How to Write a Killer Cover Letter

How to Write a Killer Cover Letter
A Publication of Edvisors and the Student Loan Network
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
About the Author
Labeled a visionary in financial aid with an intuitive sense for how marketing and
community outreach should be done, Christopher S. Penn is the Chief Technology
Officer of the Student Loan Network and founder/producer of the multi-award
winning Financial Aid Podcast Internet radio show. Mr. Penn has also personally
researched and located over 600 scholarships totaling more than $9 billion in free
educational funding.
Mr. Penn has been called upon for expert information by
researchers for the Congressional Advisory Committee on Student
Financial Aid and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as
being sought after for conferences and private intensive seminars
by state and national financial aid agencies.
He speaks daily on his Financial Aid Podcast Internet radio show
on topics of personal finance, college affordability, and career/
professional development. Mr. Penn has also been featured in
many books, newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal,
Washington Post, and the New York Times, magazines such as BusinessWeek and US
News & World Report, television, and publications for his leadership in new media and
financial services.
About the Student Loan Network
The Student Loan Network, an Edvisors
company, is one of the nation's fastest
growing providers of student loans and
related information. Since 1998, we have helped approximately 25 million students and
parents access over $1 billion in federal and private student loans, scholarships and
consolidation funding for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education. Our
federal loan and private loan products are available both on the Internet and by phone
in consultation with our Financial Aid Consultants. Learn more about the Student Loan
Network at www.studentloannetwork.com or by calling toll-free 877-328-1565.
As a leading online provider of education resources and financial services, Edvisors
provides a richer, more fulfilling education experience to students, educators and
parents worldwide. We deliver on our mission by providing an unmatched portfolio of
student loan products and education-related information and services.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Table of Contents
Introduction
3
What is a Great Cover Letter?
4
Figure Out What's For Sale
6
AIDA: The Cover Letter That Tells Your Story
8
Capture Attention
8
Create Interest
9
Build Desire
9
Call to Action
11
Refining Your Story
13
Getting There is Half the Fun
14
How to Package the Cover Letter
15
Fulfilling the Promise
16
Sample Cover Letter
17
Sample Cover Letter Components
18
Final Words
19
Additional Student Loan Network Resources
20
Acknowledgements and Credits
21
Copyright, Licensing, and Distribution
22
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Introduction
I just got this email from a job candidate looking to work for the Student Loan Network
as a web developer:
I may have the qualifications you seek.
Portfolio and biography online (see signature link).
Best,
ABC
ABC, whoever you are, you never had a chance. You were toast the moment I opened
your email because your cover letter, instead of inspiring me to look further,
immediately had me delete your email, qualifications unread. This poor cover letter has
caused ABC to miss out on a very lucrative position at a phenomenal company, a
position involving good pay, great place to work, easy access to public transit, 100%
healthcare, 401k, and so much more - all lost because of a lousy cover letter.
How can you avoid the same fate?
The cover letter is probably the most neglected part of the job hunting process, and yet
it can be the one item that can get you in the door of a future employer faster than
anything else you do. The cover letter can also be the one item that sinks you as a
candidate, denying you even a chance to prove yourself, such as ABC above.
How do you write a cover letter that gets results?
In this short guide, I'll share with you some ideas from the perspective of a hiring
manager, plus a proven template you can use to make your existing cover letter far
more effective. You don't have to be Shakespeare or Chaucer, either - just follow the
structure in this guide and you'll be well on your way.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
What is a Great Cover Letter?
A great cover letter is simply this: a first impression. Scratch that, it's THE first
impression, the first time a prospective future employer hears from you more often than
not. What do you aim to do in virtually every first impression, whether it's that person
on the other side of the room sneaking peeks at you at a party, whether it's the first time
you meet a personal hero, or the first time you apply for a job?
You seek to get their attention.
You seek to catch their interest.
You seek to compel them into action.
Think about every time you've been successful at making a first impression in your life.
What things did they all have in common?
A great cover letter does the exact same things - it gets attention, makes the reader pay
attention, catches their interest, and compels them to take action. What's the action, the
desired goal of every cover letter?
Get the reader to pick up the phone or compose an email,
asking you to come in for an interview.
Nothing else - not to prove that you're a great person, not to demonstrate how capable
you are at every skill under the sun, not even to prove that you're a good employee. The
goal of the cover letter is to get the interview. The
resume - the document most of us spend time
poring over - is more often than not just supporting
data. If a hiring manager wants to talk to you based
on a cover letter, the resume simply gives them factbased data to confirm their decision. If a hiring
manager wants to toss you out as a candidate, the
resume is just a way of nitpicking all the
qualifications you don't have exactly worded.
Isn't it ironic that hundreds of career books spend the
majority of their time talking about how to write your resume and not nearly enough
time about how to write a cover letter to introduce the resume?
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Think of the cover letter this way. The resume is the engine of the car, the document that
details a lot of your specific skills, the power stuff. The cover letter? That's the shiny
exterior, the cherry red glossy finish that commands your eyes to LOOK RIGHT NOW
AT ME.
No one looks under the hood of a rustbucket - yet thousands of career experts make you
focus on the engine and barely think about
the exterior.
Why? I suspect it's largely because most
people don't know how to write a sales
letter.
That's what a cover letter is. It's a sales letter,
and the product it sells is the unique
combination of skills and abilities that you
have that no one else has, and that's where
the process of writing a truly great cover letter starts.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Figure Out What's For Sale
If I had a nickel for every time a cover letter started, "I am interested in applying for the
job of XYZ and I believe I am a good match for blah blah blah blah..."
I don't care. As a hiring manager, I don't care what you think is great about you. I want
to know one thing and one thing only:
What's in it for me?
Why should I hire you? Because ultimately as a hiring manager, I hire you to help me,
to make my life easier, to solve my problems, to make me look better in the eyes of the
people I work for. Me, me, me, me, my favorite person,
me, as marketing expert Seth Godin says. If your cover
letter does not answer what's in it for me in a compelling
way, I won't grant you the interview.
Now, most hiring managers will never be this blunt or
direct. Most hiring managers will hide this honest truth
behind layers of civility, but it is the absolute truth - I as
a hiring manager do not hire you because it will benefit
you. I hire you because it will benefit me.
So how do you present what's in it for the hiring manager? You first have to figure out
what your personal brand is, what your superhero power is. What can you do better
than anyone else? What tangible and intangible skills do you have that simply cannot
be replicated, automated, or eliminated?
Some people are musicians. They can create music, whereas the rest of us just download
their creations. Even with training, we cannot easily achieve through skill building what
is in their hearts and ears naturally.
Some people are creative. They can make things, designs, words, and images just
appear out of thin air, and their creations are exactly right.
Some people are intensely reliable. Give them a job to do and you know with absolute
certainty that it will be done exactly on time, exactly on budget, exactly to the
specifications you've provided.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
There are infinite skills in the universe, and in each person there is at least one, if not
more, skill that they excel in. Sometimes you know what your skill is, from very early
on. Other times, it takes some digging and brutal self honesty to find it, but the key to
both success and happiness is finding that skill and being able to express it.
Once you figure out what's for sale, what your
personal brand is, be able to express it in a single
text message. If you can express your personal
brand, what's for sale, in one short sentence,
you're head and shoulders ahead of every other
job hunter out there.
Tip: Watch this presentation
by Mitch Joel for exercises to
develop an understanding of
your personal brand.
Now that we know what's for sale, let's move onto the structures themselves.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
AIDA: The Cover Letter That Tells Your Story
It's said that in literature, there are just a few story archetypes - the quest, boy meets
girl, underdog beats favored, etc. There are just a few basic sales letter structures as
well, and we'll review a few in this section.
Before we begin, it's important to note that structure and style are completely different
things. Structure is the presentation of what you are going to write, whereas style is
how you write. It's the difference between understanding that the wheels in a car
should generally be on the bottom of the car versus how to drive a car, the difference
between getting the right gift for someone versus how to wrap it, the difference
between buying an engagement ring and knowing when to present it.
Style is entirely you - your voice, how you write, the way you
use language, and we're not going to spend much time with
that, because altering your style creates inconsistency, which
can harm you later in the job hunting process. If your cover
letter reads like Shakespeare but you interview like Tony
Soprano, the inconsistency, the lack of authenticity, may end
up disqualifying you.
Structure is how to present the information that is true about
you, how to make it flow logically, how to tell a story about
you. For example, we know that plays typically occur in five
acts, movies more often in three. We know that songs have a
beginning, middle, and end, with a bridge sometimes in there. Even nursery rhymes
and children's stories have structures - once upon a time and happily ever after. Our
brain love structure and order because it helps us to understand what is otherwise a
random pile of facts.
Let's examine one of the oldest, most effective sales letter structures, the AIDA structure,
and how it can apply to your cover letter.
AIDA is probably the most well known of these structures and is a venerable tool in
every salesperson's toolkit. Capture the reader's attention, build their interest, incite
desire and an emotional response, then close the deal by compelling the reader to take
action. The way to deploy this structure is simple, with a four section sales letter.
Capture Attention
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
There are two ways to effectively capture attention - make a bold statement and ask a
question. Imagine if the web developer who applied for a job with my company had
started out their letter with statements like this:
WARNING: Your profits could double in the next 18 months!
Do you know how many customers are being turned away from
StudentLoanNetwork.com because of one simple flaw you could change tomorrow?
There are 12 ways to increase customer conversion on StudentLoanNetwork.com. Your
site, excellent though it is, is only using 9 of them. Would you like me to help you with
the other 3?
If I received a cover letter like that, you bet I'd keep reading. Of course, you have to
deliver on the promise in...
Create Interest
Once you've got the attention of the reader, you have to draw them in, fulfill at least a
little bit the promises you've made in the opening attention getter. If we continue with
the web developer example, of course there are a series of things that any web site can
do to improve conversion. Pick one of the less frequently used ones and talk about it in
a paragraph here.
As an example, the developer could have said,
"It's true. Of the 12 ways to increase customer
conversion, having a mobile version of your site is
absolutely essential, so that a customer can choose you
whenever and wherever they are - and I can't find a
mobile version of StudentLoanNetwork.com, but I'd be
happy to help you build one as part of the job of Web
Developer!"
Build Desire
What sells the steak? The sizzle. What closes the deal? Emotion. The emotion that you
work with in a cover letter depends on the kind of company or industry you're
applying to and what matters most to the people who will read your letters. One of the
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
best ways to create emotion and desire is through the use of words like imagine,
visualize, and dream.
There are lots of ways to create emotion, but let's say for the sake of the web developer
example that we're going to focus on reassurance, on making a safe hire. The developer
could include a short bit about themselves, and then add what I think is the most
important ingredient of all - testimonials.
"By now you're probably wondering, who is this gal? My name is Jane Smith, and I
want to join the Student Loan Network team as your Web Developer to help make SLN
the very best it possibly can be online. I've had the opportunity to help others in the
past make their web sites more impactful and more profitable - but don't just take my
word for it! Here's what others have said about my ability to help you:
"I would have written that she's an absolutely terrible employee just to keep her a
little longer here with us, because she's that good - our non-profit site, Baseball for
Babies, turned in record results thanks to her hard work." - Amanda Smith, B4B.org
"I've never seen a web developer work as quickly to take an idea and turn it into a
reality as Jane. She's incredible, and so easy to work with. Our site was up and running
just days after hiring Jane." - Chuck Smith, CheeseIsTheOtherWhiteMeat.com
Where do you get such testimonials that you can
include on your cover letter? Simple - use a
service such as LinkedIn to gather
recommendations on previous work. What if you
don't have a lot of previous work? Solicit
recommendations from your peers and
coworkers on projects, events, and other activities
in which you had a participatory role.
Tip: Watch this video of a
LinkedIn seminar I
presented recently to learn
more about how to use
LinkedIn effectively.
Recommendations and testimonials are a terrific way to reinforce the feeling of
reassurance, that you're not only a great hire, but a safe choice as well. Testimonials are
effectively short references, a way for prospective employers to have a sense of what
others think about your work. Gather up as many testimonials about your work as you
possibly can, and use them judiciously in a cover letter to reassurance, engage, and
excite.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Call to Action
Sales expert Zig Ziglar has a great expression about action: "Timid salesmen have
skinny kids" - there are a lot of folks in sales who do a great job with the sales process
up until they have to ask for the order, and then they get timid. They don't ask for the
sale. An unbelievable number of cover letters do the exact same thing - they don't ask
for the interview, or if they do, they do it in a passive-aggressive, timid way that doesn't
encourage the reader to want to take action right away. Here are just a few "closers" I've
received in my inbox this week:
"I look forward to talking with you regarding my skills in these fields that will be
useful to you."
"If interested in speaking further, do let me know."
"Thank you, I look forward to hearing back from you."
"Attached is my resume for you to see my current and past experience. Please
feel free to contact me either by e-mail or calling me at (555) 555-1212 if you
would be interested in setting up an interview."
None of these closing paragraphs - "closers", if you will - inspires the reader to take
action, to do something. There's no perception of a valuable opportunity about to slip
through the reader's fingers unless they act now.
Here's a secret of human nature - we perceive value based on how others perceive
value. Call it keeping up with the Joneses or envy or whatever term works best for you,
but we set our own values based on what others think, for good or ill. In the world of
dating, it's common to find a person already in a relationship has more appeal than
someone single. Advertisers rely on the perception of popularity to boost products all
the time, and that's what we want to do at the end of the cover letter. We want to create
a dual sensation of popularity (and thus value) and scarcity.
Here's an example:
"I know we're both busy, coordinating schedules and trying to get as much done as
possible, aren't we? I'd love to come talk with you more about some of the other 12
ideas for improving the Student Loan Network's web sites, but the calendar's getting
pretty crazy. I'm available on Tuesday, May 20 at 3:15 PM and Friday, May 23 at 10:15
AM - which time works better for you? Of course, if those dates don't work, I'm happy
to move some things around just for you.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Sign the letter with your name, phone number, email address, and personal web site,
and get ready to send it.
In the back of this book, you'll find this complete sales letter as a template. You'll notice
several additional things - even in plain text, it works very well, but with formatting, it's
even more powerful. Don’t be afraid to have a couple versions of your cover letter,
formatted and unformatted, so that you can deliver the version that will have
maximum impact.
Marketing expert Seth Godin tells a funny story about
predicting who will be successful at speed dating.
Speed dating, if you're not familiar with it, is a social
event in which courters and courtees gather in a room,
the courtees take seats at stations in the room, and the
courters rotate through the room, taking six minutes to
speak with each of the courtees. One of the benchmarks
of a successful speed dating courter is how long it takes for the courter to say the word
"you" in their introduction. A courter whose opening "speech" is all "me, me, me" rarely
gets the opportunity to continue any of their conversations outside the speed dating
event.
Our cover letter focuses on the exact same principle - it's all about you, you, you the
hiring manager, the problems you have, and the ways in which hiring me will solve
your problems for you. It's about making you feel safe in hiring me and about you
being excited to make that decision right now. No matter what language or speaking
style you use in your cover letter, you must always be repeatedly selling "what's in it for
me" to the hiring manager. The AIDA structure provides a convenient, easy to
understand way to do that, tell your story, and close the deal.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Refining Your Story
You’ve got a great cover letter, right? Perhaps. One of the dangers we have to be aware
of when we write is the danger of seeing our material too much. Simple grammar and
spelling errors can go unnoticed after we’ve stared at a page too long. How do we
remedy this? Here’s a three step process to refine your cover letter.
Step 1: Read it out loud.
Print out your cover letter, grab a red pen, and read it out loud. Mark up any point
which verbally causes you to stutter, stumble, or pause due to confusion and language
(as opposed to dramatic effect). Go back and edit your cover letter until you can read it
clearly and it takes on a conversational tone.
Step 2: Record it out loud.
Read your cover letter into an audio recorder of
some kind, then listen to it. Pay careful attention as
you listen for parts which make your mind wander.
These are parts in which the language of the cover
letter isn’t compelling enough to keep your
attention.
Step 3: Borrow a mouth.
Ask a friend, coworker, colleague, or relative to take a read of your cover letter.
However, don’t have them just read it - ask them to read it out loud, and see if there are
additional stumbling points for them. Make notes and see if there are opportunities to
reword or rephrase so that they can read it aloud more easily.
Once your cover letter is easy to read aloud and compelling to listen to, you’re ready to
deliver it to prospective employers!
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Getting There is Half the Fun
We've got a great cover letter written now, along with a resume, and we're ready to get
you a job, right?
Not so fast. The cover letter, great though it is, has to be READ by someone.
Who? That's even more important. You want your cover letter to be read by the person
who has the authority to hire you. More often than not, that's not someone in Human
Resources, and that's the catch. Human Resources is often responsible for posting jobs
on the job boards like Monster.com and Craigslist, but the hiring manager is rarely
included in the listing. Instead you get a generic address like [email protected] (if
you're awesome, send us your resume)
Let's assume for a moment that you know exactly which company or companies you
want to work for. Your next step is to find out who would be the appropriate person to
talk to inside the company about the job. If the job listing has the hiring manager's
name, terrific. If not, visit the company's web site and start exploring the About pages to
see who works there. More often than not, you'll find someone in the company who is
an obvious candidate to receive your resume.
Here's another secret: most corporations have a standard syntax, a standard pattern for
corporate email addresses. First initial, last name, or first name dot last name - there are
a dozen different variants. Google the company's domain name like this:
email crayonville.com
http://www.google.com/search?q=email
+crayonville.com
and you'll see some of the sample email
addresses of employees who work at that
company. Once you know what the syntax of
the email address is, you can email your cover
letter and resume to the hiring manager
you've located by surfing the company's web
site.
It's generally a good idea to also send a copy of your application package to the Human
Resources department, too. Doing so makes sure your resume finds its way into the
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
"process" internally at the company, so that if the hiring manager is persuaded, Human
Resources will have a record of your job application and will be less likely to obstruct
your potential interview.
How to Package the Cover Letter
Here’s a peek at a recent application for the Web Developer position that arrived in my
inbox:
What’s wrong with this picture?
There’s no cover letter. There’s an
attachment that says cover letter, but
honestly, I’m not going to open it
and read it. I don’t have the time as a
busy professional, and opening that
attachment is probably going to
cause my computer to hang for a
while as Microsoft Word gets its act
together and gets going.
Take a look at this even worse example:
What was the fate of these two candidates? Trash can. Not even considered for the job.
Remember, the cover letter is a first impression. Instead of sending it as an attachment,
put your cover letter in the text of your email.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Fulfilling the Promise
You've made a cover letter that creates a promise, a promise of a great employee just
waiting to be hired. Your resume backs up your cover letter with all the objective data
and pieces that a hiring manager will need to justify hiring you. The final piece of the
puzzle, once you get an interview, is to fulfill the promise you've made.
This is why it's so important for your cover letter to be 100% accurate, 100% truthful.
The job interview is an opportunity to reinforce the messages in your cover letter, to
reinforce how terrific you are, but in your interview you must be in sync with your
cover letter. Never, ever lie in your cover letter or resume. Tell the truth - obviously,
we've talked a lot in this guide about how to present the truth in the most favorable
light possible, but it's still all about the truth, about the real you.
Two reasons for this - first, if you lie on a cover letter or resume, or even exaggerate
beyond what's reasonable, your interview will likely trip you up, especially on anything
factual, like previous jobs and experience. The significant short term cost of lying on a
cover letter is the incongruity of a great letter and a candidate that doesn't fulfill the
promise of the letter.
Second, if you lie and get the job anyway, chances are you won't be as happy in the job.
The company that hired you in reality hired someone else, a fictional version of you that
is more capable, more knowledgeable, and more talented than you actually are, so
expectations will be higher, and failing to live up to those could make for miserable
working conditions and a short tenure, neither of which are desirable outcomes.
Tell the truth. Present well, present effectively, showcase what accomplishments you've
already achieved, and when you do get hired, you'll be able to fulfill the promise you've
made in your cover letter, the promise of being a terrific employee at a great company.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Sample Cover Letter
Dear Christopher Penn,
There are 12 ways to increase customer conversion on StudentLoanNetwork.com. Your
site, excellent though it is, is only using 9 of them. Would you like me to help you with
the other 3?
It's true. Of the 12 ways to increase customer conversion, having a mobile version of
your site is absolutely essential, so that a customer can choose you whenever and
wherever they are - and I can't find a mobile version of StudentLoanNetwork.com, but
I'd be happy to help you build one as part of the job of Web Developer!
By now you're probably wondering, who is this gal? My name is Jane Smith, and I want
to join the Student Loan Network team as your Web Developer to help make SLN the
very best it possibly can be online. I've had the opportunity to help others in the past
make their web sites more impactful and more profitable - but don't just take my word
for it! Here's what others have said about my ability to help you:
"I would have written that she's an absolutely terrible employee just to keep her a little
longer here with us, because she's that good - our non-profit site, Baseball for Babies,
turned in record results thanks to her hard work." - Amanda Smith, B4B.org
"I've never seen a web developer work as quickly to take an idea and turn it into a reality
as Jane. She's incredible, and so easy to work with. Our site was up and running just
days after hiring Jane." - Chuck Smith, CheeseIsTheOtherWhiteMeat.com
I know we're both busy, coordinating schedules and trying to get as much done as
possible, aren't we? I'd love to come talk with you more about some of the other 12
ideas for improving the Student Loan Network's web sites, but the calendar's getting
pretty crazy. I'm available on Tuesday, May 20 at 3:15 PM and Friday, May 23 at 10:15
AM - which time works better for you? Of course, if those dates don't work, I'm happy
to move some things around just for you.
Sincerely,
Jane Smith
(555) 555-1212
[email protected]
http://www.hirejanesmith.com
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Sample Cover Letter Components
Color coded: ATTENTION INTEREST DESIRE ACTION
There are 12 ways to increase customer conversion on StudentLoanNetwork.com. Your
site, excellent though it is, is only using 9 of them. Would you like me to help you with
the other 3?
It's true. Of the 12 ways to increase customer conversion, having a mobile version of
your site is absolutely essential, so that a customer can choose you whenever and
wherever they are - and I can't find a mobile version of StudentLoanNetwork.com, but
I'd be happy to help you build one as part of the job of Web Developer!
By now you're probably wondering, who is this gal? My name is Jane Smith, and I want
to join the Student Loan Network team as your Web Developer to help make SLN the
very best it possibly can be online. I've had the opportunity to help others in the past
make their web sites more impactful and more profitable - but don't just take my word
for it! Here's what others have said about my ability to help you:
"I would have written that she's an absolutely terrible employee just to keep her a little
longer here with us, because she's that good - our non-profit site, Baseball for Babies,
turned in record results thanks to her hard work." - Amanda Smith, B4B.org
"I've never seen a web developer work as quickly to take an idea and turn it into a reality
as Jane. She's incredible, and so easy to work with. Our site was up and running just
days after hiring Jane." - Chuck Smith, CheeseIsTheOtherWhiteMeat.com
I know we're both busy, coordinating schedules and trying to get as much done as
possible, aren't we? I'd love to come talk with you more about some of the other 12
ideas for improving the Student Loan Network's web sites, but the calendar's getting
pretty crazy. I'm available on Tuesday, May 20 at 3:15 PM and Friday, May 23 at 10:15
AM - which time works better for you? Of course, if those dates don't work, I'm happy
to move some things around just for you.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Final Words
We've covered a lot of ground in this book, but you've now got the template for writing
a great cover letter and some real tools for finding the appropriate recipients. I'd love to
know how well this system works for you, and how I can make it work even better.
Please stay in touch and send me a copy of your new, improved cover letter after trying
out this system!
Best regards,
Christopher S. Penn
CTO, the Student Loan Network
Producer, the Financial Aid Podcast
http://www.StudentLoanNetwork.com
http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com
fi[email protected]
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Additional Student Loan Network Resources
We’re often asked about resources for finding additional information about paying for
college, and as a leading provider of education financial services, we’re proud to offer:
www.FAFSAonline.com
Free tips and tutorials for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
www.StudentScholarshipSearch.com
Free scholarship directory containing hundreds of scholarships worth over $9.5 billion
www.ScholarshipPoints.com
Free quarterly scholarship drawings for survey and contest participation
www.StaffordLoan.com
Get information about Stafford federal student loans and apply online
www.GradLoans.com
Resource directory for graduate students, including scholarships, federal and private
student loans, and consolidation
www.ParentPLUSLoan.com
Get information and solutions for parents of undergraduate students.
www.AlternativeStudentLoan.com
Find information about private student loans and when to apply for them in the
financial aid process.
www.StudentLoanConsolidator.com
Learn how to make your student loans more manageable after graduation.
www.FinancialAidNews.com
Monthly free newsletter covering how-to and tips for financial aid.
www.FinancialAidPodcast.com
Daily free financial aid Internet radio show featuring a new scholarship every day, plus
news, job hunting tips, and more.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Acknowledgements and Credits
I would like to thank the following individuals for their assistance in reviewing this
book in its many drafts and for their suggestions, many of which made radical
improvements to the book.
•
•
•
•
•
Dr. Jennifer Selke, UC Berkeley
Eric Sohn, Accuity
Dave Fleet, Government of Ontario
Susan Murphy, Jester Creative
The staff of the Student Loan Network
Colophon
This eBook was published in Apple Inc.’s Pages, using Palatino as the body text and
Myriad Pro for headings. How To Write a Killer Cover Letter was optimized using
Adobe Acrobat and is hosted and published by the Student Loan Network and
www.GraduateCenter.com.
HOW TO WRITE A KILLER COVER LETTER, A PUBLICATION OF THE STUDENT LOAN NETWORK
Copyright, Licensing, and Distribution
First Edition, Copyright 1998 - 2008, Christopher Penn and the Student Loan Network.
All rights reserved. Reprinting, redistributing, or copying any portion of this guide or
the guide in its entirety is prohibited under US and International Copyright Law except
under the terms specified below.
This guide is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No
Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Under the terms of this license, you may
copy, distribute, display, and perform the work under the following conditions:
• Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author
or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of
the work).
• Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes1.
• No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this
work. The best way to do this is with a link to www.GraduateCenter.com.
Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get written permission from the
Student Loan Network.
Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's rights.
Explicit permission is granted to any college or university to print and/or
distribute this guide to your students as long as the work is distributed
intact.
1 Commercial
purposes as declared above include but are not limited to posting on
blogs, podcast feeds, social networks, or Web sites for which the owners or operators
derive income directly, from affiliate programs, or advertisements of any kind.
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