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At recent survey of 1,000 executives revealed that 91 percent found cover letters to be valuable in their evaluation of candidates. Your cover letter can add information that isn’t in your resume and help establish a communication channel between two professionals with a common interest.
The right cover letter can get your resume read with serious attention.
A good cover letter and subsequent follow-up letters can speed your candidacy through the four stages all employers go through in the recruitment, screening, and selection cycle. They won’t win you the job in and of themselves, but they can make a big difference in the way you are perceived, helping you stand out from the competition.
Cover letters are most effective when you develop a plan of attack that includes reach-ing out directly to hiring authorities. Whenever someone in a position to hire you reads your resume and cover letter, the odds of getting that interview increase dramatically, because you have skipped right over the initial hurdle—getting pulled from the resume database—and you are pitching directly to a recruiter or hiring manager.
The Goal of a Cover Letter
The primary goal of every job search is to get into conversation, as quickly and as frequently as possible, with people in a position to hire you, because without conversations, job offers don’t get made.
Top Job Search Issue: Difficulty reaching hiring authorities with the candidate’s message is one of the major reasons job searches stall.
This happens when job searches involve themselves, almost exclusively, with posting resumes to resume banks and responding to job postings by uploading resumes into other resume databases.
However, when you can get your resume, personalized with a cover letter, in front of recruiters and hiring authorities, you differentiate yourself and dramatically increase your chances of landing an interview.
Cover Letters: The Key to Your Job Search
Nine out of ten hiring managers prefer a cover letter with a resume, so a great cover letter will guarantee your resume gets read with serious attention. It will set you apart from other candidates and increase your interviews.
You’ll even have more productive and successful interviews, because the hiring manager will have a better idea of who you are professionally and who you are as a person.
The sample section that follows includes many types of job search letters that you can use throughout your search to help your candidacy stand out.
Cover Letter Examples
We hope these examples give you a good idea of how many different types of responses you need to have prepared for your job search journey.
International Sales & Marketing Cover Letter Example
Subject: International Consumer sales
I spoke with Jackson Pollock recently (he sends his best), and he felt my eight years’ experience in international consumer sales, with intimate knowledge of your product line, would be of interest. He suggested contacting you.
I know your brand and as a sales professional, I appreciate the ease with which I can sell your product line, because as a woman, I appreciate the high standards of quality that define each product in your line.
My experience working with South American retailers gives me a good understanding of differing cultures and traditions, and my fluent Spanish helps.
My resume is attached, and if you have any questions I may be reached via this email address or at the number below. I would very much like to establish communication with you, and I will be calling you within the next few days.
Operations Director Cover Letter Example
Subject: [Job name and ref. number]
As Director of Operations Services for the national restaurant chain Stuckey’s, I am skilled in workforce development and total quality management. I am interested in your posted position for Director of Operations & Workforce Development.
Perhaps my greatest strength is developing franchise owners and general managers’ ability to achieve higher productivity, profitability, and customer loyalty. However, it’s a tough call because I also offer extensive experience and deliver demonstrated leadership with:
- New Restaurant Openings, Chain-Wide Restaurant Operations, & Facilities Management
- Budget Forecasting & Administration
- Vendor Sourcing & Negotiations for Cost Controls
- Crisis & Turnaround Management
- Technology Integration for Productivity & Process Optimization
- Employee Engagement, Employee Incentive Programs, & Performance Management
The attached resume illustrates the results I’ve achieved in situations common to all national franchisors. After you’ve had a chance to review, I would welcome a personal interview for the Director of Operations & Workforce Development opportunity. I look forward to what I anticipate will be the first of many positive communications. Thank you.
[Your telephone number]
Response to Accounting Job Posting Example
Subject: Accounting CMA and GAAP opening
I’m writing to express my interest in [name of position] posted on [where found]. As an accomplished financial professional, I have more than ten years in financial management, operational analysis, implementing effective accounting systems, and developing strategies for improving organizational performance. As a CMA, I back this up with extensive knowledge and practical application of GAAP.
Throughout my career I have maintained the highest performance standards of accounting functions. I have a proven track record of performing full-cycle accounting, including producing financial statements and supporting the financial requirements of the company for growth.
I bring excellent organizational skills, outstanding work ethic, and the ability to work in both team-oriented and self-directed environments. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you how I may make similar contributions to the success of your financial management team.
Thank you for your time and consideration and I do hope we can talk soon—my number is right below my signature.
[Your telephone number]
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