Marketing Yourself

Amanda SimonianA Quick Guide to a Great Cover Letter
Based on research from respected sources, job candidates have an average of six to nine seconds to catch the attention of hiring managers and recruiters. Your cover letter is the first impression they will have of you, as well as the (sometimes) hundreds of other job candidates that are interested in the position, so it is important that you market yourself differently than everyone else, you are (of course) the best candidate for the job.

So, how do you make sure you are standing out? Think of this cover letter as a marketing tool not only for your skills but for who you are. Companies are looking for qualified candidates that will fit their culture, so you need to quickly “sell” the hiring manager on your skills and who you are as a person, at least enough to make them want to learn more about you through an interview. By adopting a sales technique when creating your cover letter, you will cover all of those bases and truly stand out from the other candidates.

  1. Show Awareness
    Use the first paragraph the get the hiring manager’s attention and tell them why you are writing to them in the first place. Include where you learned about the job, who gave you their information, and that you want to interview for the position.
  2. Create Interest
    Use the second paragraph to set yourself apart from the rest. You need to get the hiring manager interested in you, describe how hiring you will benefit the company and what you will bring to the table. Now is your chance to entice them and make them want to learn more about you, so take this opportunity to mention some of your accomplishments. Use percentages, dollar signs, and other quantifying symbols to engage the employer and make them want to keep reading.
  3. Display and Generate Desire
    In the third part of your cover letter, show your interest in this company and why you want to work here. Create the desire for the hiring manager to meet you. Describe the passion for your work and how you will contribute to the long-term success of the team. Learn what the company’s mission statement is and describe how you will be able to contribute to their vision.
  4. Take Action
    Finally, close your letter with an action. Tell the hiring manager that you would like to meet with them to discuss the opportunity further. Let them know that you will email them in a couple of days to make sure they’ve received your letter and resume, and then actually follow up. If you don’t know how to reach the hiring manager directly, include your contact phone number and when you are available to discuss the position.

By following this sales model for your cover letter, you are addressing all of the different emotions that people go through when making any purchasing decision, which is what you want the hiring manager to do. You want them to choose you over “the other guy.”

Amanda Simonian is a member of the Gulf Coast Oil & Gas Initiative team for Workforce Solutions. She specializes in providing relevant content and updates to the Gulf Coast community, career staff offices,a nd employers. She brings with her years of writing experience focusing on issues that impact the community and helping job candidates improve their job search techniques.  Follow the Gulf Coast Oil & Gas Initiative on Facebook!

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