Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to get to grips with response letters is to practice them. Take any job advertisement and look at the way it is structured. Identify the AIDA form and concentrate on the elements in the centre of the sandwich – Interest and Desire. List the individual parts under two headings ‘Qualifying’ and ‘Attractive’ as shown in the following example:
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
This is an influential role in a fast growing engineering subsidiary of a major plc producing tools and dyes. As well as dealing with current projects, you will be expected to introduce a TQM programme across the product range and initiate a programme to manage the development of new products.
You will be an innovative and ambitious Chartered Mechanical Engineer with around ten years’ product design and development engineering experience – not necessarily in the tool industry. You should have line management experience of multi-functional teams and be commercially aware.
Please write with CV and full details to …
Identify the qualifying and attractive criteria from the advertisement and then score yourself against them. It may be best to use three grades: yes (3), no (X) and maybe (?). The ‘maybe’ criterion is an option, but some people may prefer to use it to cover the grey areas that can occur. For example, whilst you may not have worked in a company following a TQM strategy, your industry could be noted for its high quality standards (eg aerospace).