11 Tips For Creating Compelling Cover Letters - Part 1
Considering that a 2005 Society for Human Resource Management survey revealed that more than 8 out of 10 human resource professionals spend less than one minute reading a cover letter—and that was before the recession flooded the market with applicants, putting even more demands on hiring managers—how can you hope to catch a hiring manager’s attention, let alone convince them to invite you in for an interview?
It might feel scary. Somewhat intimidating, maybe. Almost like asking for a date
1. Research the company.
Before you can start writing those brilliant sentences that will wow a hiring manager, try to figure out the company’s challenges so that the accomplishments you mention will resonate with them. How to get these insights? Read recent press releases on their website and check out what their social media followers are saying about the company. Or Use Google, Yahoo! Finance, and Glassdoor.com to find out what the insiders are saying about corporate culture.
2. Plan your strategy.
Think about what the company needs, and the ways in which you can address those needs. Detail three brand attributes that set you apart from your competition that you want to be sure to cover.
3. Do your detective work.
Although in times past you might have gotten away with addressing a cover letter “To Whom It May Concern,” I don’t recommend it now. Today, hiring managers will appreciate you going the extra mile to use their name (and spell it correctly). Websites like jigsaw.com, Glassdoor.com, and LinkedIn, can help you locate who the decision maker is. If all else fails, “Dear Hiring Manager” may be your best bet, according to a recent Saddleback College Resume survey.
4. Introduce yourself.
Clearly state the position you’re applying for, and why you feel you’re a good candidate. And if you’ve been referred by someone within the organization, by all means mention it right off the bat.
5. Cut the fat.
Be on the lookout for redundant phrases, carefully examining the adjectives you choose. Avoid jargon, clichés, trendy words, or flowery language. In other words, no cheesy pickup lines!
6. Make your case.
Spell out exactly how your skills, work style, or personality relates to what is known about the company. Include clear statements that demonstrate how your unique value could provide benefits to the organization
Read Part 2
Author: Kristin Johnson