Master the Art of Cover Letters: Focus on the Employer, Not Yourself

Making the Employer the Hero: Tailoring Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter can make or break your job application. It’s not a platform to boast about your skills or lament your current job situation. Rather, it’s an opportunity to address what the employer is looking for and how you can meet those needs. Focus on the company’s pain points and explain how your unique skill set can solve them. This shift in perspective takes the focus off you and places it squarely on the employer, aiding them in making an informed hiring decision.

Navigating the Details: Respond to the Job Advertisement

Aim to demonstrate that you’ve thoroughly read and understood the job posting. This means avoiding generic or vague terms like “your company.” Instead, personalize your letter by using the organisation’s actual name, such as “ABC Corporation.” Respond directly to the specific requirements listed in the job advertisement, citing real examples from your experience that prove you’re the ideal candidate.

Watch Your Language: The Dos and Don’ts of Professional Writing

Avoid negative remarks about your current or past employer, as they can instantly turn off a potential employer. Also, avoid overused cliches like claiming to be a “team player with excellent communication skills.” Such statements dilute the impact of your cover letter. Additionally, ensure your letter is free from spelling and grammatical errors. A minor mistake like writing “Manger” instead of “Manager” can diminish your credibility.

The Opening Act: Getting the Salutation Right

When it comes to starting your letter, “To whom it may concern” won’t cut it. This approach comes off as impersonal and even disrespectful. Always strive to find the name of the person responsible for hiring. If all else fails and you can’t determine a name, “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Human Resources Manager” are acceptable alternatives.

The Winning Formula: Helping the Employer Make the Right Choice

In summary, a successful cover letter revolves around the needs and expectations of the employer, not yours. By focusing on what the employer is seeking and demonstrating how you can fulfill those needs, you increase your chances of standing out in a sea of applicants. Tailor your cover letter in a way that speaks directly to the employer’s pain points, show you’ve done your homework, and you’ll be well on your way to securing that job interview.

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About Gayle Howard

If you are interested in working with Gayle Howard—an executive resume writer, Certified Master Resume Writer, multi-award-winning resume writer, and Master LinkedIn profile writer, drop her a line now using the contact form at the link above. Gayle can help you get interviews for your dream job and bring the world of business to you by maximizing your exposure and connections on LinkedIn.

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