Friday 2 November 2012

Cover Letters 101

Having looked at a few different roles on Linkedin recently, a timely reminder to review and update my cover letter(s). In the past, a job advertised in a local newspaper prompted you to write and send off by mail a cover letter accompanying your CV.  Email messages, CV attachments in various formats and on-line applications via the various job portals have all changed the format and speed of those interactions. If applying for roles through Linkedin, suggest you dust of your old skool cover letters as they’re now needed once again.

A few tips:
  1. Write to the specific person managing the opportunity. 
  2. Tell the potential employer in the first sentence why you are writing (include the position title or job function area you are interested in).
  3. Let the employer know how you found out about the opening citing; in this case, Linkedin.
  4. Use key words in your message that match the employer’s job description and/or reflect the organization’s branding messages as articulated on job posting.
  5. Give examples about how you have contributed and made a difference in the past on projects and organizations.  Try to relate those contributions and abilities as much as possible to the position you’re applying for or the area you’re interested in.
  6. Be passionate and energetic – make sure your words communicate that you would be a strong and enthusiastic hire.
  7. Spell check; make sure your grammar is correct.
  8. Don’t be too casual or use commonly accepted text abbreviations or phrases.  You are applying to a job, not writing to your friend.
Think of a cover letter as a “pitch” letter.  You are attempting to entice a buyer for your product and that product is YOU.  Remember to be convincing and compelling and give the employer a reason to be excited about calling you for an interview.

No comments: