Keywords Important in Cover Letters as Well as Resumes

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Keywords are crucial in resumes, but use keywords in your cover letters, too. Many employers don’t include cover letters in the applicant tracking systems that create resume databases, but some do. And keywords in cover letters can be important for attracting the “human scanner.” If you’re answering an ad, tying specific words in your cover letter as closely as possible to the actual wording of the ad you’re responding to can be a huge plus. In his book, Don’t Send a Resume, Jeffrey Fox calls the best letters written in response to want ads “Boomerang letters” because they “fly the want ad words — the copy — back to the writer of the ad.” In employing what Fox calls “a compelling sales technique,” he advises letter writers to: “Flatter the person who wrote the ad with your response letter. Echo the author’s words and intent. Your letter should be a mirror of the ad.” Fox notes that when the recipient reads such a letter, the thought process will be: “This person seems to fit the description. This person gets it.” Learn more about keywords .

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