Hi everyone, it’s Andy LaCivita founder of Milewalk and the Milewalk Academy, and the award-winning author of the Hiring Prophecies here with today’s episode of tips for work and life, today we’re going to talk about cover letters. When I say cover letters what I really mean is any means you’re going to use to introduce yourself to the employer. That could be a cover letter, if companies still require one. It can be an email, perhaps with your resume attached, and it could be an application tracking system where they allow you to provide some notes about you, yourself, things that they should know about you.
Really it’s whatever means you’re going to use to introduce yourself. Now, there’s a couple of precursors that I want to mention right before we dive into the four sentences. There’s three things that your introduction should do, and I believe you can do those in four sentences, but I want to talk a little bit about just cover letters and what the purpose was. Remember, keep in mind, cover letters are from a long time ago when we didn’t have computers and we didn’t have emails and we didn’t have application tracking systems, and you had to mail your resume to an employer about a job opportunity or a job opening that you saw or was advertised.
You needed to insert that cover letter to introduce yourself, to let them know what it was you were applying for. They didn’t really understand that. Now we have these systems that tag your resume and your name to particular jobs that you apply to, it’s much different now. Regardless you still need to effectively introduce yourself, so regardless of whether you’re doing that in an attached document or whether you’re doing that in an email introduction or whether you’re doing that through an applicant tracking system, there’s three things you ultimately need to do.
You want to make sure that when you do them you’re respecting the person’s time. The average person today, let alone the average person who is recruiting for many positions, gets about 150 emails every day. Somebody who’s hiring for a position might get twice that many or three times that many, so you want to make sure that whatever you do you’re being brief and you’re respecting their time. Trust me when I tell you that most people are moving at such a break neck pace, most of those recruiters just want to open that resume, look to see if you are a good fit for that particular position or another position in their company.
Many of them are not going to take the time to read a lengthy intro or a lengthy cover letter, so just keep that in mind. Okay, one other little housekeeping item. I talked a few weeks ago about how to build your ultimate professional resume. If you haven’t seen that episode yet, check it out on my blog, I put the link down in the notes.
There’s some good tips and tricks and formatting items that I addressed in that particular lesson or episode that I think is going to be really helpful for you to understand as we talk about these four sentences that you need to do. First thing, how to address that intro. Dear whoever it is, and I know there are many ways you can figure out who that is, or dear sir or madam, or to whom it may concern, or whatever intro you are comfortable using. I’m writing to inquire about the opening for, so now you’re telling them exactly why you’re inquiring.
It’s just one sentence, period, that’s it, let them know why. Go to the next break, make a new paragraph so that they now can get the meat and potatoes. This is the what you offer and why you’re qualified. I would just say that I offer X years of experience in whatever your specialty is, and would make me a strong candidate for this opening.
That’s obviously your opinion, but I think it’s a nice way to collect that and give them some insight that you do believe you are a strong candidate. They want to hear that. Then what I would do is I would just add one more sentence in that paragraph, and just say the top portion of my attached resume highlights my career profile and three significant accomplishments that are also in alignment with this position. Now what you’re doing is you’re creating intrigue.
You’re telling them exactly where they can find the information that they need in order to know whether or not you’d be a could candidate, and it won’t take them very long to see it. Then I would make a break, and then the last little sentence I would make is, I’d welcome the opportunity to speak with you if you feel I’d be a strong candidate for this or any position in your organization. It’s extremely important that you add the any other position in your organization. People need help with how to think these days.
Everybody is moving so quickly, it’s not because they’re not smart, but you just want to make sure that they recognize that number one you’re open to it, and number two that they should be thinking that way. You don’t want them to just open your resume, look at it, and say, quot;Eh. He or she’s not a fit for the position that they applied for. quot; You want to remind them to make sure that they think about all positions in their company.
It may sound very obvious, it may sound like common sense, but when you’re moving so quickly it’s not always common practice. Okay, so there it is. I’m writing to inquire about what the position is, I offer X years of experience, I have strong these skills. Top portion of my resume highlights my career profile and my significant accomplishments, which puts me in alignment with the position.
I’d welcome the opportunity and so on. Now one other thing you might be thinking, why not put those highlights and that detail in the cover letter? The cover letter’s purpose, it should be brief, it should tell them why you’re qualified, but you want to create intrigue. You ultimately want to get them to open your resume. Most of them are going to be inclined to do that anyway, so you don’t need to give them more in the email.
You don’t want them to see this much. I recommend reserving that for the resume. Perhaps you put one significant accomplishment, but I think you can do this in four sentences, five at the very most. That’s it for today.
One other item I want to let you know, if you like this type of information I’ve got a training course coming up with everything that’s careers related, so it’s all this in much more depth. Everything from finding your purpose, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing, all the way to career acceleration and all that good stuff. Everything careers related. Also, I’d love to hear from you.
If you have any insight, any questions about this, drop down to the comments section, let me know you’re here. Ask me any questions, share it. I always welcome the shares, and until next week, we’ll see you.