Closing the deal is where many cover letters fall short. They either fail to ask for the interview, or they meekly suggest the possibility that maybe, just maybe the reader might want to talk to the job seeker.
A confident request for an interview is the best way for your cover letter to initiate action. Here's how to do it.
I'll Call You
Most sales professionals say that if you want a deal to stay alive, keep the ball in your court. If that theory works for selling products, it will work for promoting you! When appropriate, tell your prospective employer in your cover letter that you will take the next step (such as calling him or dropping by to speak with him).
An assertive statement such as "I will call your office next week to see when an interview can be arranged" is far more effective than a passive line such as "I look forward to hearing from you." With the passive approach, you could sit by the phone for months never knowing if you're in the running for the job or whether your letter even got to its destination.
When Not to Be Assertive
There are three situations when you would not say "I'll call you" in your cover letter or email:
- If your detective work doesn't turn up a phone number for your addressee, you really can't say "I'll call you."
- When it doesn't feel right to be assertive. This might be because it feels too pushy for your personality, or you have a sense that the employer or recruiter will not respond positively to your assumption that it's okay to make the next move.
- When the job post specifies "no phone calls."
In these cases, you need to come up with an incentive for the employer to call you. Here are some examples of how some job seekers have motivated employers to respond to their letters.
"Ms. Valentino, I'll be honest. Although I have submitted several applications within the financial services field, I am most interested in working for Dillon Investment Management. Please contact me as soon as possible so that we can nail down employment details."
"With the shelf life of computer manuals as short as it is, we must get your book sales and distribution department working as efficiently as possible. If we can iron out employment details this week, I can come on board next Monday. Please let me know when we can talk."
"In one week I will leave town for a short trip with my family. An interview prior to my vacation could bring me on board immediately upon my return. Please call me at 123-555-1234."
"Please call me for an interview. I feel confident our meeting will cut your interviewing of other candidates dramatically."