Effective Cover Letters Lead To Interviews
When using Email to deliver your resume and background credentials to a recruiter or a human resources representative , there are subtle things you can do to grab the attention of the recipient of your data.
As the recipient of sometimes hundreds of resumes in a week , I can tell you that there isn’t enough time in a day to actually read through full cover letters and resumes. A cover letter embedded in the body of an email that is delivered in executive summary format will catch a reader's attention . By executive summary format, I’m referring to writing in bullets versus long paragraphs. If the cover letter gives valuable and compelling information, I’m more likely to want to read the attached resume rather than quickly skim it.
I can handle bite sized morsels of information but when faced with hundreds of emails, I can’t read full paragraphs or sometimes mini dissertations.
Make sure your bullets describe something of value. For example, bullets that are nothing more than a carbon copy of a bunch of sentences from your resume that were written with bold action words won’t be read.
What I’m looking for in a cover letter is who, what, when, where, why and how information. See if these examples address the who, what, when, where, why and how topics.
- I’ve most recently been working for a Fortune 250 global manufacturing company for 6 years as the Director of Corporate Security. My desire is to find another similar sized organization where a corporate security program needs to strategically be built from the ground. I would prefer that my next employer be a global company.
- We’ve lived in Boston for 10 years. My wife and I are both from Miami and we’d like to return there for both professional and personal family reasons.
- Our house has been sold so we’re free to move with as little as a pack and move relocation package. My future employer only has to be concerned with helping me to get to South Florida, they don’t have to be concerned about how long it might take to sell our house in Boston.
So, I just made up three bullets. The point is that in three bullets (if this were a real person), as the reader, I learned that this person has sold his house and is free to move. This is an important point to bring up given our current real estate market across the country.
I’ve learned that this person has recently been a Director of Corporate Security in a global company. He may have the kinds of credentials and experiences I need for my client's search in Miami.
I’ve also learned that this person likely has family reasons that are drawing he and his wife back to Miami.
Relocating from one location to another for family reasons translates into anchor reasons for me as a recruiter and as a representative of my client’s. An anchor is something that will keep a candidate employed in the new location with the new company that has roots that run deep. Employers don’t want to engage in moving a candidate who will pick up and quit after a short period of time because they’re surprised by a season of weather they hadn’t expected. If they’ve moved for family reasons, they’ll be much more likely to stay for family reasons.