Originally published at http://www.beyond.com/articles/the-411-on-cover-letters-18361-article.html.
Create Your Best Cover Letter!!
The job search is often a tedious process that involves compiling information for your resume, searching for positions in your area of expertise and connecting with professionals in the industry. The cover letter is one of the most important elements of your job search. Hiring managers rely on information that shows your personality and your professionalism. Know the 411 to craft a letter that makes you stand out from the rest of the candidates.
Pay close attention to formatting when writing a cover letter. Include a header that details your name, address, contact information and a link to your professional social media sites and portfolio. Hiring managers seek out candidates who have a professional standing within the industry and routinely check sites such as LinkedIn to survey your interactions with professionals in the field. An online portfolio is an ideal way to show the hiring manager your skills and talents, especially when seeking a career in a creative field such as copywriting or graphic design.
Share Professional Experience
Tell your professional story within the cover letter. Avoid repeating information from your resume. Instead, expand on your professional experience with specific examples of how you met deadlines, worked with teams, served customers and impacted productivity and profitability in past positions. Detail accomplishments not listed on your resume to provide the hiring manager with an overview of your career success.
Capture Interest and Stay on Message
Begin your cover letter with an opening statement that captures interest. Detail the position you are seeking, how you heard about the job opening and why you want to work for the company. Focus your job search on researching the company so you can explain why you find it attractive for your future career. Hiring managers seek candidates who are not only well-versed and experienced in the industry but also those who take the time to investigate whether the company culture, mission and goals are in line with their own values and goals. Provide specific examples of how the company’s accomplishments are impressive, and then detail how you can contribute to future success.
Create Cover Letter for Each Position
Personalize your cover letter for each position. Hiring managers can spot a template from a mile away. A generic template does not adequately detail why this position and company itself is a good fit for you. Instead, use keywords from the job description and match your skills to the skills desired by the company so the potential employer can easily see you are the ideal candidate.
Have a Strong Close
Close your cover letter confidently. Directly request an interview and state you are positive your skills and experience are an ideal fit for this position. Job seekers who show confidence, personality and professionalism in application materials have more opportunity to capture interest, and ultimately, nab the job of their dreams.
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Do your cover letters need improvement? Do you need some assistance in improving your candidate application materials and your cover letter? If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.