Once you have finished updating your resume, the other key document that needs to be reexamined is your cover letter. Phoenicians who are more tenured may be used to sending a cover letter as a separate attachment to an email with their resume. This is not the way to find yourself in the ‘yes’ pile of the hiring manager. The more time they need to spend opening your documents, the less time they have to do the rest of their job. Here are some ways to make sure your cover letter gets the point across but also exemplifies your business acumen:
- Streamline for time management. Take the time to create a cover letter that shows your skills and value to an employer in a broad scope. By having a letter that can be tailored to the specifics of the job, you will save time in editing.
- Research the qualities to showcase. Understand your industry, job function, and overall qualifications and how you need to impact a reader immediately. Look at the job search websites that feature positions you are interested in and then identify skills that cross over between companies.
- Keep it short. The purpose of a cover letter is to entice the reader to open your resume attachment. Don’t waste the reader’s time on lengthy examples of your performance in past positions. Highlight a couple of skills and where you used them and then show appreciations for their time.
- Minimize the time for the hiring personnel. Oftentimes candidates attach a cover letter in an email as a separate attachment with the body of the email saying “Please find my cover letter and resume attached.” If you think about it, this is asking the hiring manager to take time to open two attachments. That may not seem like a big deal, but if you received 100 or 1000 of those you would spend days opening documents. Put yourself into the positively received candidates pile by using the cover letter as the body of the email and then attaching only one document – your resume.