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Just curious...

Anyone tried slipping a close into the letter? Something like...

The Senior Production Manager, Widgeteering position is a great match for my skill set. I have the technical and soft skills you desire. I suspect that as we close out the interview, you will be thinking “This is exactly the person we are looking for – Energetic, professional, skilled and the right fit for WorldWide Widgets. We should make him an offer!”. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

*RNTT

tomw's picture

I'd never close, telling someone "I want an offer and here's why...", in a cover letter. You haven't interviewed yet and have no idea what you might be getting into.

Saying "I look forward to hearing from you" is not a close. They could call you just to say "no thanks."

The rest of your statement, telling the hiring manager what he or she might think in the future, is really risky. People don't like to be told what they are thinking or feeling, especially by someone they have no relationship with.

Besides, I expect better behavioral characteristics than "energetic, professional, skilled" before someone would get hired.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Thanks Tom

I was really asking about the concept, not the details.

HMac's picture

I think it would be hard to do without appearing phoney.

My reasoning:
[i](from the hiring manager's standpoint):[/i] you don't yet know enough about the job to declare that it's a match for you. And I suspect you write this into every cover letter. So in your first contact with me, you've struck me as boastful.

By the way ***, it seems to me that half of the interviews I've gone on have started with the manager saying something like: "Since the job description was pretty generic, I'd like to take a few moments to describe what the assignment is [i]really [/i]like..."

-Hugh

asteriskrntt1's picture

My understanding of the close is it places a final exclamation point on how excited you are about the opportunity. So maybe "a close" is not the right phrase here, but it is certainly planting a seed and setting a tone.

It is an expression of your enthusiasm and we are told to close each person in the process.

If you are in a sales position of any substance, and you only close once in the sales process (no trial closes), you are either the world's greatest sales person or you are not making any money.

And even if you don't really know what you are getting into, I don't think that is the issue. Getting them excited about you is the issue.

*RNTT

tomw's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]My understanding of the close is it places a final exclamation point on how excited you are about the opportunity. So maybe "a close" is not the right phrase here, but it is certainly planting a seed and setting a tone.

It is an expression of your enthusiasm and we are told to close each person in the process.

If you are in a sales position of any substance, and you only close once in the sales process (no trial closes), you are either the world's greatest sales person or you are not making any money.

And even if you don't really know what you are getting into, I don't think that is the issue. Getting them excited about you is the issue. [/quote]

By applying (sending the cover letter and resume), you're already planting the seeds, especially if you follow the cast recommendations, promising to follow up and then doing so.

The close tells them that you want an offer and why. Until you have been through the interview, you don't know for sure that you want the offer. All you're trying to get from the cover letter is for them to read the resume. The goal of the resume is to get them excited about you.

We are told to close each person in the INTERVIEW process. The cover letter is not part of the interview. Its purpose is to get them to read your resume. The purpose of the resume is to get an interview. The purpose of the interview is to get an offer. The order is important, just as avoiding mixing tasks between them is.

You're right, that a good sales person does not close just once. They also pick the right to do so. Closing at the wrong time can be just as bad as not doing so at all, possibly worse. Would you ever put "please call me to discuss" in your resume?

HMac's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]So maybe "a close" is not the right phrase here...

It is an expression of your enthusiasm...
[/quote]

Asterisk, thanks for clarifying.

OK, so it's not adding a "close," it's [i]adding an expression of enthusiasm[/i].

Go for it.

If the fit's right for your industry, for you, and for the type of job you're applying to, then it's a good reason to try to adapt M/M's approach to your needs. And if you find that adding a statement of enthusiasm is effective for you, then you're ahead of the game.

The only caution I can think of is to be careful not to dilute the message of the cover letter, which is [b]Read The Attached Resume[/b].

-Hugh

asteriskrntt1's picture

Tom

I appreciate everything you said. I also know that tools are often reallocated and used in different ways.

Wheat becomes bread. Water become electricity. Trees become sheets of paper and parts of buildings. I have seen a pen become a trach tube and a necktie become a tourniquet. Again, not their original function. It seems lots of things can be repurposed.

The MT podcasts and tools are guidelines, not laws of nature. One can use them differently. I was merely asking if anyone had tried, not if we were allowed.

Please don't cut off my allowance or ground me for thinking or communicating differently than you choose. :wink:

bflynn's picture

Interesting - two managers who don't like closing in a cover letter. Could I ask others to chime in? I'd like more data points.

Personally, I think its (good) aggressive to say in a cover letter what you want. It is positive action and doesn't leave a doubt about your desires. I also presume that if you're writing a cover letter that you DO want an interview and an offer and there is nothing wrong with stating that and why you deserve it. Perhaps you'll find out at a later stage that you should change your mind.

I also find the classic "I'm looking forward to hearing from you" as a little desperate. To my ears, it sounds like "please, please, please call me".

Obviously some managers don't like it. The other negative I can see is that it might take some zip off closing in the interview.

Brian

bffranklin's picture

Anecdote:

"I want an offer and here's why," could be considered a hard close. My wife regularly closes her cover letters with a soft close: "I am currently seeking career goal X. Position Y appears directly in line with my goals. I can be reached at 123-456-7890. It would be a pleasure to speak with you about this position." Admittedly, she's a strong candidate, but closing with the above after matching accomplishments to the job description in the body of the cover letter has worked tremendously well for her in 3 significant career moves.

This would all be in paragraph three under M&M's guidance in the interview series on cover letters. There are a few differences from M&Ms guidance on that paragraph (in particular, not stating that she would follow up), but I think that overall it doesn't hurt to restate that things look like a fit on the surface, and that you have a better reason than money for being interested.

rgbiv99's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]

I suspect that as we close out the interview, you will be thinking “This is exactly the person we are looking for – Energetic, professional, skilled and the right fit for WorldWide Widgets. We should make him an offer!”.

[/quote]

This is a turn-off for me. If I was reading a "blind" or "cold" cover letter - someone I didn't know - I would perceive this as presumptuous and boastful.

asteriskrntt1's picture

rgbiv99...

Thanks for that... just doing a little unscientific experiment. Do you by chance know your DiSC profile?

*RNTT

Anyone wanna guess what I am trying? :idea:

asteriskrntt1's picture

Thanks BF and BF and Hugh.... all valuable stuff

Again, do you know your DiSC profiles for my unscientific experiment?

*RNTT

rgbiv99's picture
HMac's picture
bffranklin's picture

My wife hasn't taken the test yet. I very much suspect that she's a high D.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Thanks everyone

My very unscientific test with very few data points seems to trend towards High D's being resistant to being told what to do or think, even in a covering letter.

This is shocking, I tell ya! Someone call CNN! :lol:

*RNTT

bflynn's picture

I don't remember it, I have it somewhere. High-D with a less dominant S. Something like 6-1-5-3. Its an unusual one.

As far as high D not liking being told what to do - why do you view it as them being told? If I'm closing, I'm making a statement about what I want and why. Its not a demand - "I would like to interview for this position and eventually to receive an offer for it. I believe I'm qualified for the position because ....".

I don't see the demand in that.

Brian

tomw's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]I appreciate everything you said. I also know that tools are often reallocated and used in different ways.

Wheat becomes bread. Water become electricity. Trees become sheets of paper and parts of buildings. [/quote]

These examples involve a manufacturing process, not repurposing a tool. If you process anything enough (perhaps to the molecular level) you could force-fit it into something else.

[quote]I have seen a pen become a trach tube and a necktie become a tourniquet. Again, not their original function. It seems lots of things can be repurposed. [/quote]

Screwdrivers can become hammers too (as can the butt-end of a nail gun).... Not all tools are made for all purposes. Just because they can work in a pinch does not make them a good idea for professional practice. I've always seen Manager Tools as pursuing effectiveness, not "what can we force-fit into the situation."

There are places for creative adaptation and they are usually dire "act-now" emergencies. Anything being submitted via US Mail or email is not such a situation.

[quote]Please don't cut off my allowance or ground me for thinking or communicating differently than you choose. [/quote]

I might ;-) Why is it you want to do this so badly? What advantage do you see in closing (or whatever phrasing you want to use) over the other ideas M&M and others in this thread have suggested?

AManagerTool's picture

Don't tell my dad that! He thinks all of the worlds problems can be cured with duct tape! The older I get, the more I see his point...

tomw's picture

[quote="bflynn"]As far as high D not liking being told what to do - why do you view it as them being told? If I'm closing, I'm making a statement about what I want and why. Its not a demand - "I would like to interview for this position and eventually to receive an offer for it. I believe I'm qualified for the position because ....".

I don't see the demand in that.[/quote]

Not a demand, but "this is what you will be thinking", which is REALLY presumptuous. If you don't believe me, try it with your spouse or significant other some time.

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]"...as we close out the interview, you will be thinking “This is exactly the person we are looking for..."[/quote]

As Hugh pointed out, often the position is very different from the listing and both parties may have very different ideas of what the position is and who is needed to fill it. Predictions like this may work against you.

Is a cover letter a place to take risks? If it were a job you actually wanted, I would think not.

bflynn's picture

[quote="TomW"]Not a demand, but "this is what you will be thinking", which is REALLY presumptuous. If you don't believe me, try it with your spouse or significant other some time. [/quote]

Are you equally opposed to closing in the interview then? What is the difference?

Brian

tomw's picture

[quote="bflynn"][quote="TomW"]Not a demand, but "this is what you will be thinking", which is REALLY presumptuous. If you don't believe me, try it with your spouse or significant other some time. [/quote]

Are you equally opposed to closing in the interview then? What is the difference?[/quote]

Not at all.

The difference is that the purpose of the interview is to get an offer. You are stating your desire to move on to that next level. The purpose of the cover letter is to get the hiring manage to read the resume. You are building a new relationship with someone, in this case, a hiring manager. Relationship building goes through phases. Sometimes you can build them out of order, but most of the time that goes badly. (I'll forgo the odd dating examples that my wife wanted me to use here.)

The appropriate "close" to a cover letter to take you to the next step would be "please read my resume," which seems a little silly. To cover that, people think asking the recruiter to contact them is a close, but that's really not what you want either. The applicant wants the hiring manager to read the resume, consider the applicant's qualifications and, if there seems like a potential good fit, to schedule an interview.

I could almost see asking for an interview in the cover letter. Remember, in this phase, there is no relationship with this person. The request would be best accompanied by a note on why it would in the recruiter's best interest to interview the applicant. That's really hard without overstepping the "boastful" line.

Closing at the end of the interview is an informed decision. Now the applicant knows more about the position they are interviewing for and whether or not they want it. At that point, they decide whether or not to close. If they want the offer, saying that they want an offer and their reason for wanting it is an honest statement of intent and does not make any presumptions about what the interviewer is thinking.

There's a really wide line between saying "I want this and here is why" after talking with someone for an hour and saying "This is what you will be thinking" to someone you've never met.

HMac's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]I suspect that as we close out the interview, you will be thinking “This is exactly the person we are looking for – Energetic, professional, skilled and the right fit for WorldWide Widgets. We should make him an offer!”. I look forward to hearing from you soon.[/quote]

Some of the more recent posts helped clarify my discomfort with this approach.

[i]And asterisk - I absolutely remember you saying this was offered as just an example, so I'm commenting on it in that light...[/i]

I can't read minds.
I can't predict the future.
I think it's not good business when someone suspects they can read my mind or predict the future.

THAT's what I don't like about this approach.

-Hugh

asteriskrntt1's picture

Wow. Thanks to everyone for their opinions, feedback, thoughts and direction. The MT forums truly are a wonderful place.

It is also a great reminder how context and media can affect tone or perceived tone. We got a bit off topic here, so I am going to close off here with a redirect.

There are many types of closes and I offered up one example. It was not meant to be the ultimate close. I merely asked if anyone had tried to slip in a VERSION of a close in a covering letter.

I guess I was off on the version I chose. Maybe I should have made the "close" a request for an interview or a instead of an offer.

Thanks again. Peace out.

*RNTT