A well-written letter serves as a road map for the route a potential employer will take through the winding facts, figures, and dates on your resume. – Sandra Podesta & Andrea Paxton
Did you know that there are goals to always keep in mind when drafting cover letters? Has it dawned on you that a great majority of people simply draft cover letters with no particular goal in mind? They simply assume that if luck strikes, their letter will be read. They take it for granted that, hiring managers are people of style and should be impressed.
In many cases, your application letter arrives with a host of those from your competitors, so you want to stand out. Once it does arrive on that desk, it’s fighting for attention against all those other resumes and letters, plus the usual reports, memos, mail, and e-mail. This is when the law of the jungle comes into play “survival of the fittest” in our especially competitive economy.
The person to whom you are writing may give your correspondence a full half minute, perhaps only 5 or 10 seconds, for a quick scan. As a result, you’ve got to win that reader’s concentration immediately.
Let’s look into a few goals that serve as roadmaps in our efforts to being better with drafting cover letters.
Sandra and Andrea in their book, 201 Cover Letters have pointed out the following key goals:
In all cases, the primary goal you seek to achieve in your Cover Letter is to make your reader want to meet you and to interview you. Your letter should introduce you as more than simply the list of qualifications and accomplishments on your resume. It should bring you to life as a three-dimensional person who is interesting and unique. It must make your reader want to meet the person presented in the letter…YOU!
Your secondary goal is to predispose your reader to make a connection between your skills and his or her needs. If you are responding to an employment advertisement, you may have a good idea about what qualities your prospective employer is after. If you have an understanding of the job requirements from past experience, you can use this perspective to highlight your own individual qualifications.
Without being purposeful with our job hunt, we’ll always be complaining and criticizing those who seem to be making progress. You’ve got to always be seeking ways on how to better present your applications if you’re ever going to break free from the poverty grip that sucks life out of a great majority.