When Professor Sledzik suggests that the real world is tougher than you think, he’s spot-on. Everything counts when you are job prospecting in the early days, including your writing style and use of grammar in resumes and cover letters, as well as your clothes, your advance research and relevant questions in the interview, and, your attention to the niceties of follow-up.
Let me be even more specific. When you are hunting for a job, it’s not about you. It’s about me, the employer. I recently chatted with a fellow industry vet who regaled me with stories of 20-something job candidates whose questions included, “Why don’t you tell me why I’d want this job?” (That’s a terrible approach, in case you’re wondering.)
Your cover letter should be flawless and interesting. Grammatical errors are perfectly acceptable—so long as you don’t mind if we immediately trash your letter. Get a friend, parent or professor to take a look. Does the letter stand out, in a professional way, or is it generic? Don’t try to be extra clever, just be sincere. I expect that you’ve done some research on potential employers and have made my agency your top choice. So, why is that? And how can you help us?