Which cover letters are the ones most likely to grab and hold the attention of a busy hiring manger? What do these letters have in common that make readers stop what they’re doing, spit out their coffee, and send a ringing phone to voicemail? Here are four cover letters that are almost guaranteed to land an interview, no matter how intense the competition may be.
Four Cover Letters Employers Love
1. The one that says something in the first sentence that no other letter can say.
If the applicant shared a dorm room with the reader’s daughter, her letter will probably warrant a second look. So will the letter that attaches the writer’s name to a project or incident that has special meaning for the reader. As in, “I was on site the day you launched your famous Omega Project. In fact, I was the administrative assistant to the president of the client company.” If you have a rare, close, or personal connection to your reader, mention it upfront.
2. The one that never misses a beat.
A letter that flows smoothly from one point to the next will suggest intelligence, class, and reliability. The register of your written language can have the same impact as the clothing you wear; when we’re dressed in an expensive tailored suit, our speech seems to ring with truth and authority for some reason. By the same logic, when we write with elegance, we sound smart.
3. The one that tells a story.
Your cover letter should tell the condensed story of your career and how you ended up where you are today. After your introductory statement, open your second paragraph with a sentence that summarizes the entire tale. Then back up and start from the beginning.
4. The letter than that leaves no doubt as to the applicant’s key credentials.
After reading your letter, the reader should be able to put it down and ace a pop quiz composed of one question: What are the top three things this candidate can offer the company? If she passes this test, then so will you.