Getting started on anything can be the hardest part – and the cover letter that accompanies your resume is no exception.
- Yes, cover letters are still important. They are your initial introduction to a potential employer and may even be the deciding factor in whether or not you make the first cut toward landing an interview and from there, ultimately, a job.
Make sure every cover letter you send is uniquely tailored to the position – just like your resume. Don’t blow your chance, literally within your first few words to a hiring manager.
Here are some tips to help you instantly grab positive attention with the opening lines of your cover letter:
Send your cover letter to an actual person.
Avoid the cookie-cutter “Dear Sir or Madam” salutation. It may have worked in 1970 or 1980 (even that’s questionable!!), but even if so, its time has long passed. Use whatever contacts and means available to find out to whom your cover letter should be addressed.
Show the employer you’ve done your research by personalizing your application. Often, the simplest way to find the right contact name is to use LinkedIn or the company’s website.
Write an attention-grabbing opening paragraph.
Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes and cover letters daily. If yours has made it past your greeting, make sure your first paragraph is engaging and compelling.
Keep it customized and personal. For example: “Dear Ms. Ryan: My name is Cooper and I’d like to help XYZ Company exceed its targets as a Sales Manager. During my five-year experience as a District Sales Representative at ABC, Inc., I have consistently exceeded stretch goals, including topping KPIs by more than 50 percent during the last three years. Further, I am already very familiar with the territory I would be responsible for in the role. I believe my strong track record and market intelligence make me the perfect candidate for your position.”
Think passion and admiration.
Talking about your passion for the opportunity and admiration for the employer’s brand conveys the fact that you’d be an engaged, motivated, and loyal team member. Be specific and genuine as you tell the employer a bit more about yourself and why you’d love to work for their company. For instance:
“Though I am happily employed as a PR Manager at Acme, Inc., seeing the job description for Super Sneakers’ Regional Communications Director position stopped me in my tracks – no pun intended. I’ve been wearing your shoes since I could walk – and I’ve been impressed again and again by your sterling reputation and the way you treat your employees, customers, and the Niagara regional community at large. I live here, too, so the opportunity to work for Super Sneakers takes on an additional level of meaning and importance to me.”
From here, summarize your accomplishments and proudest career achievements, without being too wordy or regurgitating what’s already on your resume. Keep things short and sweet to make the best possible impact.
For expert guidance with your job search in the Central Valley and beyond, reach out to PrideStaff Modesto today. Our career development experts can work with you from start to successful finish and match you with the right employer in areas including administration, warehousing, manufacturing, skilled labor, finance, and accounting. Contact us today to learn more.