Home > Articles > Information Technology

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Three Vital Ingredients in Your Cover Letter

The cover letter has three vital ingredients:

  • Gratitude for the opportunity
  • A significant accomplishment
  • Your interest in becoming a producer

You will find in Part III of this book, "Putting Your Toolkit to Use," that I believe in constructing as generic a letter as possible. As you meet people during your job search, you can provide customized elements. However, these three ingredients should be conveyed in each letter.

Gratitude for the Opportunity

Although you come to your job search with an attitude that says "I have something valuable," the fact remains that the employer is taking time to give you an audience. Even if that means simply reading your cover letter and looking over your résumé, you should remember that the employer's attention requires many other tasks.

Your cover letter should be succinct. Whenever possible, keep it to one page.

Although I have seen some good letters that break the one-page rule, you do so at your own risk. It's time-consuming to read lengthy cover letters. A single-page letter is adequate for conveying the most important ideas about you as a potential employee.

A Significant Accomplishment

Here is the section of the cover letter where you get to brag a little bit. This section might be difficult for some people to write. As a culture, we are taught to be humble. During the job search, however, you need to provide your prospective employer with reasons why you are the right person for the job. You must be willing to promote yourself and your accomplishments. You can rest assured that someone else looking for the job will be promoting his accomplishments.

The significant accomplishment is not a pass/fail type of item. For some, the accomplishment might be management of a multimillion-dollar project. For others, it might be the completion of a particular task. This section of the cover letter should reflect an accomplishment that represents the level of competency you have achieved. It should also convey some idea of your ability to succeed in your desired role with that particular organization.

I have met some new technologists who have a difficult time with this one. They believe, in error, that the accomplishment must always be technical in nature. However, I know many employers who would be happy with someone extolling the fact that they never missed class or that they passed all their courses for the past two years.

Employers respond to confidence. Your willingness to consider something that you've done significant enough to mention on your cover letter will go a long way by itself. As your experience grows, so, too, will the level of accomplishment.

Your Interest in Becoming a Producer

For many people whom I counsel, the single-most damaging mistake they make is not asking for what they want. They go through life frustrated, waiting for their employer to recognize what they want to do and then help them get there.

The same is true in your cover letter. You should clearly identify what you would like and how you are going to help that happen. In your cover letter, you should identify what you would like to do. This section can replace the objective on your résumé.

For example:

It is my plan to work for a company locally in both a support and network engineering role. I would love to speak with you further about how I might be able to assist your company in this capacity. I will follow up with you in 2–5 days. However, if you have any questions you would like me to answer, please feel free to call the number I've listed.

Note two things here:

  1. You were specific in letting the employer know your intentions.
  2. You want a job with this particular company.

Number 2 is important. You have informed the employer that you will be following up in a few days. This is critical. Many job seekers have relegated themselves to a wait-and-see type of mentality. They get résumés out the door and then watch helplessly for their phone to ring. The mental anguish with this approach can be devastating.

I advocate a much more direct approach. Although I don't want to appear pushy, I do want the employer to know that I am on a timetable to make a decision about my job. It's not wise to make contact with a company and then simply wait.

You must understand that people run companies and people make mistakes. People get busy. They forget. In a perfect world, the company could make contact with all potential employees to let them know the status of their résumé and the job in question. However, in the real world, the employees who are charged with reviewing your résumé might have dozens, if not hundreds, of résumés on their desk. Add to this their own primary job responsibilities, and it is unlikely that a call is forthcoming.

A more direct and proactive approach is more effective for another reason: It gives you a better sense of what is happening at a company. You might find that although the primary job was filled, the employer is looking for someone to fill a similar position. You would be surprised at how many times a different job, similar to the first, opens up, but the company starts its employee search from scratch.

Your follow-up calls to the company should be designed to acquire the following important information:

  • Has a decision been made?
  • Is there a time frame for the decision?
  • Are other, similar jobs open now, or will there be in the future?
  • If you're not selected for an interview, can the employer give you specific advice on improving your chances elsewhere or for that company in the future?
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020