Cover letters really can land you the job. To do this, the opener of your next cover letter needs to be a killer one.
Recruiters and employers sometimes get hundreds of applicants for a single position. They’re busy people and scan cover letters. If your first sentences jump off the page, they’ll be sure to read on.
To be successful, your cover letter needs to say: “Look at me”, “I’m good” and “you’ll be glad you employed me”. You’re telling the potential employer what you have to offer and how you can achieve that.
To be successful, your cover letter needs to say: “Look at me”, “I'm good” and “you'll be glad you employed me”.
We asked Pete Noblet senior regional director at Hays for some killer letter openers:
- Highlight the job title and your achievements: “As a Social Media Consultant for Company A, I manage many digital media channels to help drive engagement and brand awareness with consumers. By implementing new social media marketing initiatives I have tripled our audience on Facebook and doubled our followers on Twitter. This has led to an increase in website traffic, lead generation and sales.” This gets right to the point, says Noblet, and highlights your background.
- Use keywords: “Written and verbal communications are two of my key strengths. My extensive experience in public relations has honed my skills in media relations, social media, community engagement and leading a team. By combining these skills I believe I am the best candidate for the position of Communications Manager.” Employers love key words says Noblet and they will be picked up by automatic applicant tracking systems (ATS).
- Refer to your network of contacts: “My name is _____ and recently I spoke to your communications coordinator _____, who informed me about the opening in your human resources department. He recommended I contact you about the position because of my strong interest in HR.” Name dropping often works well, he says.
- Refer to relevant news topics: “Your company has recently been featured in the Sydney Morning Herald and the AFR because of your partnership with not-for-profit Company A. The articles have inspired me to seek employment with your company and I would like to apply for the position of Receptionist.” Employers are impressed if you have taken the time to research the company.
- Show your excitement and dedication: “I was excited to find an opening in IT with Company B because of your work with data analytics. I am the perfect candidate for this position because it combines my experience with IT and data analytics.” Employers love candidates who are excited about the company.
When writing your cover letter opener, refer to your 30-second-elevator pitch and ask yourself:
- What can I do that this employer would really want?
- Why am I best for the role and organisation?
- What experience and strengths can I highlight?
Finally, be confident. An employer wants to recruit someone who knows they can do the job and wants to make a difference in their organisation.