Employer focused cover letters
Your cover letter should not be sound similar to a used car salesman's pitch. With that said, there is a method you can use which promotes your skills to the employer while focusing on the employers needs and concerns. Writing the letter from the perspective of what is important to the employer will get the letter, and your accompanying resume read. You will know what is important to the employer from the information you gathered about the company before approaching them for a job.
Using a structure to showcase your solutions to their problems is the backbone to the cover letter. Here is the format which will be most useful
First Paragraph - the Grabber
The purpose of the first paragraph is to grab the attention of the prospective employer. This is similar to a newspaper headline where you are trying to get the employer to continue reading what you say. Here are a few suggestions to help you show that you are focused on the employers needs:
- Make a general comment about trends in the industry,
- Mention a news item or promotion which you saw about the company
- Make note of any events which you know the company was a part of
If you have looked into the company you are already aware of the products, services, and competition of the company. This should be enough to start the letter with.
Second Paragraph - the Employers Problem
This is where you focus on the employers needs and problems. Discuss the concerns in your own terms without offering a solution or trying to explain what should be done about the concern at this time. By talking about the issue in your own words you show that you are not only familiar with the employers problems, but that you understand them as well.
Third Paragraph - the Possible Solution
This is the paragraph where you hint at how you can solve the company problems. Showcase your abilities indirectly with a subtle tone which offers information on you but does not place importance on it. Say as little about yourself as possible. This method allows the employer to get a glimpse of your ability and makes them want to know more.
Fourth Paragraph - the Ending
Do not use the following statements when ending a cover letter as you will come across as ineffective in your actions:
- 'thank you for your consideration'
- 'I look forward to hearing from you'
- 'I await your response'
A better way to end, which showcases your ability further, is to inform the employer that you will be calling back in a week and then thank them for their time. This shows the following abilities:
- follow up
Test Your Letter
There are a few things which you should avoid in your cover letters:
- never mention 'resume' in your letter
- never ask or mention the position
- never have more 'I's' than 'you' in the letter
Make the most use of the company name, the employer or the following words in the letter:
- you, yours
- we, our, us
Remember that the letters main focus should be the employers needs, not yours. It is possible to showcase your abilities by talking about what the employer needs. Watch commercials or read ads to get an idea for this method.