Customizing your cover letter as you apply to different opportunities is very important. It lets the hiring manager know you’re not just sending out a generic letter to any and all employers, and it demonstrates that you genuinely care and are interested in the position. If you’re not quite sure the best way to do that, I’m going to outline three steps to customizing your cover letter as you apply.
The best cover letters start with benefit-laden sentences and include the position you’re seeking. This tells the employer which position you’re interested in and why you’re the best fit for the opening. It also induces them to read your resume so they can find out more about just how great you really are. Starting with benefit-laden sentences is also so much more captivating than starting with the standard please accept my resume in response to X position advertised in XYZ.com.
Marketing in the Middle
The middle of your cover letter is your time to shine. Market your talents, successes, and achievements in brief statements or bullets, and make sure you choose statements that demonstrate how you would be a valuable asset to their organization. This is the place to demonstrate FIT. Be relevant! Focus on your experience, education, and achievements as they relate to the position you’re applying to. Employers want to see the connection between your experience and their needs. This is the best place to substantiate your credentials and fit for the position.
Close With a Call
Always close your cover letter with a call to action; don’t just end it by saying thanks for your time. The best cover letters don’t just thank the reader for his or her time; they also state how you will follow up with them about the opportunity or how they can best reach you—or both! I’ve read cover letters that end with something to this effect: Thank you for your time and interest. I will follow up with you in one week via telephone to confirm receipt of my resume and cover letter and to discuss further how my prior success at XYZ can be a valuable asset to ABC Company.
Creating a customized cover letter doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you focus on the three steps above. Remember, it’s all about communicating how you can meet their needs and why you would be an asset to their organization. Be personable too; don’t just make it all about the FACTS. A cover letter is a great place to show your personality—as long as you’re professional.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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