START WITH A QUESTION
How are you a fit for what the employer needs? Tell the company about the benefits they’ll get should they choose you by asking them a question about what they need—but by writing it in a way that points to you filling that need! An example would be:
Do you need a pharmaceutical sales representative who can produce $1M in new business within the next three months?
They need the $1M in revenue generation, and you’ve just told them you’re the person to do it. It works well for any industry or position; all you need to know is the company’s bleeding need and how you are the answer. What company doesn’t want to generate revenue or cut costs?
BREVITY IS BEST
We are all short of time these days, and hiring managers and recruiters are no exception. Hoping they’ll open a Word document of your cover letter isn’t going to produce results; it won’t be read. When you e-mail your resume, paste your cover letter into the body of the e-mail—and write it for an audience that you know will be viewing it from their mobile device. Recruiters are reviewing e-mails on mobile devices, so make sure your cover letter is short and doesn’t require scrolling to be read. Keep the cover letter at 150 words. Keeping it short will ensure you keep the employer’s attention.
HAVE NUMBERS? USE THEM
Write three short bullets on your resume that are number focused. The numbers will substantiate your experience and results. Make sure the three you choose are most relevant to the position and the employer’s needs—and also speak to how you’re a great FIT for the role.
An example could be:
- 85% of my clients secured multiple interviews within 2 weeks.
- 99% of my clients had 5 or more interviews within 60 days.
- 50% of my clients increased their salary by 10%-30%.
Keep the lines of communication open by offering the employer multiple ways to connect. Let them know you’ll be calling to follow up on your resume, or invite them to call you to schedule an interview (and provide your phone number). You could also use a PS at the end of the cover letter with a great one-line statement that will motivate them to pick up the phone to chat. Be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile—inviting them to connect with you on LinkedIn or review your profile for more information about what you do and how you’re a great fit for the role. You could also choose to direct them to your professional website or blog, professional video, or any number of other alternatives.
These are only four ideas to help you stand out; it’s by no means an all-inclusive list, but it will help you to get started creating a cover letter that will get—and keep—the employer’s attention.