The importance of a cover letter in a recruiter’s hiring decision is quickly dwindling. Do I really need to use a cover letter? It’s a question I hear from job-seekers every day. The role a cover letter plays in a hiring decision pales in comparison to job experience and culture fit. However, when you throw out the “traditional” cover letter that so many recruiters are used to and instead, use a brief pointed e-note that touches on both experience and culture fit. it’s a winning combination.
However, let’s start by clarifying that the “traditional cover letter” as you may know it, has gone. Here are five key cover letter writing strategies you need to know now—before you sit down to pen your next cover letter.
IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE…… GIVE UP THE OLD.
The cover letter as you’re probably visualizing it in your head is gone. Long-winded, life-storytelling, boring cover letters are doing your job search NO FAVORS. Keep it really short and simple. In fact, you need to aim for 150 words or less. Recruiters 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. It can be a challenge to write so lean, clean, and concise, but start writing and then as many times as you need to until you’ve cut it down to 150 words.
DITCH THE WORN-OUT OPENING LINE.
Get rid of “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Manager”. Guess what? If technology has advanced enough that I can look someone up on the Internet and find their home address and telephone number, you can spend a couple of minutes finding out the name of the person in charge of hiring, interviewing, or making the decisions about the position that you want to pursue.
LOOK FOR FIT
Make the connection on your cover letter between what you do (your personal brand) and how that fits into the organization, culture, and the position you want. Research the company’s culture, the department you would like to work in, the company’s mission and more—to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
BE THE SOLUTION
What is its biggest need or pain point right now? Then tie their problem into how you are the solution. Find out about a problem the company has or is trying to solve. YOU are the solution. Provide proof of how you’ve solved problems—and do so with quantifiable statements.
CLOSE WITH A COMPELLING CALL TO ACTION
End with a compelling call to action. Customize your call to action in any way you want. Get them to take action—whether that action is to call you, e-mail, view your LinkedIn profile, or visit your online resume. Don’t let them stop after reading your e-note; you want them to be compelled to contact you. Mine might say:
Ready for results like these? Let’s chat!
Want to learn more? Visit my website http://www.lohiconsulting.com
Interested? Let’s talk! Call me on 01-632210.