Five Tips to Create a Compelling E-cover Letter

by Stacie Garlieb, Successful Impressions

The first step in creating a compelling e-cover letter is to understand the purpose.  Cover letters don’t get people hired.  Resumes, interviews, and experiences do.  Job seekers who think their witty cover letter is going to motivate the hiring manager into a speedy interview process are taking the wrong approach in developing the document.  E-cover letters serve one main purpose – to get the reader to open and read your resume.  Here are five tips to make your       e-cover letter achieve that goal:

·      Know your audience.  If the receiver is not someone you know or can do research on via LinkedIn to know about, keep the salutation formal and professional.  To Whom It May Concern is much better than Dear Hiring Manager.
·      Read the job description carefully.  Some of the most poorly written e-cover letters simply don’t express the correct skills for the job.  Identify what key qualifications you have that the job calls for and refer to those directly in the letter.
·      Give them good reasons.  Typing up a huge list of skills you have will not be nearly as impactful as selecting two or three and giving a one or two sentence example of how you used the skills and achieved results.
·      Ask for action.  If you are taking the time to write the e-cover letter and they are taking the time to read it, you want them to open your resume attachment and review your qualifications in greater detail.  Closing your letter with ‘Thank you in advance for reviewing my resume.  I look forward to following up with you next week to arrange an interview.’ will let the hiring manager know that you are confident about your skills and that you plan to follow up.
·      Do what you say.  Be sure you are taking control of the job search process by following up a few days or the next week to establish a personal contact with someone at the company.  Sitting by the phone and crossing your fingers will NOT get you into the interview process.
Stacie Garlieb is the President of Successful Impressions, LLC which assists students and working professionals with career search processes and skills. For more information about the resources her company provides including helpful books and resources to guide you through building your resume and your job search, go to www.successfulimpressions.net and www.bestresumebuilder.com.