The Exquisite Art of the Cover Letter
With the rise of social media, many job candidates increasingly use their LinkedIn profile and other online personas to act as an evergreen cover letter. While your social profiles are immensely valuable and can act as catalysts for new job opportunities, it’s imperative you leverage all opportunities to communicate to potential hiring companies why you’re the right person for the job.
Be sure to leverage a few of our tips below to maximize the effectiveness of your next cover letter.
Fill in the Gaps
This is your chance to complement your resume and portray your career intent, passion, overarching goals, and other qualities that may be relevant to the potential role. These are the facts that don’t necessarily shine through in your resume. A well-written, succinct cover letter can cut through the noise of the stacks of resumes and draw the hiring manager in. This is especially important if the position is highly-coveted and market competition is fierce.
How Will You Complement the Company?
Hiring managers are also looking for a candidate that will fit well within the company’s culture. In your cover letter, be sure to tie together your skills and experience with the needs of the company. While showcasing why you’d be a strong fit for the position, also work to highlight how you may help further the company’s mission, culture, or business objectives. This is also a great way to show that you understand their company and have taken the extra time to learn more about their goals.
Focus on Transferable Skills
Use your resume as a guide and take a step back. In your previous roles, take stock of your day-to-day responsibilities and achievements. While some or many of these may be specific to the company or industry you were previously in, what are the underlying skills that enabled you to perform your role and drive results? How can you translate what you learned and achieved in the past to help drive your next company forward?
Hiring managers want to see specific examples of how you’ve affected positive change in your previous roles but they also want to know what you can bring to the table now. Focus most heavily on these transferable skills, and make them the focal point of your cover letter.
Do you wear the same set of clothes for every occasion? Do you send the same greeting card for every holiday? No, we didn’t think so.
While it takes extra work and time on your part, always write a custom, tailored letter for each position you apply for. As each position and company is unique, your approach should celebrate that. While a cover letter template can help you craft the bones and keep certain elements static, be sure to add unique touches, goals, and elements unique to the hiring company and role. As many candidates don’t take the time to write tailored cover letters, this will also provide you a strong step-up against the competition.
Keep It Under One Page
See this as your elevator pitch. Keep it short, sweet, and effective.
Burchard & Associates specializes in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.