Is Your Cover Letter Fast Food or Five Star?By Heather Eagar
If you’ve been job hunting for some time now, you probably have come to the realization that it’s a jungle out there. It’s a jungle with lots of job seekers vying for the exact positions that you are seeking. You have the experience, education and achievements that warrant an interview… but you’re not getting any. What’s going on?
Much to your chagrin, and no matter how much you protest, the culprit could be you – not the employer. Well, not you personally but how you’ve represented yourself. Did you throw your cover letter together thoughtlessly, change the company and title and call it a day? I was afraid of that. Each customer has its own requirements. Think of your resume package as a four-course meal.
1) Give them exactly what they want
Being a hiring manager is not an easy job. They have to sift through many resume packages from job seekers who don’t meet the specified requirements and have no skills they need to fill the open position. It’s a frustrating job and it can get them a little on edge.
Knowing that, just give them what they want! Don’t beat around the bush or wait until the interview (that you think is coming) to enlighten them about how perfect you are for the job; now is the time to do it.
2) Prove you’re worth the price
With fancy restaurants, they have to demonstrate that they are actually worth a lot more than the burger joint down the road. When it comes to job seekers, you have to prove your worth to the company. That’s when it pays (possibly literally) to provide achievements with qualifiers. Include dollar amounts, percentages anything that will signify how outstanding that accomplishment was and the impact it had on the company. Because, as we all know, it’s all about the bottom line.
3) Don’t make the employer work
Employers don’t have time to hunt for your qualifications or contact information or even what position you are applying for within their company. Make it easy for them. Point out the qualifications you have that match – or surpass – their expectations. Be specific. Make your contact information obvious but not obtrusive. Include the exact position for which you applying. If you are indeed qualified then by doing all this, you’re making it very difficult not to call you in for an interview.
4) They’re not the same as the employer down the road
Demonstrate your knowledge of the company. Show that you care and actually did your homework. By providing a couple of little references to current (or past) events within the company, you’ll be proving to them your desire to work for them. It’s relatively easy to sneak these in on your cover letter without seeming too obvious. For example, explain how your background and expertise would fit perfectly with the new CEO’s vision.
Remember, when it comes to your resume package, you really do only have one chance to make a good impression. Judgment on whether you’re a good or bad fit for a position happens so quickly that if you don’t have everything exactly how they want it, you’ll be waiting a very long time for that phone call.