The Power of a Good Cover Letter

There is nothing that can compare to the power of a good cover letter. If you want to get a prospective employer's attention, you will need a compelling cover letter.

When your resume and cover letter first reach the prospective employer, the employer will start to form an opinion about you. How professional are you? Are you detail oriented, ambitious, responsible and/or qualified for the job?

The first thing the employer will notice is your cover letter. You can bet the employer knows the power of a good cover letter.

It needs to be error-free and well-written if it is going to receive the attention it deserves. A single mistake could cost you an opportunity for a job interview, so take the time to do it right.

You must understand the power of a good cover letter if you are to write one effectively.

Writing a good cover letter entails thought and time. Determine what you want to place in each section, write it out (type it out), then go back through and fine tune it. Don't try to write brilliantly from the salutation to the signature in the first draft. Expect to revise it a few times before sending it out.

When relating examples of your accomplishments and abilities, try to use anecdotes (stories) to get the point across easier. People love to read stories. Information is much better remembered when a story is used as an example. It is like watching a movie rather than having someone tell you about it.

Along the same lines, use language that engages the reader to want to know more about you. Inject energy and a sense of enjoyment in your work whenever possible. Try not to get too technical in the cover letter as the initial screener may not be familiar with the ins and outs of the position you are applying for.

Show - Don't Tell

power of a good cover letter, compelling cover letter

Most of all show the employer why you are the best person for the job. Indicate how you will contribute immediately to current projects by emphasizing your qualifications and determination to succeed. Let the employer know that you aren't just another applicant. You are the one to fill the position.

Again, your accomplishments are vital in appealing to the employer's need to see results. When possible, quantify your achievements as it lends honesty to your statements while providing measurable outcomes of your performance on the job.

How do you quantify your work? Ask yourself some questions about your achievements on the job. If you improved productivity, how much did you improve it by – use numbers and get specific. If you increased the bottom line, how did you do it and by how much did you increase it?

The true power of a good cover letter is in the details that you add, the professional way you write it and the way you tailor it to the employer's needs.

When writing your cover letter, make sure to include the following:

  1. The job you are applying for
  2. How you found out about the job
  3. Why you are interested in the position
  4. What qualifies you to do the work
  5. Examples of related achievements
  6. A closing summary of your qualifications
  7. Your desire to meet for an interview
Employers love it when they can readily ascertain your level of experience, enthusiasm and employability. Be clear and concise, energetic and professional.

To clarify what employers want to know:

  • Can you handle the responsibilities of the job?
  • Do you enjoy your work?
  • Are you a professional and will you fit in with my staff?
If your cover letter provides a big "YES" to those questions, the resume will get a full reading rather than a simple glance. The key is in preparing a good cover letter that answers those questions in focused language using well-defined examples.

In conclusion, when presenting this information in the final draft, use good quality paper. Make sure the paper you use for your cover letter is the same paper you use for your resume. Appearance speaks volumes. Professionalism is essential.

Do you understand the power of a good cover letter?

Remember that the cover letter works hand in hand with the resume. Spend the time necessary to make your appeal to prospective employers and there is no question that your resume will get read. If it doesn't look good, your resume may never see the light of day. The cover letter is the first thing your prospective employer is going to see, so make it count.

Never underestimate the power of a good cover letter.

If you are finished reading "The Power of a Good Cover Letter", click here to review an excellent cover letter guideline

Follow this link to compare your cover letter to a cover letter checklist

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