A cover letter is one of the most important pieces of your job application.
It’s your chance to show employers why you’re a perfect fit for the job and how your skills and experiences can benefit their company.
Unfortunately, far too many job seekers treat their cover letter as an afterthought, or worse, don’t bother to include one at all.
If you want to increase your chances of getting an interview, you need to learn how to write a cover letter that will grab the attention of hiring managers and make them want to learn more about you.
Once you write your resume and cover letter, you’re going to have to tell the employer you are the ideal candidate to get the position you are seeking.
The first step in writing a cover letter that will get you the job is understanding what a cover letter actually is.
A cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information about your skills and experience.
It is also an opportunity to explain any gaps in your work history or why you are interested in the job opening.
Cover letters are documents incorporated on job application aimed at introducing a potential employer personally to their potential candidate.
It should complement the information contained in an application and cover letter by stating the skills and achievements and highlighting the best achievements.
The cover letter format should be easy to read and highlight your strengths.
-There are three main sections:
The introduction of the cover letter should include who you are, why you are writing, and how you heard about the job.
The body of the cover letter should discuss your qualifications for the position and how they match the requirements listed in the job posting.
The conclusion of the cover letter should thank the reader for their time and remind them of your contact information.
Make a powerful statement in your introductory paragraph. This section of the cover letter serves as your personal introduction and sets the stage for the remainder of the document.
“Your recent posting for the Director of Sales position closely matches my qualifications and experience. I have enclosed a copy of my resume for your review and consideration.”
“Implementing marketing initiatives that increase product/service sales, expanding market share and improving corporate brands are ways I add value.
As an accomplished sales professional with deep expertise in sales management, marketing prowess and business acumen, I am well-qualified to serve as your next Director of Sales.”
Now that you’ve captured the reader’s attention and piqued their interest, support your introductory statements with hard evidence.
Use a recent accomplishment (success story) from your current position to demonstrate your capabilities.
“In my current role as Chief Operating Officer, I oversee a $25 million which impacts the programming and services for over 3,000 customers in the Washington DC area.”
“More recently as the CFO of ABC company, I came onboard in the midst of internal chaos.
At that time the organization faced many financial uncertainties. Working hard to forge partnerships and alliances, I was able to garner over $20 million in operational support.”
With this, I was able to bring the organization to the forefront of the industry in less than six months.”
Here’s your opportunity to top off your pitch with two or three final statements about your soft skills (leadership, relationship building, personal brand).
“My leadership and relationship building skills are finely tuned to bring you to the next level.”
“While my enthusiasm for Television Solutions, Inc remains, the telecommunications market has experienced slower growth than originally anticipated.
Consequently, I am seeking new professional challenges that could benefit from my strong, decisive leadership and top management performance.”
A cold call cover letter is created if the company is not open to the hiring.
Imagine you had been wishing to work for newspapers for years but you see they don’t currently hire. Send them your job description and a cover letter.
It works perfectly because it shows in the first paragraph the candidate is “homework”, mentions reading the Company’s mission, vision and high standards.
You can further prove that your expertise matches their business objectives and how you can help them achieve them.
Telling your employer someone you refer to helps them know you’re a trustworthy person.
Use referral cover letter sample for this, provide your referral’s name and describe the connections.
Describe your reason for applying to the position in detail and examine your qualifications without repeating the information in your resume.
One of the most important parts of writing a targeted resume and creating the best cover letter is doing your research.
This means taking the time to learn about the company you are applying to as well as the specific position you are interested in.
Once you have a good understanding of both, you can begin to write a cover letter and tailor your documents to reflect why you would be the perfect fit.
This research will also help you identify any unique skills, expertise, competencies or strengths you may have that make you stand out from other candidates.
When writing your resume and cover letter, it is important to use keywords that are relevant to the position or industry you are applying for.
This will not only help potential employers see that you have the necessary skills and experience for the job but will also help your resume and cover letter rank higher in applicant tracking systems (ATS).
To find keywords to use, look at job postings on LinkedIn, Glassdoor or Indeed for positions similar to the one you are interested in and take note of any repeated words or phrases.
Then, incorporate those keywords throughout your cover letter, paying close attention to job descriptions, qualifications, and required skills sections.
As previously mentioned, simply sending in generic resumes and cover letters is not enough anymore.
To increase your chances of getting an interview, think of your cover letter as an opportunity to introduce yourself to potential employers and explain why you’re the best person for the job.
This means your cover letter should be customized for each position you apply for, addressing specific qualifications listed in the job posting.
Finally, wrap up your letter by thanking the employer for their time and consideration and letting them know how they can get in touch with you if they have any questions.
A well-written cover letter can be the difference between getting an interview and having your application ignored entirely.
So take the time to craft a quality cover letter that introduces you to potential employers, highlights your unique qualifications, and makes it clear that you understand what they are looking for in a candidate.
Do all that, and you’ll increase your chances of landing that all-important first interview.