book an interview. That's one way to approach the job search market.
Essential as these points are, however, they're not nearly as effective as opening and closing a cover letter with two simple words—THANK YOU.
Why say thank you when you don't know the hiring manager and you don't have the job yet? Here's why. Behind every desk in every company sits a human being just like you, a person with hopes and dreams, plans and challenges, and a desire to be acknowledged and appreciated.
One day your cover letter will land on his or her desk. Will you jump off the page as a person ideal for the job, a team player, someone who'll be a great addition to the staff? I hope so, but more important, will you come across as someone who has a humble and grateful attitude, an individual who recognizes the value of an opportunity, the privilege of holding a job and working with others toward a common goal? That profile is what every hiring manager is looking for.
Giving Thanks Could Land You a Job!
Thank you. These two simple words seem to be in hiding because they so rarely appear in public! But they are golden, even more so than your resume, skills, and qualifications—because they set the stage for what is to come. What man or woman wouldn't respond to someone who is polite, personal, and professional?
Following are examples of how to express your thanks at the beginning of your cover letter and at the end.
Dear Mr. Hiring Manager:
Thank you for taking a moment to read my cover letter. I'm pleased to meet you here and hope to do so in person. I was happy to see on careerjimmy.com your listing for an administrative assistant—a position for which I feel qualified and eager to fill.
Thank you again for reading my letter and resume and for considering me for the job. May I come in for an interview so I can hear your perspective on this position and the qualities you're looking for in the person you hire? I can be available any time that works for you. I appreciate this opportunity very much.
Dear Mr. Hiring Manager:
Thank you for posting on careerjimmy.com such a clear description of the opening for an administrative assistant now available at your company. I was able to tell at a glance that this job is just what I've been looking for and feel qualified to fill.
You must receive hundreds of cover letters every week––all the more reason for me to thank you again for taking time to read mine and for considering me for the position of executive secretary on your administrative staff. I'd welcome the opportunity to meet with you in person for an interview so we can discuss what I can bring to the job and what you expect from the person you hire.
After sending off your cover letter, take a moment to expand your thanks silently.
• For the job that is waiting for you, even if you haven't landed it yet
• For the person who will hire you when the time comes
• For the experience, talent, and skill you have to earn a living
• For the people in your life who love and support you
Thanksgiving Day is not the only time to give thanks. Move gratitude to the top of your list at home, at work, and in the community and you will find what you're looking for in the job market and in your relationships.
Author: Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the brand new, Amazing Cover Letters. Jimmy is also the author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, "Job Search Secrets."