You’ve found the perfect opportunity and put the finishing touches on your resume. Now, you have one task left on your job-search to-do list and that is writing a cover letter.
There’s a lot of confusion and dread when it comes to writing the cover letter portion of your career portfolio with the top concerns being: (1) Is a cover letter even needed? (2) If so, what are employers looking for in the cover letter?
To answer the first question: Yes, cover letters are still needed. In a 2020 JobVite Recruiter Nation Report, 27% of surveyed recruiters prioritize cover letters in screening decisions. Even though cover letters are not always read, including one is not going to hurt your chances and just might tip the scales in your favor, landing you an interview.
To answer the second, here are 5 simple steps to writing a cover letter that will make a great impression and encourage the employer to want to get to know more about you. The most important thing to remember is, just like your resume, cover letters are not one-size-fits all.
Cover Letter Success Tip #1:
Craft A Magnetic Introduction
Draw the reader in with an enticing first paragraph that quickly highlights who you are and the value you offer. I like to start with a question that is aligned with the keywords of the target audience.
Sample Intro Question
Are you searching for a professional resume writer who can help you get noticed in a competitive marketplace by providing resume writing, LinkedIn profile writing, personal branding, and hidden job search strategies?
Cover Letter Success Tip #2:
Shine a Light on Your Unique Personal Brand
The next step is to prove you are familiar with the audience and your value is aligned with their needs. Here is where you give a brief career history and showcase how your skills and experience add value.
I’ve always loved the written word and supporting people in their career. These predispositions led me to launch Breakthrough Resume Writing Service where I’ve spent two decades helping job seekers from a wide variety of industries and employment levels pen the path to prosperous employment. My resumes are branded, easy to read, ATS friendly, and ultimately get my clients noticed so they win interviews faster!
Cover Letter Success Tip #3:
Follow with Scannable Accomplishments
Next you will want to highlight your key milestones + quantifiable achievements by using easily scanned bullet points of facts and data. Make sure you are using fresh information and not simply repeating the bullet points from your resume.
This technique allows the reader to quickly scan for pertinent information.
Sample Bullets (use no more than 5)
- Commitment to Your Success: 2 decades of experience + Subject Matter Expertise gained through 8 global certifications leading to a thorough understanding of how to present your career story to your target audience.
- Shortened Job Search Times: The skills and knowledge to provide job seekers with contemporary resume designs and proactive job search strategies that slash job search times by weeks if not months.
- Recent Client Testimonial: “I sent my new resume to my target employer Monday afternoon. Not even 24 hours later and I’ve been contacted for an interview. THANK YOU!”
Cover Letter Success Tip #4:
Sum Up What You Bring to the Table
After your bullet points and before closing, summarize why you are the candidate for the role. This method gives you the opportunity to briefly show why your skills and expertise add value.
As your professional resume writer, I bring a personalized approach along with the writing chops and global certifications needed to take candidates to the top of the pile. I’ve helped management to C-level clients transition into their targeted new role faster by harnessing the power of the written word, leveraging up-to-date resume writing techniques, and deploying a current understanding of modern trends and best practices in personal branding, career management, and communications.
Cover Letter Success Tip #5:
Move the Process Forward with Your Closing Statement
Forego closing your letter with the ‘traditional’ I hope to hear from you soon. Be bold and close out your letter with a reminder of why you are a good match for the role / organization, thank the reviewer for their time in reviewing your information, and move the process forward by requesting an interview,
I look forward to helping you secure your next role faster and welcome the opportunity to hear more about your career history and next-step aspirations. Please reach out by email to dive deeper into how my experiences and your career goals intersect. Until then, thank you for your time, interest, and consideration of my qualifications.
There you have it, the 5 elements of how to write a cover letter that will bolster your chances of getting noticed and making it to the next level of the hiring process.
If you are still filled with dread about writing your cover letter, you can enlist the assistance of a professional resume writer. Look for a certified master resume writer, certified executive resume master, certified professional resume writer or simply follow the link and schedule a discovery call.