It’s time to dump the old line: “Please accept this application in response to…”
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If you’re still starting your cover letter with this overused one-liner, then I implore you to stop what you’re doing, delete the line, and spend a few minutes reading this article to discover seven new examples of how you can catch the hiring manager’s attention with an attention-grabbing opening line.
Entice them with the job title and some of your standout accomplishments…
1. As an IT Director for ABC Company, I manage IT operations for a 500+ employee organization. Since I was recruited in 2005, my goal has been to modernize and scale the technology landscape and drive forward initiatives to expand the capabilities, systems, and performance across the organization. To date, the results have been impressive, including transition to a new Storage Area Network (SAN), Microsoft desktop environment, data warehouse, and Internet technology tools. Further, I have captured more than $2.5 million in development and operating cost reductions.
Keyword-rich opening lines that demonstrate fit…
2. I am a veteran Construction Manager with extensive experience in the designing, planning, budgeting, staffing, and on-site supervision of new construction and renovation projects. With 15+ years in construction and project management, I bring to ABC Company value-added expertise in:
3. As an accomplished Chief Financial Officer, I possess broad cross-functional experience in emerging, high-growth, and well-established corporations. Unlike other finance executives, my focus has not been limited to just finance but includes strategic planning, change management, system implementations, and business operations, as well as the performance improvement of teams. Highlights of my career include:
4. Designing, developing, and leading physical fitness training programs are my passions and my expertise. My 11+ years of progressive leadership experience in the U.S. Air Force, together with my upcoming ACE certification and my achievements in fitness instruction and coaching, make me an excellent candidate for your Personal Trainer position.
Highlight the fact you can meet their needs to keep them reading…
5. Cultivating relationships to deliver exceptional results is what I do best. Whether in a start-up situation or a high-growth organization, I have consistently increased sales and customer satisfaction through my ability to develop first-class sales solutions and drive professional excellence. Highlights of my career that may be of interest to you include:
6. Cross-cultural communication, multi-departmental collaboration, and producing highly detailed and dependable administrative and marketing support are what I do best.
7. Delivering massive value to my clients has been the focus of my career for the past 13 years. In my role as ___________ for ABC Company, I have unfailingly provided my clients with strategies, action plans, and the leadership necessary to enhance people, processes, and technologies. In addition, I have established a solid reputation for assessing challenges, creating solutions, and responding quickly to changing business requirements. This is the value I offer to XYZ Corporation.
Words to remember…
It’s important to remember your cover letter should be a brief introduction that demonstrates fit and motivates the employer to read your resume. If you’re narrating your whole life story or using the same old line that’s been written a million times before, then you’re not really captivating the reader or communicating the most vital information necessary to win the interview.
Using these simple points as guidelines and the cover letter samples provided above as a starting point, create your own unique and captivating opening line that draws the reader in and keeps them interested.
If you’re having trouble landing a job, watch this free webinar “How 5,000+ Professionals Got Out Of Their Career Rut” with J.T. O’Donnell. REGISTER NOW!
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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About the author
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. Want to work with the best resume writer? If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rates—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at GreatResumesFast.com or contact us for more information if you have any questions.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a Work It Daily-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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Three attention-getting tactics for cover letters
Your cover letter is often the first thing a hiring manager or a recruiter sees. Here are three ways to capitalize on this chance to shine.
Hiring managers and recruiters can receive hundreds—or even thousands—of applications for each open job. Typically, they can spend only a few seconds scanning a candidate's cover letter before moving on to somebody else's. So if you're looking for a job, your cover letter has to capture a reader's attention right away.
According to career coach Evelyn Salvador, author of Step-by-Step Cover Letters, one way to get an employer to really notice your cover letter is to infuse it with personal-branding elements, such as a slogan, testimonials or a mission statement. “Each of these elements is optional, but it might just be the thing that makes your cover letter stand out from those of other candidates," she says.
Salvador has specific tips for using one (or all) of these elements:
This brief sentence or phrase can be placed under your name at the top of your letter, in the far-left margin or in italics at the bottom of your cover letter. A slogan should succinctly encapsulate the value you bring to an employer—if you need help crafting a slogan, look to language in the job posting or on the employer's website for inspiration.
Salvador's examples include:
- For an elementary school teacher: "Helping students take positive steps toward their future"
- For a sales manager: "Meeting challenges, overcoming obstacles and closing sales"
Stating what others have said about your performance adds credibility to the information you provide in a cover letter. Testimonials can include excerpts from letters of recommendation, customer thank-you letters, vendor satisfaction letters, performance reviews, internship summaries, staff memos and other commendations.
A mission statement
This element should be succinct and clearly state what your mission is, specific to your career goal—it could describe what you plan to do or have done, what you believe in or why your profession is important to you—or another statement that demonstrates the value you'll bring to the employer.
Salvador's examples for a teacher and sales manager include:
- "Each step a child takes in his life has an effect on his future. I would like to help students take positive steps by creating an educational experience conducive to learning."
- “If the customer is happy and you are making a sale, it's a win/win. I believe in making customers happy."