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Proactive Last Paragraph in Cover Letter: Pushy and Rude?


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Eugene writes: I am a student studying law, and I recently decided to apply for a position as a paralegal with some law firms. I spent some time looking at your Quintessential Careers website. Now, I do not doubt for a minute that much research is able to substantiate the information that you have presented, but I find it difficult to imagine that some of the techniques you mention do work. What immediately springs to mind is the section on closing paragraphs: “I will call your office in the next week to schedule an appointment.” To me, that sounds quite unorthodox, and perhaps even pushy and rude. I actually incorporated a line to the same effect in my cover letters after reading your website, but now I am wondering whether it was the best thing to do. Could you please explain to me why this works?
The Career Doctor responds: In any job market, but especially in this job market, job-seekers need to know how to best market themselves to prospective employers. This self-marketing strategy has several components when writing cover letters. First, rather than saying something like “I hope you’ll find my qualifications a good match with what you’re looking for,” you need to show — and tell — the employer that you are a good match for the position. Describe how your accomplishments, skills, and training are a perfect match for the employer’s needs. Second, you do need to end your letter with an aggressive stance. If you do not want to be so aggressive as to say you will call for an interview, you can simply say you will call to discuss the job. Employers want go-getters, not passive employees. Third, as I have stated numerous other times, you MUST follow-up all your cover letters and job applications. Saying you are going to call is the easy part; the hard part is actually making the phone call. And in the phone call, you need to still be aggressive in not taking no for an answer — just remember to stay professional at all times — while showcasing why you are the perfect person for the job. Find lots more helpful information and resources in the cover letter resources section of Quintessential Careers.