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Solicit Contributions to Book #2

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I wanted to expand my cover letter collection, the companion to this collection of letters for consultants, so I reached out to friends for input. This letter brought a brisk and helpful response. I could have improved the letter and increased the response by addressing it to a specific person, rather than to "Career Colleague"—a dreadful mistake.

February 8, 20—  

Dear Career Colleague,

Since 1989, my book 200 Letters for Job Hunters has sold 60,000 copies. The book is available free of charge in the career center on America Online, where it's used more than 2000 hours per month. The book also resides on www.careerlab.com/letters/, where it has won numerous national awards—USA TODAY gave us their "HOT SITE" award.  Yahoo! Internet Life calls us "an incredibly useful site," and BOTTOM LINE: PERSONAL lists our cover letter collection as the #1 most useful career site.

    We don't charge for access to the Website. This is a FREE service to job hunters and career changers—it's just one of the ways we give back to the community.

Last week I looked at our web report and learned that visitors had looked at 62,000 letters. That's right, SIXTY-TWO THOUSAND IN ONE WEEK. This service is so successful I've decided to expand the collection to 1000 letters over the next few years, and I'm writing to ask for your help and contribution.

I'm trying to find letters targeted to the management and executive level:

  1. Employment contracts.
  2. Letters candidates use to introduce themselves to you.
  3. Letters surrounding job offers. Offers of employment spelling out details of base salary, bonuses, stock options, perks, car allowances, severance. Counter offer letters.
  4. Any letters related to executive careers.
Please take 10 minutes to review your files and send me any letters you have on hand. By contributing, you'll join our community service effort and reap the rewards of helping others. In addition, any letter we include from you will include a FREE ad mentioning your name and giving contact information. If you have an e-mail or Web address, we can include those. Your ad will appear as a footnote on the letter.

I appreciate your help, and look forward to publishing your letters in our collection.

With best regards,

William S. Frank
P.S.—You can view the collection at www.careerlab.com/letters/

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.