How to Make Your Cover Letter a Perfect Fit for Any Opening

31 Mar

Article Title: How to Make Your Cover Letter a Perfect Fit for Any Opening
Author Byline: Jessica has a true passion for the job seeker, evidenced by her desire to share everything she can with everyone she can about resume writing and interviewing.
Author Website: http://www.greatresumesfast.com

Let’s face it, a blanket cover letter just isn’t going to cut it these days. So how can you make the best use of your time while maximizing your results? Here are a few simple steps to customizing your cover letters. (And if you don’t think you SHOULD customize your cover letter for each application you submit, then we have bigger problems than I thought …)

A MEMORABLE OPENER

Here’s a mistake I see more and more job seekers making: the opening line on their cover letter reads, “Please accept this in response to the (position) advertised on month day, year …” What’s wrong with this kind of opening line? Everyone uses it. The point of your job search is to stand out from the crowd—not get lost in the midst of it. Instead, try using something similar to your branding statement. You can easily tweak your branding statement to be a customized opening line.

For example: With more than 10 years of profit-driven project management expertise …

What’s different about this opening line? I’m already addressing the company’s need for a bottom-line-driven project manager; sharing my years of experience; and hitting the job title on the dot. That’s three big points you’ve scored in the first line alone.

FACTS THAT SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS

After you’ve written your opening lines (which express your interest in the position and introduce you to the prospective employer) immediately jump into how you can meet the organization’s needs based on the requirements the company posted in its online ad or job description.

“I see you are interested in hiring someone with strategic-change management experience.” (Or whatever the key requirement of the position is—highlight it here). Then tell—or even better, SHOW—the reader why you have that experience: “In my present role with ABC Distributors, I did XYZ, which resulted in JKL.” Showing the potential employer—right off the bat—that you possess a desired attribute or requirement for the position will prompt the hiring manager to invest more time in reading your resume. If your cover letter states—in so many words—“I am the perfect match for your opening, and I can meet/exceed your needs …” then you immediately get my attention, and I’m more likely to invest time in reviewing your resume. Here’s a tip: do not use bullet points or material word-for-word from your resume; provide the hiring manager with fresh information on your cover letter.

DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT

Here are a few small details to remember when crafting a cover letter to fit a specific opening:

-Make sure that your cover letter heading matches your resume’s.
-Include your branding statement with your header at the top of your cover letter. It enforces your brand and provides a polished touch.
-Include a quote from a former employer if relevant and hard-hitting. This is a great way to “sell” what you’re capable of accomplishing for an organization. If the prospective employer has a specific requirement in its job ad—and you’ve already done that somewhere else and have a great recommendation or quote from a previous supervisor to back it up—WOW!! There really isn’t any better sales/marketing material than that. Not much can beat a quote about your results.

CLOSE WITH CONTACT

Always offer at the close of your letter to follow up with the employer/hiring manager via phone, e-mail, snail mail, whatever … within a specific time frame (be it one week or two or whenever). Also, be sure to include your contact information so they can reach out to you. Keep the closing professional, polished, and concise. You don’t want to appear desperate or unprofessional.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

One Response to “How to Make Your Cover Letter a Perfect Fit for Any Opening”

  1. http://www.gulveogfliser.dk/ June 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave
    it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off
    topic but I had to tell someone!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: