A Comeback for T-Formation Cover Letters? Who Knew They'd Ever Left

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We’ve written many times about T-Formation cover letters, also known as two-column cover letters, most recently here. 2Columnletter.jpg The white paper Findings of 2010 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the Now, the New & the Next in Careers says that T-letters are “coming back into vogue.” We didn’t realize they had ever left. In a T-formation/two-column letter, you quote in the left-hand column specific qualifications that come right from the employer’s want ad and in the right-hand column, your attributes that meet those qualifications. The two-column format is extremely effective when you possess all the qualifications for a job, but it can even sell you when you lack one or more qualification. The format so clearly demonstrates that you are qualified in so many areas that the employer may be willing to overlook the areas in which your exact qualifications are deficient. The white paper notes that two-column letters are simple and “communicate a candidate’s qualifications succinctly.” The brainstorming day was held in December 2010 by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium, publishers of the white paper. You can see three sample letters in a two-column format: Sample 1, Sample 2, and Sample 3.

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