This is a guest post from Careergorilla.com. Personally, I find the second suggestion quite intriguing and would be interested to hear results from any of you who have tried doing this or something similar!
The cover letter is the most important document that you will send to a prospective employer. It is exponentially more important than your resume in getting your foot in the ‘hiring door’. It is the first step in getting your resume read, and the lynchpin of securing a face-to-face interview. You may have a rockstar resume, but if your cover letter is lackluster it will never get read.
An effective cover letter must follow a format that is concise (e.g., 250 words) and advocates on your behalf.
Follow these points for cover letter success:
1. Address it to the person who has the authority to hire you.
2. First Paragraph: indicate a common friend or colleague who you share with the reader. Reference an industry article about the reader which you found interesting or a career accomplishment that caught your attention. Demonstrate that you know something about the company and the underlying industry.
3. First Paragraph: state the position that you are seeking and why your are pursuing it.
4. Second Paragraph: present a succinct and position-focused summary of your career, and at least one reason why the reader should hire you amidst the many applicants.
5. Third paragraph: bullet point your specific career accomplishments that illustrate how you will be a natural fit for the position and can add value to their business.
6. Final paragraph: reference the attached resume and indicate that you look forward to speaking with the reader and arranging an interview.
7. Proofread the letter at least three times and make sure your complete contact information is contained in your header.
Avoid these common pitfalls:
1. Stating references are available upon request. If you have a noteworthy reference then include a one or two line quote in the body of your cover letter. It will save the reviewer valuable time and make your application stand out amongst the crowd.
2. Using a stock letter template or boilerplate form. They want to hire a unique and dynamic individual, not a thoughtless automaton.’
3. Piggybacking on the last point: being overly formulaic in your prose and failing to use your own “voice”. Be professional, but be yourself. Remember the goal is separate yourself from the pack.
4. Failing to show the reader in your bullet pointed accomplishments your individual achievements and body of work. Bundling your efforts with that of a team leaves the reader with doubts as to your individual ability and capacity.
The above points will provide you with a solid road map to writing a cover letter that gets your resume read and an interview secured.
See the following link for more Cover Letter Secrets and Career Advice: http://www.careergorilla.com/
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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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