Strategies for a No-Fail Cover Letter

Nancy Anderson
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Writing a clear, concise and engaging cover letter is challenging for many professionals who are engulfed in an already stressful job search. However, you can create a no-fail letter that prompts hiring managers to invite you for an interview by following strategies that have impressed employers and secured jobs for many candidates.

A cover letter should mirror the skills desired by the company. Start with the job posting, and scour through the bulleted list of requirements and responsibilities, recommends Kristi Dosh with Reputation Ink. Circle all the skills and experience you possess, and highlight these items in your letter. Identify your top skills, and make these prominent when writing the letter that accompanies your resume and application materials during your job search.

Start the cover letter with an opening statement that mentions the position you are seeking and any personal connections you have to the organization or company. Referrals can help put your resume in the right hands. The meat of the letter should provide specific examples of your skills and experience. Note how you mastered each skill, improved productivity or accomplished a goal. Demonstrate how you work within a team setting, and explain your leadership style with clear examples.

It is important for candidates to also provide examples of how they would fit within the company's culture. Research the goals, mission and philosophy of the company, and provide examples of how you can complement its efforts. Identify the company's current initiatives, and show how you can contribute to the well-being of the business and work well with teammates. Hiring managers are seeking individuals who not only possess desired skills and experience, but also have a personality that is in line with the company culture.

Personalize each and every cover letter to the company and position you are applying for. Hiring managers can spot a template right away, and they may assume that you have not taken the time to customize the letter for the specific position. Keep all information in the letter relevant to the position you are seeking, and refrain from using jargon or slang terms that are not related to the industry.

Close the cover letter by requesting an interview. Avoid summarizing the information in the letter, and directly note that you are eager to join the team. If possible, provide supporting documents or links to an online portfolio that further display your skills and experience.

Candidates face tremendous pressure when applying for jobs in today's job market. However, a brief, concise and well-written cover letter can help you stand out among the competition. Secure an interview and your dream job by providing specific examples, tailoring the letter to the desired position and outlining why you want to work for the company.

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