Before we begin, I have a confession to make. Full disclosure: I did not read EVERY single cover letter that came across my desk when I was a recruiter. I used to want to get to the “good part.” As time went on, I had a change of heart. As a Career Coach, I certainly always recommend having a strong cover letter attached to your resume or application.
Here a few tips to slay your cover letter:
- Do not overlook or dismiss the cover letter. The cover letter will set you up for an interview if it is done correctly. You do want an interview, right?
If the cover letter is not required, don’t be tempted to put n/a in the field to bypass that section. You will be missing an opportunity to make yourself stand out above your competition.
If you include a cover letter (and I recommend that you do.) understand that it will be read versus skimmed like the resume. Make it count! Check out 8 more ways you can make it count.
Tell a story with your cover letter. Before you say “what story?” I am asking you tell the story of your career path. Try answering these questions:
Why did you select this career?
- What problem do you solve for the employer?
- What can they expect if they hire you?
Answering these compelling questions will intrigue the reader to want to know more. This means they will read the resume and/or call you in for an interview.
- Do not repeat what is in the resume. You can be a little more creative with the cover letter than you can with the resume. Take advantage of that. The cover letter should be a supplement and complement to the resume not the same thing.
If you must talk about your work history, discuss it as it relates to special projects, awards and accomplishments that relate to the role you are applying to.
Implement these needed changes and you will be on your way to slaying your cover letter in no time.
About the author:
Devay Campbell is an International Career Coach, certified Human Resources professional, and two time Amazon best-selling author. Her books include The BEST Job Interview Advice Book and Her Chronicles (co-author.) Devay is the CEO and founder of Career 2 Cents and Career Hustlers Club.
She leverages her professional and personal experience to empower individuals and audiences (with an emphasis on youth and women) in the areas of interviewing, entrepreneurship, personal brand, leadership, workplace success, resumes, conflict resolution, negotiating and more. Devay Campbell has contributed her 2 Cents to many career and business media outlets and publications including The Huffington Post, Business Management Daily, FUBU Radio, Career Contessa and WDJY FM 99.1 radio.