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How to Write A Cover Letter Employers Will Read: A Step-by-Step Guide

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A detailed look at seven step-by-step tips to help you write a cover letter that employers will read.


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How to Write A Cover Letter Employers Will Read: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. 1. HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER EMPLOYERS WILL READ: w w w . g r e a t r e s u m e s f a s t . c o m G R E A T R E S U M E S F A S T A Step-by-Step Guide
  2. 2. DO I REALLY NEED TO USE A COVER LETTER? It’s a question I hear from people every day—and an important one because a great cover letter can be the determining factor in landing an interview. However, I want to start by clarifying that the traditional cover letter style as you most likely know it is outdated and useless. Employers no longer want to invest the time reading the same verbiage on 500 cover letters. In an effort to provide a valuable answer to the two questions I put together this article with step-by-step directions for how to write a cover letter. L E A R N M O R E
  3. 3. Here are the 7 simple strategies for how to write a cover letter: L E A R N M O R E
  4. 4. 1.REMOVE ANY RESEMBLANCE TO A TRADITIONAL COVER LETTER’S OPENING LINE • Get rid of “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager.” • Technology is so advanced it’s just that easy to spend a couple of minutes finding out the name of the person in charge of hiring for the position you want. • Jump on LinkedIn, do your research, and find the person’s name. Address your cover letter to that person. If you receive a general email “Dear Valued Member” or a direct mail piece “Dear Recipient at 12345 Main Street” you know already they don’t know who you are and it’s spam. • Impress the employer by taking the time to find their name. L E A R N M O R E
  5. 5. • First try an alternative opening. Use a question like: • Are you looking for a deadline-driven executive resume writer who writes interview-winning resumes within 3-5 business days while offering exceptional personal service? • I provide dedicated attention and personalized advice to job seekers while maintaining a 5-star client satisfaction rating. • I create high-quality, visually-engaging resumes that attract employer attention and navigate through complicated applicant tracking systems. 2. FOLLOW UP THEIR NAME WITH AN OPENING SENTENCE THAT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE A REHEARSED SPEECH L E A R N M O R E
  6. 6. 3.DO YOUR BEST TO FIND A COMMON CONNECTION OR HOW YOU FIT INTO THEIR CULTURE While you’re doing your research to determine who you need to address your cover letter to, you might as well start researching the company’s culture, the department you’d work for, the company’s mission, and more—to make sure it’s a good fit for you. Make the connection on your cover letter between who you are (your personal brand), the value you can offer the company that no one else can, and how that fits into the organization, culture, and the position you want. L E A R N M O R E
  7. 7. 4. POINT OUT HOW YOU PROVIDE A SOLUTION TO AN IMPORTANT PROBLEM THE COMPANY IS TRYING TO SOLVE What is the company’s biggest need or pain point right now? Tie their problem into how you are the solution. You can use three short bullet points with provable results to do this. As an executive resume writer, mine might say: L E A R N M O R E
  8. 8. Double the interviews Double the interviews generated in 2 weeks or less. Response rates 50% increase in resume response rates. Employed In 2 months or less, 85% of my clients are employed—crushing the average job search time by 75%. My clients enjoy results like these with their new resumes: L E A R N M O R E
  9. 9. • The cover letter as you’re probably visualizing it in your head is gone. Long-winded, life-storytelling, boring cover letters are counterproductive. • Keep it short. You need to aim for 150 words or fewer. • Employers are short on time and attention—and the chances are VERY high that they’re going to be reading those introductory words on their mobile devices. • Write an e-note that will show up on their phone or iPad screen without them having to scroll to read it all. • It can be a challenge to write concise, but start writing and then go back and edit to cut non-essential information out—and then repeat that exercise as many times as you need to until you’ve cut it down to approximately 150 words. 5. Shorter is really better L E A R N M O R E
  10. 10. When I write value proposition letters, e-notes, or cover letters for my clients, I end with a compelling call to action. Mine might say: Ready for results like these? Let’s chat! Or: want to learn more? visit my website http://www.greatresumesfast.com Or: Interested? Let’s talk! Call me at 1.800.991.5187 Or: I’ll give you a call next week to follow up. Customize your call to action and if you tell them you’ll call, be sure to follow up. Get them to take action— whether that action is to call you, email, view your LinkedIn profile, or visit your online blog or portfolio. Ultimately, you want them to be compelled to contact you. 6. Don’t forget a great call to action L E A R N M O R E
  11. 11. • Remember to be real and genuine when you write your cover letter. • I promise you that employers have read enough canned, regurgitated content to last them a lifetime. • Be yourself, share why you’re passionate about the company, interested in the position, what you can bring to the table and why it should matter. • They’ll appreciate your honesty and enthusiasm, not to mention the fact that it’s sincere 7. Final advice to take with you L E A R N M O R E
  12. 12. 1.800.991.5187 info@greatresumesfast.com http://www.greatresumesfast.com Impress employers with a professionally-written resume. I am happy to answer any questions you have about our resume writing services. We look forward to speaking with you! CONTACT US L E A R N M O R E
  13. 13. END SLIDE I started Great Resumes Fast 10 years ago with the mission of using my 12+ years of human resources, recruiting, and hiring experience to create interview-winning resumes for job seekers who really didn’t know what a resume should look or “sound” like. w w w . g r e a t r e s u m e s f a s t . c o m