When I was applying for jobs in the 1980 and 1990s, having an appropriate introductory cover letter was not only expected, but also practically mandatory to submit along with my resume. The cover letter was the golden key to open the door to at least getting an interview with HR. It set the tone for what is to come. Hiring managers were all about the cover letter back then.
Fast forward to the days of the digital job search market. Should you include a cover letter with a résumé? That all depends.
Why write a cover letter?
Nowadays, résumé writers write a cover letter that is fit to a specific job and its qualifications. Known as a “personalized cover letter,” this introduction tells recruiters that you are uniquely qualified for the advertised position. You have the qualities they are looking for.
The Cover Letter Structure
When perusing a job ad, you must have a connection that compels you to want to apply. The key here is to do your homework. Research as much as you can about that company so you can show how your philosophy aligns with theirs. There is a saying that “people understand the intellect but connect emotionally. The heart will always rule over the head.” Therefore, the cover letter must capture the reader’s emotional attention. How do you do this?
Make this job personal. We had a client who came from another country and wanted to change careers. As a plant manager, she decided she had a passion for real estate. We researched the company she wanted to work for, wrote her story, aligning it with the CEO’s story and goals, and addressing each of the job requirements. She got the job in about two weeks! See the cover letter sample template below and some headings that you can use in your cover letter.
1. Problems I Fix
2. Areas I Excel In
3. What I am Passionate About
4. How I Contribute to Team Goals
5. My Proudest Moments
You get the idea.
See the sample template below to help to write your own compelling, personalized cover letter.
Hollywood, CA 10000 | 555-555-5555 | firstname.lastname@example.org
November 11, 2015
12345 Hollywood Road
Hollywood, CA 10000
Career Opportunity: E.R. Information Receptionist (Hollywood) ─ Department 56789 ─ Req. #ER56789
Dear Hiring Manager:
WHY GENERAL HOSPITAL?
When I read your “Life at General Hospital” mission statement on your website, I quickly connected to your core values, including “collaborative…a place that values diversity…devoted to compassionate and comprehensive care for patients.” Your open position for an ER information receptionist aligns perfectly with my goal of working in a supporting role in a hospital environment.
I’M PREPARED FOR THE POSITION
My 6 years serving as a police department desk clerk with the New York City Police Department has given me the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to add value and excellence to your E.R. team. I believe that quality care at any hospital is a team effort and that everyone the patient or their family encounters needs to have the same passion and goal of delivering a quality care experience.
|What Your |
|What I Bring to the |
|Experience handling a |
busy information desk in one of the busiest
precincts in Manhattan.
and families with dignity &
|As an NYC Information Desk Clerk, |
these are core values that I adhere to,
and strongly believe in. I communicated
with the public and maintained a calm
and professional demeanor with highly
|Ability to |
|I can re-prioritize on a |
dime, using my
judgment in high
pressure situations to
solve and address
I am excited at the possibility of becoming a part of your team. Please call (111)-870-8758 for an interview.
When writing your cover letter simply follow the list of job requirements that you have copied and pasted from the job advertisement. I suggest that you address at least 6 to 8 points in the right column filling in your career story and skills. If you are uncertain if your cover letter made it through the ATS to a human, then you can even send it by snail mail along with a handwritten stickie (brief explanation or thank you for taking the time to read note).
The answer is to treat each situation separately and creatively for each client’s situation. We analyze each company’s size and culture, check to see if you are connected to anyone that could introduce you. Alternatively, perhaps they know a decision-maker that can pass along pass along your résumé. We believe that the cover letter can still work to set a candidate apart if used correctly in the right situation. If uploading to a website to apply, a good clue if the company believes in cover letters is how easy they make it for you to add one. Job seekers are coming up with many creative ways to stand out and called for the interview. For example, I read about an individual that uses “out of the box” tactics. He delivered a box of doughnuts to the hiring manager in person that contained his cover letter and resume. This may not be your cup of tea; however, this illustrates just one way each job seeker is unique in their own way of getting noticed.
Keep the cover letter in your career toolbox and pull it out when needed and appropriate. We hope this has helped you write your cover letter. If you would like us to research a company and write one for you, we customize cover letters for $89-99. Please send us a message at 201-667-2994 or https://JobSearchSuperhero.com/contact-form