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Often times, you will discover that some of the best jobs are not published in the newspaper or on the web. You may be able to identify companies that would possibly hire you for a position within your career field. This section will describe the typical approach to sending a cold cover letter.
Let's say you are software developer and you know of a few local companies that hire software developers, but they do not have any current job positions posted on the web or in the newspaper. It would be nice to inquire about possible positions or upcoming openings in the company. It's definitely advantageous to send your resume to these companies and open yourself up to these possible opportunities.
What to include:
1. Your name and contact information at the top of the cover letter. It is ideal to use the same heading as the resume for purposes of consistency.
2. Today's date and the name of the contact person at the company and their job title, if this information is available.
3. The name of the company and company address
The greeting should be Dear Mr./Ms. XXXXXXX: -- If you do not know the name of the contact person, then the the cover letter should be addressed to the Title, such as Dear Human Resources Manager: or Dear Hiring Manager: -- In worse case scenario, it is safe to introduce the cover letter to the Human Resources Manager, even if you are unsure of the title. You can use "To Whom it May Concern," but it is ideal to address the cover letter in a more formal manner.
The cold cover letter should be strong and aggressive. You should identify your general job title and areas of expertise within your career field. Research the companies and try to identify areas that would apply to the company. This can be anything from special tools used in the company, technologies, industries or other related job skills. Include information about your career, experience and achievements. Invite the employer to contact you to set up an interview or identify your intentions to contact the company.
Below you will find a cold cover letter provided by one of CLR's contributors, Sally McIntosh of Advantage Resumes of St. Louis.
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