Free Resume Cover Letter Examples : Worth What You Paid?

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Not necessarily. And for the same reason resume samples or resume examples may or may not be worth anything (see Free resume examples - Use ‘em, but don't).

It's worth looking at effective cover letters created by other people. See if they strike you as being able to reach out and grab a potential employer's attention, enough to compel him to call you. Here are some things to look for:

Is it professionally organized? A rambling introduction that wastes time getting to the meat is a recipe for a one-way ticket to the garbage can.

Is it personalized? A cover letter addressed to “Dear Sir" or “To whom it may concern" is almost useless. Do you feel good when you get mail like that? It's junk, right?

Is it hard hitting? The stuff in the cover letter has to jump off the page and tell the reader, “You've gotta call this person for an interview, because everyone else will be!"

Does it suggest (or directly ask for) an interview? If you don't ask, you don't get.

Is it brief? Long-winded cover letters can be interesting, but you've got maybe 30 seconds to impress. Probably much less than that. Commercials last 30 seconds for a reason.

It's a good idea to get some help evaluating what you're looking at, though, because the guidelines I just gave you are pretty broad. A cover letter example isn't necessarily a good or effective cover letter example.

There are three options for getting that kind of evaluation help:

  1. You can ask cover letter-savvy friends to review it.
  2. You can buy cover letter writing products to help you get better results.
  3. You can skip the review and have a resume and cover letter writing service prepare solid documents for you.

I heartily recommend that you ask knowledgeable friends for help. If that's not an option for you, you're left with one of the two other options. The difference is whether you want to go it alone or not.

There's nothing wrong with going it alone, as long as the do-it-yourself product you buy (or free one you use) has a solid track record or proven results. In fact, it's often a cheaper option than hiring somebody to write your resume and cover letter for you.

Most people don't have resume and cover letter writing talent. You have to be honest with yourself. Are you willing to risk 5 months of unemployment on your resume and cover letter writing skills? That's how long the typical job search lasts, mostly because the typical resume and cover letter stink. If you're not confident enough to take that risk, get help. There's no shame in it. In fact, there might be significant profit.

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