Many career and resume counselors advise that you avoid repeating anything in your cover letter that's in your resume. I disagree. Studies have shown that it takes up to seven times of hearing or seeing something before it makes an impression on
us - so use that strategy in your cover letters. When employers spend so few seconds glancing at dozens, even hundreds, of cover letters and resumes how can we expect them to remember much about
us as they move from one cover letter to another cover
letter. By being redundant and re-emphasizing our best skills in a cover letter
you can help an employer remember them.
In this instance, being redundant becomes a good cover
letter strategy. However, you can avoid the appearance of
redundancy by varying the skill headings or titles you use in your cover letter from those that you use in your resume.
For example, if you use the title of Executive Secretary in your resume, you might use a skill heading of Executive Support / Departmental Administration in your
cover letter. This re-emphasizes the same set of skills but doesn't look
redundant in a cover letter. You can apply the same strategy by lifting strong statements from your resume and rewording them for your cover letter. Remember, that both your
cover letter and your resume should be stand-alone documents and each should sell your top 4-5 skills--which means that you'll have to repeat them.
When job seekers bring up their concerns about repeating some of the information that's in their
resumes in their cover letters, I feel confident recommending what has worked for my clients. Having received several calls from clients each and every week about the success of their cover letters and resumes I know that these techniques work. If you want to use other cover letter ideas and formats feel free to experiment. If they work and generate interviews then use them. If they don't then follow my
recommendations when writing your cover letter. It can land you more interviews!
are more cover letter snippets, cover letter tips and cover
letter samples from my book Proven Resumes Strategies
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The cover letter strategies in my book have been responsible
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