Write Yourself a Letter That Opens Doors
March 22, 2010


The job search cover letter that lands the interview is a sales letter offering a product, and that product is you. You’re selling skills, talents, accomplishments and experience that can help the employer solve problems. The letter that gets the interview follows the steps in making a sale.

The formula called A-I-D-C-A demonstrates the five steps of a sales situation. It’s easy to write a dynamic job search letter when you lead the reader through the same steps. Let’s look at them. Then, see how they’re used in a sample cover letter.

Your very first words, must attract and hold the ATTENTION of employers deluged with a blizzard of cover letters and resumes. How do you attract attention? By talking to the reader’s self-interest, and by linking your experience to the employers’ needs.

Once you’ve gained the reader’s attention, you arouse INTEREST to keep reading by getting more specific, i.e., by stating why you are writing to this person, and by identifying the job you’re targeting.

In a successful sales situation, you will whet your prospect’s DESIRE to learn more about what you can do for him/her. You signal the fact that you will describe relevant accomplishments that demonstrate your value to the organization.

Here you offer evidence to CONVINCE the hiring manager of your ability to benefit the firm. Include one or two specific success stories related to the needs of the job you want to get. And yes, you can take these accomplishments directly from your resume.

Don’t worry about using the same examples from your resume. After all, you worked hard to think of the most relevant accomplishments. By using them in your letter, you are grabbing the reader’s attention immediately. If the letter doesn’t touch the reader’s self-interest, he/she may never bother to keep reading.

In this final step, you take ACTION, i.e., saying you will phone for an appointment.

Now, notice how this SAMPLE JOB SEARCH LETTER follows the A-I-D-C-A
steps to create a sales letter that markets you. In this example the letter leads with a strong SUCCESS STORY as its opening. However, my workbook presents a variety of creative ways to open your letters and involve the reader.



A – When I was the Special Events Coordinator at Bloomingdale’s, I introduced and commentated a three-day Cosmetics-and-Sportswear Fashion Show.

The result: we attracted audiences of 500 people daily, and sales increased 32% for all merchandise classifications within three days.

I-D – Some of my other accomplishments will demonstrate the assets I can offer your firm in a Public Relations or Special Events management position.

C - For example:

* As a publicity/P.R. Writer, my work has ranged from new product releases for imported leather sportswear and Estee Lauder’s skin care products to a booklet for the Chocolate Council featuring Holiday recipes.

* For Macy’s I planned and organized a Businesswomen’s Sunday Brunch Seminar Series on careers, assertive skills and money management.

The result: in just six weeks Macy’s Sunday business rose 20% over the period immediately preceding the event.

A - The enclosed resume highlights my experience in greater detail. To discuss the contribution I can offer your agency as a Public Relations Account Executive, I will phone your office next week to schedule a meeting, if that’s agreeable.

“HOW TO WRITE JOB SEARCH LETTERS THAT LEAD TO INTERVIEWS” contains easy-to-follow instructions, writing exercises, creative openings to start your letters, ideas to keep your candidacy alive, plus actual letters that helped gain interviews for a variety of positions.

The 46-page, spiral-bound workbook is available for $15 plus $3 for postage and handling. To order, mail check for $18 payable to: Ruth Shapiro at 290 9th Avenue, Suite 11A, New York, NY 10001.