Her blog and the book were the most practical advice I read.
Such as: Don't write the "fit" sentence.
From the blog: "You know the one—it’s the sentence that says, “with my background in xxx and yyy, I am the ideal candidate for your position in zzz.”
“Was I born YESTERDAY????” a senior professor friend of mine with countless searches under his belt responded. “Do they think I’m that NAIVE….? Do they think I’ll just BELIEVE them????”
I mean, professors don’t take anything at face value, not anything at all. So why in the world would they believe a job letter that claims the writer is an “ideal fit” for their advertised position?
As a colleague, whom I shall call Professor Snark, recently remarked,
“Gosh and golly! How could I, seasoned professor that I am, have failed to noticed the so plainly obvious fact, until you pointed it out, that among all the eminently qualified candidates for this job, you, yes you alone among them, are the ideal candidate for the position? I stand humbled before you in all your awesome idealness.”
Seriously, job candidates, remember the rule of good writing: Show, Don’t Tell."