How to Write a Cover LetterPersonalize your first impressions to employers to stand out.To whom it may concern: If you’re starting your cover letter with this generic opening, you’ve already likely lost the job. With some extra effort, you can find out who is reviewing cover letters and address it to that person. A cover letter should be customized, tailored to the audience and show intention. Here’s how to craft a cover letter that gets attention. Include necessary componentsConnection: The introductory paragraph of your cover letter should have a hook, highlighting your relevant experience. Proposal: In the second paragraph, summarize your strengths and relate your skills to the competencies required for the position. Quantify your accomplishments and describe unique contributions you bring to the table.Use important keywordsWhen cover letters are uploaded into resume management systems, they too are often scanned for keywords, so be sure to use the language, syntax and keywords of the job posting in the cover letter, just as you would in the resume. The voice of cover letter should reflect the job posting. Tell a story The best stories invite us along on a journey with a hero to explore new places, new ideas and new adventures. They get us to momentarily forget our everyday life, and inspire us to aspire to greater heights as we accompany the main character to uncharted territory. In your next cover letter, try storytelling techniques to inspire the reader to learn more about your best traits. Contact a human After you have submitted your application online, consider printing your cover letter and find an actual human to send it to in the mail. This follow-up can underscore your interest in the position. Even in the face of the automation trend, the savvy job seeker keeps writing to humans. If you reach the right screener, the extra effort is justified.By taking the time to craft a customized cover letter, you are signaling to the employer your interest in the position and demonstrating your understanding of the requirements and how they relate to your experience. Put in this extra work, and it could pay off
How to Write a Cover Letter
Tell A Story With Your Cover Letter
Think of your cover letter as the hero’s journey, classic techniques that have drawn audiences in for centuries. Use them to write your next chapter.The best stories invite us along on a journey with a hero to explore new places, new ideas and new adventures. They get us to momentarily forget our everyday life, and inspire us to aspire to greater heights as we accompany the main character to uncharted territory. Does this sound like your typical cover letter? No, of course not. But it could. In your next cover letter, try ditching the staid format of simply introducing yourself, and try storytelling techniques to inspire the reader to learn more about your best traits. Here are some tried and true storytelling techniques that you can apply. Start in the middle - and then go back If you pay attention, you’ll notice that most stories don’t start at the very beginning. Instead, it starts with action, and then flashes back to the beginning only later after you’re hooked. You can pull your reader in by starting with talking about a dramatic or memorable moment you’ve had at work. Then once they want to know more, you can show the path that lead to this moment - the prequel. Include the moment of truth In a story, the hero always has to make a choice between playing it safe or accepting the challenge and their destiny. This moment of truth is when things get interesting. What was that moment for you? When did you know a career or a position was perfect for you? What challenge did you have to overcome? This shows your commitment. Join the cause together The hero of the story always needs partnerships to survive - and they need to select wisely. So why do you want to join forces? What can you offer each other? What common enemy will you take on? Show how you’re in this together, and how you can be stronger when you are allied. Conclusion The best endings always reference the beginning. Don’t end with a flat “... and that’s why I want this job.” Instead, circle back to the beginning of your story, and show how you will make this journey continue. Final note: These tips don’t mean that you should refer to yourself as a hero in your cover letter, or that you should refer to your competition as an enemy. Those are good ways to get your application thrown in the trash. However, you can think of your cover letter as part of the “hero’s journey” narrative, which are classic techniques that has drawn audiences in for centuries. Use them to write your next chapter. This article is contributed by Right Management, www.rightmanagement.sg, the global career experts within the ManpowerGroup.