QUESTION: How can I make sure my cover letter is interesting enough to capture the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager?
Kate Williamson, Scientech Resumes
A captivating cover letter must do 3 things: 1) make a connection with the reader, 2) briefly address the employer’s needs and how your skills and experiences can meet those needs. Share relevant highlights from your work history or academics to back up your claims and 3) inspire the reader to take action … aka call you for an interview! Be memorable and follow up after you apply.
Angela Watts, MyPro Resumes
Write for the audience (typically an HR professional and the hiring manager). Use familiar language (pulled from their website or the posting) and a voice that aligns with their company culture (e.g. don’t be formal if they are casual and progressive). Include accomplishment statements that demonstrate your unique value and align
with the duties and goals of their position.
Cheryl Milmoe, Cardinal Expert Résumés
Decisions about which candidate to hire are often resolved because of a great cover letter. Recruiters and hiring managers already know an applicant’s skill and experience from their resume. What they can’t see is the human side of the candidate. A clever, well written cover letter, one that shows personality or even a sense of humor appropriately expressed, can win the day!/p>
Kiersten Troutman, Second Glance Résumés
Employers are interested in knowing what you can do for them. Try to avoid writing a cover letter that plays to your needs and wants. Instead, focus on identifying what you know about them, why you are applying with them, and perhaps a specific example or two on how you’ve met some of their needs in previous experiences. In a nutshell, focus on them and how you would be an asset to their mission..
Edward Lawrence, Getstarted LLC
If you follow the standard advice to use three standard (and boring) paragraphs, your letter won’t interest anyone. Be different. Start with “why.” Open up. Reveal your passion. Tell the employer why you love what you do and what led you to apply for the job. Don’t regurgitate your resume; expand on it. Passion plus accomplishments will catch their attention.
Rebecca Bosl, Dream Life Team
Grant Cooper, Strategic Resumes & Business Plans
Cover letters represent your opportunity to display the research you have done on the intended company and position. Additional research may reveal the “pain point” or challenges that the company is experiencing within a competitive business environment. By conveying your knowledge of the company and addressing the challenges it faces, your cover letter will position you as a leading candidate.
Mill Montejo, The Talent Mill | Job Search Superhero | Dr Mill Computer Wiz
Brenda Bernstein, The Essay Expert LLC
Resumes are about you, cover letters should be about the company. Creating a targeted cover letter, specific to that company, outlining why you’re applying and how you can make an impact, is going to get more attention than a templated cover letter.
Ask a Question
Ask us your question and it may be selected as the topic of our next blog post, with answers compiled from the advice of NRWA members.
Work with the Best
Find a Resume Expert
If you’re looking for more information on how to write a great resume – or get an expert to help you with yours – you’ve come to the right place! This site was created by the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA), a US-based non-profit association with members from around the world who are dedicated to learning about and providing expertise in resume writing to all job seekers.
The National Résumé Writers’ Association
9 Newport Drive #200, Forest Hill, MD 21050
Thanks for checking out ResumeExperts.theNRWA.com!
For more on our association and certification, see www.thenrwa.com
Member Services: 1.877.THE.NRWA or [email protected]
Copyright © 2018 The National Résumé Writers’ Association