I love crafting cover letters. Done the right way, they open doors and land my client’s the face-to-face interview.
- First, I learn as much as I can about my client.
- Second, I look at the job description. This generally comes from a link to the job posting.
- Finally, I review the target company’s LinkedIn profile. The company may have a page, but what I search for are people with profiles of the position my client is seeking.
(For instance, if they are applying for a job in Property Management, I would search Property Management on LI. The search gives me job opportunities, and more important, access to profiles of people who already have the position. This is very valuable information. By understanding the main focus of this group, it becomes easy to demonstrate how my client has similar traits.)
Finally, on the company website, I look for how they portray themselves, their culture. Then I look for company milestones, challenges the company faces, and any success stories the company has.
I use all of this information to show how my client and the company hold similar values and get them to envision my client fitting into their culture.
Here’s a recent example of a cover letter I wrote for a client, using the method I just described.
Dear HR Manager:
RE: Legal Assistant (Raleigh, NC)
I will never forget the “Wire Guy.” An unskilled laborer when he came to the company, I taught him computer skills and how to calculate the % of copper in wire. Using these skills, he earned a position he still holds today. My life has been spent championing the underdog.
Living and studying abroad, I was clearly able to see what challenges economic inequity pose for different populations. In the US I worked closely with my employees, helping them and their Mexican and Guatemalan families navigate health insurance benefits. I translated for any number of issues that they came across. As a volunteer, I offered exercise classes in Spanish.
My interest in USCRI stems from my passion for serving others. This is why I am applying to USCRI for the Legal Assistant position. I know I am a perfect fit for this position!
I offer you the following skills:
- A BA. in Spanish, with a Minor in Business
- 5+ years administrative office support
- Experience working with immigrants and low-income communities
- Excellent communication skills and a great sense of humor
- Fluency in Spanish – I lived and studied for a year in Monterrey, Mexico
I look forward to hearing from you soon, so we can better discuss the next steps. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Here’s another example:
Dear Human Resources Manager:
Reading the history of your company and your start in 1946 building gas stations was fascinating. Your corporate philosophy of working hard and turning over a superior product is how I have conducted my entire professional life. While I have not been around since 1946, I do have 8+ years in the construction industry and a demonstrated history of superior results.
The enclosed resume will provide additional information about my experience.
She has been at this new job for over a year, cutting her commute in half, giving her much more time to share with her daughter and husband.
The key to a successful cover letter is doing your research, showing your fit with the culture and getting their attention.
Give them just enough information that they feel compelled to call you, to learn more.
Do this and you’ll shorten the time until you’re in that new hire orientation.
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