The most effective cover letters tell a story. They should tell the story of how your background and skill sets meet the need of the employer. In other words, how can you help the employer solve a problem or series of problems that the company is facing? The resume tells the story of your professional and educational background, but the cover letter should connect that with the needs of the employer.
1. Identify the Problem
Almost half of hiring agents don’t bother to read cover letters. Every opening in today’s dynamic job market receives dozens, if not hundreds of cover letters. Recruiters are getting inundated with applications. The hiring manager must look out for their needs so they are not always inclined to read every word in your document. The bottom line is that they are looking for an awesome candidate to come in and do a bang up job for their company.
You have to identify their key need or problem. Write your cover letter in a succinct and highlighted fashion that says you are they key to solving their problem. Be sure to review the list of key responsibilities in the job description. This process will help you identify the key problem facing the company.
2. Scratch where it itches
After identifying the key need, take some time to figure out how you can maximize their needs and wants. Provide a specific example of how you can meet their needs. Review your LinkedIn contacts and find a person that works at that company. Inquire with them about the core challenges that the company has. Make sure you focus your cover letter to address how your previous professional experience could mitigate their weaknesses.
3. Offer the Solution
You have gotten the hiring manager’s attention because you have outlined you know that they have a problem you can help solve. It’s now time to offer a solution that you can provide based on your educational and professional experience. Think about what makes you incredibly qualified to solve the problem.
4. Seal the Deal
End on a strong note. Close the cover letter with a sentence that displays you have done your due diligence on the company and you are the solution to their hiring needs. Don’t use a bunch of superfluous languages. The average job searchers will try to stuff a bunch of buzzwords into the cover letter. Be creative and passionate about how you end your cover letter.
By following these basic concepts you can build a better cover letter that will garner the attention of Human Resources and hiring agents.