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Join Isaiah as takes a look at what makes for great cover letters and explains the questions they should answer about you as a candidate.
Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…
- First, Isaiah shares some facts about cover letters and the big impact this single page can make on your job search
- Next, he takes a look at some of the questions your cover letter should answer for employers
- Finally, Isaiah talks about what it takes to write a compelling cover letter that makes hiring managers take notice
From This Week’s Show…
“Optional” Isn’t An Option When It Comes To Cover Letters
You may think cover letters are a relic of the past, but a recent report from ResumeLab tells a different story.
A staggering 83% of hiring managers said they consider cover letters to be an important part of their hiring process.
Many hiring managers agreed that a cover letter can land you an interview even when your resume, on its own, doesn’t make the cut.
What about when a job posting doesn’t require a cover letter, you might be asking yourself. Should you send one anyway?
According to the same survey, 77% of recruiters say they give preference to job candidates that submit a cover letter…
… and more than three-quarters of decision-makers say they read the cover letter even when it’s optional.
Yet, shockingly, only one-third of job candidates submit a cover letter with their application.
Writing a tailored cover letter requires time and effort, but it will instantly put you ahead of two-thirds of the other job applicants applying.
Cover Letters Are The Key To Making Sure Your Application Makes It Into A Hiring Manager’s Hands
So, how do you write an effective cover letter?
To start, think about the hiring manager’s motive.
Why are they reading your cover letter? What are they hoping to learn about you?
According to ResumeLab, 63% of hiring managers say they want to know what your motivation is for applying…
… 50% want to learn about your career objectives…
… and 47% want to know what your professional achievements are.
Think of your cover letter as a thesis statement.
Clearly state why you’ve written the cover letter – why you’re applying to that specific job at that specific company – along with why you’re the best candidate for the job.
That means your cover letter should answer these three questions:
One, why do you want to work at this particular company?
Two, how is this specific position exactly aligned with your career objectives?
And three, what value can I bring to the company (as in, which problems will you solve for them)?
Your statements should be concise and trigger positive emotions.
For example, you can say, “I believe I am the best person for the position because X, Y, and Z. X and Y can be your transferable and technical skills (or results you’ve achieved) – these demonstrate that you can do the job.
But what about Z?
Z should trigger that emotion.
Think of something that makes you stand out. Something that will differentiate you from other candidates.
What have you done in the past that aligns with what they need you to do in the future?
It’s Worth The Effort To Tailor A Cover Letter To Every Position You’re Serious About
In many cases, the cover letter is the first thing that hiring managers read.
In fact, 36% of decision-makers claim that they always read cover letters first, before they ever even look at your resume.
So, next time you’re on the fence about including a cover letter with your industry job application, remember that a good cover letter could be the one thing that gets you an interview.
** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.
If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.