Contributed by: Tracy L. Lube
BEST PRACTICES TO LAND AN INTERVIEW
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What a Cover Letter Should Include
Making It Personal
Hire Our Heroes
Make A Difference
Most candidates squander the one page door opener with cliché-filled or boilerplate language — BORING.
Crafting the perfect cover letter takes time and research. Use a unique introductory sentence to immediately grab the recruiter’s interest.
Tell a compelling story of why you want to work for the company, why you are a fit, highlight your achievements in detail to demonstrate you will perform, and use personality to show you are likeable.
Do not regurgitate your resume; rather lead the recruiter to your resume.
1. Your desire to work for the employer
2. Specific ways your expertise can benefit the organization
3. What makes you different from competing candidates
4. Descriptive statements and proper spelling and grammar
5. Passion and talent
6. One page ONLY
7. Three or four paragraphs
8. Contact information
2. What a Cover Letter Should Include
Do your research and locate the appropriate persons name, this may involve a Google search, LinkedIn People/Company search, or calling the company directly. Never begin a cover letter with “Dear Hiring Manager.” A generic salutation often signals you lack the initiative to locate the appropriate contact.
Write a strong opening paragraph
Always reiterate the position and where the position was posted
Be formal yet friendly with a polished letter
3. Making It Personal
Summarize your interest in the position
Be thankful for the recruiter’s time
Express your interest in interviewing
4. Wrap It Up
“Furthermore, to have an opportunity that embodies all of my passions and skills precisely into one career, quite frankly…is a dream job, which is why this position is so appealing. I am confident my diversity and experience will produce a significant contribution to company x. I would love to discuss this opportunity further. Thank you for time and consideration, I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!!!
Check spelling and grammar
Check it AGAIN
Have a friend or family member review, the more eyes the better
Read it out loud
Print it out and edit on paper
Read it backwards starting with the last sentence.
Example of a bad cliché opening paragraph:
“I am writing to express interest in…”
Example of an opening paragraph that landed an interview: “As soon as I finished reading your posting for a marketing manager I knew it was the perfect professional home for me – and I am the perfect solution for you. So, why am I the perfect solution? Let me tell you...”
Example of a passionate opening paragraph: “Having grown up with the Cincinnati Zoo (literally) in my backyard, I understand firsthand how you’ve earned your reputation as one of the most family-friendly venues in the State of Ohio. For 20 years, I’ve been impressed as your customer; now I want to impress visitors in the same way your team has so graciously done for me.” (posted by themuse.com via @JobJenny)
Example of introducing your skills: “As you will see from the attached resume, I’ve taken quite the journey, achieved sustainable results, and worn many hats. I have over 10 years’ of experience in multiple industries with a solid background in strategic communications, customized RFP development, content development, education and training, and a master certification in Six Sigma, making me uniquely qualified to excel in this position.” (List your respective skills to the job requirements demonstrating how you can fit)
Example of why you want to work for a company: “Company x encompasses all of the core attributes I am seeking in a professional home; commitment to communities, students, adults and families, dedication to making a positive difference and the passion and determination to make it happen. The sheer magnitude of company x’s message and scope of services is uplifting and impressive. I would cherish the opportunity to be a part of such a colossal cause and help strengthen company x’s mission and commitment to improve lives. I am searching for a position to tackle new challenges, achieve maximum results and truly make a difference, and work that doesn’t – well – need to feel like work, but rather exciting and rewarding.”
Example Cover Letter for Transitioning Careers
“Dear Ms. Garcia,
Blending a formal background in marketing with proven success in retail sales and customer service roles, I am looking to transition into public relations and believe I would make a great fit for the advertised position of Public Relations Specialist at your company.
Having both used and sold your products, I am already well versed in your brand and both present and past years’ offerings. I have followed with excitement as you launched in European and Asian markets and incorporated an international feel into your product line. I would bring both passion and expertise to championing your company with the press and public.
I am already trained in creating buzz and awareness through social media channels including Twitter and Facebook. When my sales team decided to participate in Walk for a Cure three years ago, we used social media to heighten our sponsorship support and raised more than $20K for the event.
Confident my transferable skills make me a solid candidate for this opening, I respectfully submit my resume for your review and request a meeting to discuss the opportunity further. I will make myself available at your convenience and look forward to your call to arrange a time. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Pam’s Take: This candidate leads off with a strong statement about her career change goal and her fit for the specific position at hand. She uses the rest of the letter to discuss her interest in the company and some of her key transferable skills/experience.”
7. Hire Our Heroes
The mission of Hire Our Heroes (HOH) is to empower veterans and employers with the knowledge, skills, and innovative tools necessary to optimize a strategic workforce.
Hire Our Heroes (HOH) is a not-for-profit organization founded by veterans for veterans. We partner with world-class organizations and people who share in our vision to offer veterans a cost-free, best-in-class, transition experience. HOH secures opportunities for employment where our veteran population can cultivate their talents, traits, and attitudes.
See more at: Hire Our Heroes
8. Make A Difference
Hire Our Heroes (HOH) is a registered 501(c)(3) (Tax ID# 46-3027051) not-for-profit committed to honoring and serving our nation’s defenders and veterans.
When you make a donation, we value the trust you’ve placed in us. Our mission is to do good whether through performance, mentoring and coaching veterans, rehabilitation services, or providing awareness campaigns for vets transitioning from the battlefield to the civilian workforce.
Hire Our Heroes is committed to helping our returning service members find rewarding careers nationwide with companies sharing our dedication to assisting these deserving men and women. The transition assistance services provided by Hire Our Heroes are carried out so that there is no cost to veterans.
The services provided by HOH are possible only with the continued and generous contributions of compassionate individuals and corporate supporters. All contributions are vital to our continued success. Please accept our heartfelt gratitude and our assurance that 100% of all donations will provide much needed support to our returning service members. Your contributions directly affect Hire Our Heroes’ ability to effectively sponsor all aspects of the veteran’s employment search.
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