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The LLoyd blog: hidden talent.

COVER LETTER TIPS How to write a contemporary cover letter that commands attention

HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER

 

Just when you thought the cover letter was dead in the 2024 workforce, LinkedIn shared 20 statistics why cover letters remain important to your job search. A few of these notable stats:
• 60% of companies continue to require these letters of introduction from job candidates
• 83% of hiring managers frequently or always read these letters and take them into their hiring decisions
• 59% of hiring managers think the cover letter provides deeper insight into an individual’s personality and attitude

So, while cover letters have not yet disappeared from the job market, they have evolved. Here are 5 Key Changes to their structure:

1. A customized response – This means toss the generic letter for one tailored to the job post’s content. Demonstrate a genuine interest into the specific company and position. Tell why you are a good fit to their culture. And yes, each submission should have its own unique letter of introduction. Of course, you can lift some components from one cover letter to another, but never make it too cookie cutter. You want the human reader to believe you wrote it specifically for their opening.

2. A storytelling format to outline achievements – Don’t just restate what’s on your resume. Instead tell your story about why you are the right candidate based on your achievements, experiences and skills. Be sure to mention both hard and soft skills.

3. Address the employer’s needs – Detail how and why you can fulfill their “wish list.” To make it even more compelling, research the employer, their values and vision – bring their needs in alignment with your capabilities and personal mindset.

4. Adhere to any digital or online components – This can be tricky if a required electronic submission limits characters or formatting. Do your best to make your cover letter adapt to their requirements.

5. Use of Keywords! –A robotic applicant tracking system (ATS) often gets the first look at the communication you submit.  It will screen your documents looking for relevant keywords mentioned in their job description. Make sure you use them in your response along with action verbs.

 

COVER LETTER WRITING TIPS

Now let’s take your efforts one step further and go from good to great with these tips…

  • If you can, avoid “To Whom It May Concern”– try to research the hiring manager for the position and personalize your letter with a name.
  • Start strong with a concise statement that highlights your enthusiasm for the position.
  • Customize details like the job title, the company name and any information that shows you have done your homework regarding their products, service, press mentions, awards or charitable contributions to the community.
  • Expand on information in your resume with highlights that showcase how your know-how aligns with the role. Examples are always great to include.
  • Display an understanding of the employer’s values, mission and goals and what contributions you can make to their workforce. Convey enthusiasm for the position.
  • Conclude by asking for the next step and an eagerness to interview.

 

SAMPLE COVER LETTER
SAMPLE COVER LETTER
COVER LETTER DONT’S

IN CONCLUSION

Cover letters still play a role in the toolbox of any candidate seeking new career opportunities.  An effective letter is a balance of professionalism, enthusiasm, and a clear demonstration of how your skills align with the needs of the employer. Tailoring your approach for each application will increase your chances of making a positive impression on hiring managers and gaining an opportunity for a live or virtual interview.

FOR FURTHER READING

Consider reviewing The Resume and Cover Letter Phrase Book by Nancy Schuman and Burton Jay Nadler.  Nancy was Chief of Communications for Lloyd Staffing for nearly three decades and continues to contribute career and hiring advice to our candidates and client partners through her writing efforts. This book helps readers find the words and phrases that best highlight their achievements and will help move a resume to the top of the consideration pile. Nancy welcomes connections on LinkedIn.

AUTHOR NANCY SCHUMAN
THE RESUME AND COVER LETTER PHRASE BOOK

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