As a job seeker in today’s world, you have seconds to grab a hiring manager’s attention. You need a great resume and a compelling cover letter. To get you started, here are some tips to help you customize each cover letter to address each hiring manager’s specific needs.
Crafting the Letter
Write a cover letter that highlights the skills and experience the manager needs, and your track record of success and key accomplishments related to their requirements. A one-page, targeted cover letter that focuses on how you can add value to their organization will make you stand out as a lead candidate.
Follow the steps below to craft a persuasive cover letter that hiring managers will notice:
Step One: Use the Right Contact Information
It’s important to address the letter to the hiring manager or if you can’t determine this person’s name, note the head of the division you want to join. This extra research pays off as you directly connect with the reader and avoid having your cover letter come off sounding generic.
Step Two: Write an Appealing Introduction
Having a great one-paragraph introduction is crucial if you want the manager to keep reading. Make the introduction as compelling as possible. Mention a mutual contact that referred you, state something about what you’ve learned about the company, and then highlight the experience, skills and talents you can bring to the position.
Indeed.com suggests several other powerful ways to open a cover letter. Examples include:
- Telling a creative story about past accomplishments. You could tell the story of the time you won over an important client, led a complex project, introduced innovation, etc.
- Leading with a statement of a belief that’s important to you (and to the job). For example, if they need someone to improve team. performance, you might say, “I believe every employee can contribute to the company’s success when their managers pinpoint their strengths.”
- Discussing your passion for the work. Talk about when you first realized how much you enjoyed this type of work, and why it is meaningful to you.
- Showing your enthusiasm for the hiring manager’s company. Tell them why you’re impressed with them and how excited you will be to contribute to their success.
Step Three: Create the Body of the Letter
Now, you’re ready for the meat of your letter. The body is where you’ll choose every word to describe how you can fulfill the manager’s needs. You need to write a two to three paragraph body that’s going to stand out.
Start by reading How to Create a Compelling Cover Letter to understand the do’s and don’ts of writing cover letters. Then, as you write, think of how each of your qualifications relates to the needs of the hiring manager.
Mention your accomplishments and your specific results. Stay focused on your experience that’s related to the job, leaving out unrelated experiences. Include concise but descriptive and concrete examples of your experience.
Throughout the writing process, keep the following tips in mind.
- Use action verbs to describe your qualifications and experience.
- Give specific examples of what you’ve accomplished. Use numerals and special characters (like $, # and %) to state specifically how your work has impacted prior employers.
- Bring in bits of organizational knowledge related to the position.
- Always be as concise as possible.
- Avoid negativity. Instead of mentioning the areas where you’re less experienced, focus on your greatest strengths.
- Include the same keywords in your cover letter as you find in the job posting.
- Keep the paragraphs short, using bullet lists to make it more readable and compelling.
Step Four: Write a Great Conclusion
You’ll want to leave the reader with a positive impression of you. Reiterate your interest in the job. Thank them for considering you for the position. Let them know you’ll follow up to talk more about the position. Be gracious, enthusiastic, and upbeat.
Once you’ve written the cover letter, set it aside for a while before you proofread it. Then, make sure all your facts are straight and there are absolutely no grammar or spelling errors. Consider consulting with a career coach to get feedback and suggestions to ensure you’re writing compelling cover letters. Check out the article, Accelerate Your Job Search Results: How a Career Coach Can Help You to learn the advantages of working with an expert career coach.
Are you having trouble coming up with the ideal cover letter? No worries! Our career coaching will set you on the right track to impressing the hiring manager at your ideal employer. Contact us now to learn more and get on your way to a more fulfilling career!
Wishing you much career success!
Joanne Loberg Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc