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A cover letter is an accompanying document submitted with your resume when applying for a job. The purpose of the cover letter is to catch the reader’s attention buy articulating who you are, what you do, why you do it, and why you want to do it for their organization. The letter provides comprehensive evidence that you are qualified for the job you are applying for. Many candidates make the mistake of submitting for a job without their resume, which often times will result in being overlooked. In the modern day job market where there are often times thousands of applicants, dozens of which are equally as qualified as you, a dialed in cover letter is necessary to increase your chances of landing an interview. Another common mistake that non-trained writers make is simply repeating what is on the resume, rather than illuminating precise information on why you are an ideal candidate for the role. Ultimately, a cover letter is your chance to make a first impression without it being your last.
Why you need a cover letter
Firstly, employers are 40% more likely to read a resume with a cover letter. In fact, some companies require a cover letter to even be considered for a position. Secondly, this is your place to shine! A cover letter is your initial sales pitch where your value proposition can entice the reader to want to take a deeper look into your background. Finally, since a cover letter is expected these days and is viewed as an opportunity to present your case, not providing one with a job application can make you look lazy which will typically not go over well. A well-crafted cover letter is the perfect opportunity to truly differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other applicants.
How a cover letter is written
There are different types of cover letters dependent upon an individual’s situation. When creating a resume, choose the type that matches the reason for writing it.
- Job specific: applying to a particular role within a company
- Prospecting: inquiring about potential openings that might be a good fit
- Networking: reaching out request assistance in your job search
The most common cover letter is the job specific type, in which a candidate has identified a role within a company they wish to pursue. Writing an impactful cover letter requires comprehensive research of the company and role in which you are applying for. From an organizational standpoint, you should know the industry the company is in, the size of the company, the company’s values, the company’s mission, the company’s vision, and the problem that the company is trying to solve. When it comes to the role you are applying for, you must dissect the job description and use it to dictate the content of your cover letter. A successful cover letter will consist of the following:
- Formatted correctly and keyword optimized
- Strong Introduction paragraph that captures the reader’s attention
- Clearly explain the candidate’s work experience
- Illuminate the skills necessary to do the job at a high level
- Show how the candidate can solve specific problems that the company might have
- Value proposition that shows what you can offer the employer and why you want to work at this specific company
- Details how your professional goals align with the organizations goals
- Gives the reader a sense of who you are as both a professional and a person (show some personality)
- Makes you stand out and not look “cookie-cutter”
- Tells a captivating story
- Ends with a call to action
Why you need to hire a professional
You can certainly use this guideline to attempt to write a cover letter for yourself, but the reality is there is a method crafting the perfect cover letter that only a trained professional possesses. Let our team of professional recruiting and human resources professionals ensure your cover letter entices the reader to move on to the next step, resume review.
How Does the Cover Letter Writing Process Work?
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