While we all know that a resume is important to the jobsearch process, it is not necessarily the most important document you will need to secure an interview.
Many people believe that a strategically targeted cover letter is the most important weapon you need to fight this battle and to win it. There are two key reasons why.
- The cover letter allows you to target the job and the employer in a very specific way, leaving the resume to market your skills, qualities and experience as a part of the bigger picture. Your resume then needs less tweaking with each application because the letter, which must be different each time, does that for you.
- A great cover letter should not just repeat your resume in a shorter form, but should tell the employer what it is about the job that is attractive to you and why you want to work for that employer. You will also need to include the unique skills and the qualities you bring to that job and the company.
Writing a killer cover letter is not a simple task. It requires thought, knowledge and understanding
Many employers and recruiters read the letter first. Some will not even consider your resume until they are satisfied by the content of your letter. So it is a very important document.
- You will need to do research on the employer and the job before writing the letter
- It will need to be written in an engaging style using keywords applicable to the job
- In the letter you will need to show that you have made the effort to learn about their company by acquiring relevant knowledge before going to the interview, if you are chosen.
So what do you do if the employer is not disclosed in the job advert? Well the letter still has to be written specifically to the job addressing the key requirements stated and your enthusiasm needs to shine through. No letter can just say "here is my resume", not if you want an interview. You will need to convey:
- I have reviewed your website and understand your business
- You are my employer of choice
- I believe my personality fits with your organisational culture (providing it does)
- I really want to work for an organisation with your values
These all help to sell "your fit" with their organisation. At Successful Resumes we believe the cover letter needs as much attention and skill in the preparation as your resume.
If you need help with your cover letter please visit our website here likewise if you require a free assessment of your resume or advice on government selection criteria go to our website. One of our national team of highly qualified and experienced writers will be available to work with you to ensure you have the best chance of winning the interview to kick start or reignite your career.
By John Little Managing Director of Successful Resumes Australia - visit us at www.successfulresumes.com.au
It’s no secret every element of your cover letter is important from top to bottom. But the cover letter introduction may be just a bit more significant simply because it works as the bait to lure in your readers, encouraging them to learn more about you.
Cover Letter Introduction Goals
To make sure your introduction does its job, take a look at four goals every cover letter introduction should accomplish:
1. Advertise Your Skills And Accomplishments
Advertising your skills and accomplishments early on in a cover letter works well to pique the interest of hiring managers. This is because many are more intrigued by intros that start with: ”Searching tirelessly for a top-level executive chef with 20 years of restaurant, casino, and hotel experience? Look no further!”—rather than: “I want to thank you for the opportunity to apply for the executive chef position.”
Candidates have found that managers respond more willingly to the creative introduction that lists reasons they should be hired. Keep this concept in mind as you write your own.
2. Pinpoint Challenges You Want To Address
In the first sentence, you’ve likely touched on the second goal, which is to pinpoint challenges you want to address with the company. But it’s not a bad idea to do it again. You don’t have to talk about specific challenges in the introduction; this can be saved for later in the letter. But you can touch on goals that any company in the field might face and why you want to tackle them.
Believe it or not, this can be accomplished in two brief sentences that read something like this: “Every restaurant faces its challenges in customer service, staff and budget management, and food execution. I am eager to take the reins with XYZ Restaurant and steer business in the right direction.”
3. Explain Why You’re The Right Fit
Next, it’s important to explain why you’re the right fit for the position. You can do this by noting that the company needs a qualified candidate to meet its agenda, then list three or four reasons why you’re the qualified candidate it needs.
The idea is to get right to the point of why you’re the perfect fit. No beating around the bush allowed—because hiring managers simply don’t have time to search for the message you’re trying to deliver.
4. Entice The Reader To Keep Reading
Finally, your goal is to let the reader know your introduction is only the beginning and you have more to offer. For instance, by stating, “I believe it’s never too late to develop strategies that lead a restaurant to greatness, and I am ready to utilize my long-term experience, intuition, and dedication to get the job done”, you could successfully convince a manager to keep reading.
The cover letter introduction serves as the appetizer to a fantastic meal. Don’t you want your appetizer to be great? Well take time to carefully construct an introduction that has hiring managers wanting more.
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