Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, practice writing a good, healthy cover letter; it will help when you really need to write one. When you are actively looking for a customer service, accounting, marketing, IT, financial, retail or other position, each prospect is looking for something unique in your qualifications. How do you stand out above your competition? How is your expertise going to help them? Why you?
Also, have two or three different letters prepared: your favored field, something relatively close and one that just gets you an interview, whether you want the job or not. I.e.: You’re in sales, write a marketing cover letter too. You’re in web design, write a public relations letter too. You’re a financial advisor, write a CFO letter.
A majority of cover letters find themselves in the trash within seconds. A good, healthy cover letter will help you get your face in front of the decision maker, or at least the initial decision maker to help you on your way to getting hired. When you write your cover letter, promote your expertise through the prospects’ eyes, and how that expertise will help improve their company’s team work, bottom line, time management, sales, brand, computer skills, etc.
When you read and reread your letter to Mr./Ms./Dr. Hiring Manager how many “I’s” are in your letter? How many “you’s”? Remember if you were the HR manager reading your letter would you hire you? Would you at least call you and ask you in for an interview? If so, why? If not, why?
My Good, Healthy Cover Letter Tips:
1. Use a colon (:) after the salutation, not a comma. Dear Dr. Saulsbury:
2. Research the company on the web and state some stats about the company. As the largest maker of grass seed, your company is a company I want to help promote.
3. Tell a story about why you’re in your profession to begin with. When I was working as a lawn care person during high school and college, I found….
4. Use “you” twice – maybe even three times – more than “I.” My eight years in seed, lawns, fertilizer, etc. will help you cut down on the time it takes your team to do a,b,c and increase your production each quarter. The company needs your help, let them know how you are going to help them, not just what you do and have done.
5. End with a powerful and different close, not a cliche. Forget, I look forward to meeting with you. or Thank you for your consideration. Write: I’ve planted 2,456 trees, mowed 7,844 lawns, worked with 100s of employees, and framed countless neighborhoods with color and perfection; I will help your business.
Sincerely, Arbor Moss
These letters are worth their weight in good grammar, correct punctuation and solid syntax. They’re also worth the time to perfect, proof and re-write! They are more important than your resume…they are you.
Good luck in your search.