Personal branding, preparation, and setting yourself apart from other candidates are significant measures that can be taken to get noticed. With that said, we developed the top three tips to make your mark.
As a strategic recruitment agency, we often highlight the importance of the cover letter, however, for many job seekers, it is still unclear whether it should be treated as a major component of the application process or not. In the labor force where creativity and competition is at its all-time high, we believe a cover letter is one of the best tools to set you apart. Even so, to use this opportunity to the fullest, you should not only make it appealing, but understand the state that it is in today. The goal of the cover letter is to introduce yourself in a unique way, as well as explain who you are as a potential candidate. With that in mind, the G4 team designed 4 key tips to creating a remarkable cover letter.
When is it Appropriate?
While a cover letter is key to demonstrating your value proposition, its usage depends on the situation. For example, if the job specifications state that you shouldn’t include one, then don’t send one. The same premise applies when you register on a website. Unless that is the case, cover letters are extremely valuable when evaluating job candidates, so it’s wise to have one. Your cover letter may be attached in an e-mail along with your resume, or it could be in the e-mail body - which is effective considering the reader has limited time and most likely have dozens of cover letters to read. Also, make sure there is a targeted salutation. If the contact liaison is not stated, perform a search or call the company directly to get the contact person’s name and title. In case you cannot find a name, you could start with “Dear G4 Global Partners” or “Dear G4 Team.”
What Should be Included?
To develop a successful cover letter, it’s critical to not only have unique and original content, but also avoid sending a “repeated resume.” This is the opportunity for you to introduce yourself as a unique candidate. A cover letter is a tactical tool to explain who you are and how you would add value to the company. Include examples of your accomplishments so they can see you have a proven track record, as well as demonstrating your expertise by using industry-specific language. For instance, “I’ve increased revenue by over 16% after rebranding our lead product.” This also helps job seekers build a personal brand, which could win interviews, maximize salary potential and project yourself from the other job seekers. In terms of structure, keep it strong, short and to the point, while still covering all essential details.
Tell a Compelling Story
Wondering why we put storytelling as a key into writing a cover letter? The reality is, it’s the foundation of developing an effective cover letter. It’s a relatively new skill tha
t more and more leaders and job seekers are dominating due to its power to engage the audience through real life stories. Storytelling is an effective strategy that enables you to write in a way that connects with the reader in an emotional way. If you are not familiar with the tool yet, check out Forbes insights on how leaders are great storytellers. Stories usually start by citing a problem, learning about the possible outcome, building anticipation, and ending with a desired resolution. Start by asking yourself, what is the essential message? What details are most compelling? This is a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm and have your cover letter reflect your personality. Describe how you would fit in with the organization’s culture, values, and mission. Perhaps mention their leadership program that you are interested in. Companies want to hire candidates with a good cultural fit, as well as somebody who shows sincere interest in working for the company.
The Company’s Future and You
In today’s job market, it’s crucial that candidates get noticed. With that said, G4’s last key is to describe why you should get hired in the first place. Ask yourself, “What makes me a great asset to a company?” Also, make sure to always reflect positivity and express enthusiasm for the job at hand. Though your cover letter should portray you as a skilled candidate, it is more important that you show how the company will benefit from your expertise. our content must seem likable and approachable, while still transpiring confidence and assurance. For instance, rather than saying that you are great at managing teams, describe how you motivated and effectively managed your division when a client demanded specific marketing materials days before a major event. At the same time, demonstrate that you are committed to be part of the company and helping with their long-term goals.
We strive for candidates to recognize that in today’s evolving workforce, it’s critical that with everything you do, you do it uniquely and strategically. The cover letter is your career narrative, it’s a door opener to opportunities and where recruiters and hiring managers will find out who you are. Describe how you’re qualified for the targeted job, in the form of a powerful story. Remember, your resume is customized to a career and your cover letter is customized to the position. In other words, while a resume displays a skillset and experience for a specific job, a cover letter determines if you are a company’s ideal candidate for the role. By following the steps above, we are confident that you’ll produce an outstanding cover letter that will make companies excited to work with you.
One of our experts, Amanda Fornaciari, covers the do's and don'ts of the recruitment process.