Ah… the dreaded resume cover letter! Nothing stirs fear in the hearts of job seekers more than the thought of writing a cover letter. It must be the pressure of being succinct, factual, and original. Before you reach a state of high anxiety, consider therapy – cover letter therapy.
To write an excellent cover letter, you must really know yourself. Before you begin to draft your cover letter, you must dig deep. Read these tips for cover letter therapy:
What Do You Want?
A candidate without a goal rarely produces a winning cover letter. Take the time to define your career goal.
What type of occupation are you seeking? In what ways do you want to contribute to an employer? What fields interest you?
Talk to individuals in the position of interest to confirm this is the right career path for you. When you know what you want, you can start beating the bushes for those opportunities.
Who Are You?
That is the question. Take notes of your characteristics, education, special skills, expert knowledge, and work experience. Do your background and knowledge match the requirements of the job? One way to find out is to create a two-column chart. List the job requirements on the left and your abilities, skills, and knowledge on the right. The items in common are the ones to include in your cover letter to validate your qualifications for the job.
What Value Do You Offer?
Your mother always said that you are a superstar. But, that is not going to get you the job. Study your recent ten years of professional experience. What have you done beyond your basic job duties? What have you achieved that resulted in your employer increasing income or reducing expenses? What have you innovated? How has your current or past employer benefited from your employment? These values demonstrate your potential to be a superstar for your future company. Highlight the top two or three in your cover letter.
If you are still feeling stressed about your cover letter, there is help. Professional resume writers and career coaches are trained to help you define your career goal, uncover your top accomplishments, and craft a custom cover letter. The information you learn about yourself serves as a foundation for your cover letter, networking blurb, or personal pitch. Whether you take the self-help route or work with a professional, some cover letter therapy will help you define the right mix of skills, traits, and moxie to make your cover letter count.
About the author
With 20+ years as a strategic career advisor, Debra helps clients obtain highly desired interviews for competitive positions, including preparing results-oriented resumes, and providing guidance centered around interview preparation, salary negotiations, and overall career management. Visit her website at Careersdonewrite.com!
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