Cover Letters: Secrets to Capturing Your Employer’s Attention

Cover Letters: Secrets to Capturing Your Employer’s Attention

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Cover letters. The bane of everyone’s work search. Yet, the cover letter is a very important document and may determine whether an employer will look at your resume, and subsequently, call you in for an interview. A great cover letter doesn’t just happen by itself; rather, it is the result of you taking the time to do your research, and writing effective and meaningful information in a few well-worded sentences. The purpose of the cover letter is to highlight your skills and experiences, as well as showcase your personality. The one and only purpose of the cover letter is to get the employer to want to read your resume. Since employers get hundreds of applications for positions, they do not have time to go through every single resume, therefore having a good cover letter grabs the recruiter’s attention and prompts them to look at your resume. So, what makes a good cover letter?

Research – You have to do your homework. You must research the organization that you are applying for and reference some details to show the employer that you are keen and interested in working for them. Employers are impressed when you show that you know something about their organization. Try researching awards or achievements the organization has attained, rather than copying and pasting information from their website.

Prove that you’re the best – This is a cover letter, after all. Hit the ground running and start out with why you’re the best candidate. A great tip is to start thinking what the best candidate would offer the organization. For example, for a public relations firm, employers want to read about your writing ability, as well as previous work with news releases and/or campaign work. E.g. I have over 5 years experience leading public campaigns through effective news releases, communication plans, and social media strategy.

Time to Close – You have probably watched crime/legal dramas, where lawyers are speaking to a jury. Just like a persuasive essay, lawyers always have a strong closing statement to persuade other people to side with their argument. In the closing paragraph of your cover letter, you need to quickly summarize what you have to offer and close by suggesting meeting with you for an interview. Welcome them to contact you via e-mail or phone, and definitely thank them for your consideration.

If you need cover letter help, Career Services also offers one-on-one advising appointments to help you get started, as well as career exploration, and job search advice! Additionally, check out TalentEgg.ca’s Cover Letter primer!

Posted on March 28, 2013