Cover letters make your application stand out
Not if you want your application to stand out amongst the many others that are received. A good covering letter along with professional resume writing from Successful Resumes will help you to stand out from the crowd. A generic cover letter should not be used to apply for a specific job listing or advertisement. It also shouldn’t be used when networking or approaching companies you’re interested in working for.
Employers are all looking for the same thing – a new employee to solve a problem they have. That problem could be as simple as needing staff to sell their products, or as complex as needing an experienced IT systems analyst to manage a new project.
Applications that attract their attention are the ones where both the resumes and cover letter they receive clearly explain how the applicant can solve their problem. So how do you find out what their problem may be?
Firstly, read the job advertisement carefully. If you can identify the organisation advertising the position, go to their website and see if you can find a more detailed position description there.
You can take your research to the next level by phoning the contact person listed for the position, and asking them:
- Is the position a new or existing role?
- Is the position related to any new projects or growth?
- What exactly are they looking for in applicants?
While some of this information may be found in the position description, you’d be surprised at what you may learn from a casual conversation with HR, the recruiter or the manager recruiting the position. This is also a great opportunity for you to introduce yourself AND make a positive first impression. You may differentiate yourself from other candidates by demonstrating that you are willing to take the time to find out what they need.
Remember, employers are looking for a specific person to fulfil a specific role. That’s why your resume also has to be specific.
A cover letter is your opportunity to:
- Introduce yourself to the hirer, potential employer or recruiter
- Answer the job advertisement and explain how you will fulfil the requirements listed
- Explain why you want this job, with this particular company
An effective cover letter is your chance to convince the reader that they need to talk to you in person. It ties together the job advertisement and your resume, acting as a compelling marketing document to sell your expertise.
Many of my clients complain that writing a new cover letter tailored to every position they apply for is a time-consuming process. They’re right – it is. However, this is something you really have to do if you want to win an interview.
Whatever your job search goal may be – seeking a promotion, moving into a new company, exploring a new industry area, re-entering the workforce, or even a complete career change – you have to invest a considerable amount of time to achieve it.