The Power of a Well Written Cover Letter
A well written cover letter is the best way to draw attention to your resume. It is your number one selling tool in trying to get your resume noticed in order to get the interview. You are selling yourself and your potential so your words need to be powerful and result oriented. Therefore, your cover letter needs to grab attention and maintain interest throughout. In most cases, your cover letter is more important than your resume, since your resume will never get a glace unless your cover letter entices the reader to want to review it. A cover letter should be short, only one page, and should tell a story about you and your qualifications. For the most part, cover letters contain the following three sections:
- Grab the attention of the reader by specifically stating the position you are applying for, how you heard about the position, and why you are interested in being considered for the job.
- Highlight your specific qualifications for the job as they relate to the position.
- Emphasize your relevant work experience and educational accomplishments and other skills/abilities that would draw attention to your resume and ultimately land you the interview.
- List your key strengths and give concrete examples (from prior work, volunteer or educational experience) of how you have demonstrated the skills the employer is seeking.
- End the cover letter by asking/suggesting an interview and the best way the employer can contact you. Close with a proactive statement and thank the reader for his/her consideration.
A result-driven cover letter will prompt the reader to review your resume and hopefully call you for an interview. Remember you are selling your skills and potential, so use powerful result driven verbs to prove your value and express why you are the best choice for the new position.
Amy Buoscio is the Career Development and Alumni Relations Coordinator at Northwestern College’s Bridgeview campus. She has over 25 years of experience in higher education and has earned a Master’s Degree in Communication from Illinois State University.