I like writing cover letters about as much as I like reading them, which is not much. Several years ago, when I was marketing director at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, we had 200 applicants for a media relations gig and I got to pore over them all. It was amazing to me how much alike every letter was. Even applicants I knew personally didn't sound like themselves -- and sounded a lot like everyone else.

Yes, there are required skills and experience for every job. And noting that you possess those is never a bad idea. But that's a paragraph at most. If you want to stand out, the rest of your letter should reflect other aspects of you that add value. If only more job-seekers actually did that.

The KFBS experience got my attention and ever since I've focused on writing cover letters and proposal  pitches that show our ability to meet the minimum requirements while showcasing the stuff we do better than anybody else. That approach has yielded a solid success rate, too.

That's why we're confident that our package of pre-writing strategies and successful models is a valuable toolbox for these times. Check it out here.

So far, feedback on the package has been good. But the first acid test is today. We're heading to a big meeting with a potential client who's interested in offering the series as part of its outplacement services.