Does Your Cover Letter Answer These Five Questions?

Nancy Anderson
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First impressions matter during the job search, especially when potential employers scan through your cover letter. Focus on these key questions to compile a letter that impresses and engages businesses so that you are an immediate candidate to consider for the job.

1. Who Are You?

A cover letter should offer much more than just a list of your credentials and experience. Begin writing about yourself to engage the potential employer. Describe who you are by detailing your personal brand and your length of time within the industry.

2. Why Should You Read the Letter?

A boring overview of your past and current positions does not encourage a hiring manager to continue reading. Stand out from the rest of the candidates by conveying your personality. Detail why you want to work in the industry, the satisfaction you get from fulfilling the job duties of the potential position and your eagerness to work for this particular company.

3. Why Do You Want to Work for This Company?

A crucial element of writing a successful cover letter is to share your knowledge of the company. Refer to a newsworthy event you've discovered during the job search, or detail an aspect of the business you admire. Demonstrate that you model the goals and mission of the company and have knowledge of the company culture. Show the hiring manager that you have the skills and experience to complete the tasks required as well as a personality that fits well within the company culture.

4. Why Should You Be Considered for the Job?

Your cover letter should clearly outline why you are the best candidate for this position. Describe how you can benefit the company and complement the company's culture by describing your areas of expertise. Provide examples of how you approach challenges, solve problems and work well with teams. Outline accomplishments and goals met within past positions in a bulleted list that are similar to the requirements of the position advertised. Focus on how you can make an impact in this position and improve productivity or profitability for the business.

5. Why Do You Want This Job?

Many candidates neglect to ask for the job when writing a cover letter. Show enthusiasm by detailing why this position is an ideal fit for both you and the company. Display your eagerness to work for a company with similar values to your own, and close the letter with a sentence that shows you are ready to get started making an impact.

A resume may be a necessary addition to your application materials, but the cover letter provides you with an opportunity to display your professionalism and enthusiasm. Write to impress from start to finish to score an interview and obtain your dream job.


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