Target Job Precisely with T-Formation Cover Letter

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A particularly effective way to deploy the specifics of an ad or job posting to your advantage is to use a two-column format (also known as a “T-formation” letter) in which 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. One of our former students describes her success in using the two-column format:
“Several months ago, you referred me to your Web site where there was a sample of a cover letter using a ‘you require/I offer’ table format. Believe it or not, I sent in my resume along with a cover letter in this format to a job that was posted on Monster.com, and I actually got an interview!! The position is with [name of company], and I can’t even imagine how many applicants they had. When I went in for the interview, the person that I met with complimented me on the cover letter and actually said that that’s what got me in the door ahead of so many others!”

You can see three sample letters in a two-column format: Sample 1, Sample 2, and Sample 3.

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