Category: Employment

A cover letter – or a cover email – is vital to your success when you apply for a job. Even jobs and employers who claim not to require a cover letter will give you more attention and are more likely to contact you for an actual interview (where you can truly shine and blow them away with your abilities) if your cover letter clearly states what they stand to gain by getting in touch with you.

As electronic communications dominate all aspects of the hiring world to an increasing degree, more and more employers are actually admitting that in many cases, they do not even read applicant’s resumes in the initial round if the potential employee has a good cover letter. So not only will a good cover letter get you through the door, but it can also help your future employer start out with a good feeling about you (not only because you’re great, but because you saved them time and hassle before they even brought you on).

To achieve this type of cover letter, the traditional “form letter” in which you describe your achievements and maybe fill in a few blanks for the title of the job and the employer’s name will not cut it. Your cover letter needs to be targeted directly at your potential employer, showing him or her exactly how you will fit the bill. Now, this can mean rewriting a cover letter over from scratch, but do not be alarmed. Worst-case scenario, you spend an hour in order to dramatically up your odds of getting the job you want. However, in most cases, you can still use the best parts of old cover letters as long as you clearly involve the new employer in the letter.

A targeted cover letter still shows exactly why you are the best. It should give a good summary of your history and your accomplishments. However, as soon as you are done with that history, draw a clear line for your future employer from your job history to their new job. For example, if you were applying for a job as a PR consultant for an internet marketer, but your background is largely in technical writing, then you might, for example, need to say clearly to your reader, “My background in technical writing will enable me to promote your company to potential clients in a way that not only shows them how they can benefit from your products and services, but also makes it clear that you are with them every step of the way.” While this type of thing may seem obvious to you, you cannot rely on your reader to see everything that you see. Spelling out how you will benefit a company in unique ways is critical to targeted cover letters and to getting the jobs and attention from employers that you want and deserve.


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