First Chance to Impress
Rule #1 -- Appearance
- The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service
Hiring managers routinely receive responses from
hundreds, perhaps thousands, of applicants for any given
job. To avoid having your resume sink in this sea of paper,
it’s imperative to write a cover letter that stands out
from the crowd and makes a good first impression.
A compelling cover letter
that follows five essential rules will convince a hiring
manager to read an applicant’s resume.
The resume and cover letter must be aesthetically pleasing
and consistent in appearance. This would include using the
same heading and fonts in each, both produced on a high-quality
printer and paper (if documents are being “snail-mailed").
Save the designer stationery and stylish fonts for writing
letters to friends. A professional employment package never
sets a casual tone.
Rule #2 – Target Your Audience
Always use the hiring manager’s name in the salutation.
If the contact’s name isn’t provided in the job posting,
a bit of Internet research or a well-structured phone call
can produce results. In using the contact’s name, the cover
letter is personalized, while also showing the applicant’s
interest in the company. Remember, a letter addressed "Dear
Sir or Madam" or worse, "To Whom It May Concern,"
has the same impact as one addressed "Dear Occupant."
Rule #3 – A Strong Opening
A dynamic opening paragraph is essential to capture and
retain a hiring manager’s interest. Pared down to basics,
for a quick and effective read, it should include a reference
to the position sought and a brief statement as to why the
applicant feels qualified to fill the job. Emphasis should
always be placed on what the applicant can do for the targeted
company, while also providing quantifiable proof as to why
this is true.
Rule #4 – Showcasing Accomplishments
Include a bulleted area to emphasize accomplishments
pertinent to the targeted job. Not only does this
break up large blocks of text that a hiring manager might
find daunting, but it also draws the eye towards the most
important part of the cover letter -- what the applicant
has to offer. Rule #5 – A Proactive ClosingAlways initiate
further action at the end of a cover letter. A proactive
closing indicates that the applicant will call within a
few days to see if a time might be scheduled to meet. To
wait for a hiring manager to take that first step is to
risk losing the opportunity to another candidate.