Cover Letter Writing 101

Is the cover letter dead? While most job candidates would love the answer to be a resounding “yes,” that’s just not the case. Hiring managers still rely on cover letters to learn more about the job seekers they’re considering interviewing.

Yet, if you’re like many job candidates, writing a cover letter is a struggle. You’re not sure what to say, how to say it, and which details are going to make you stand out the most to potential employers. That’s where the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice come in. Below are some tips and tricks from our team to help you craft a quality letter that gets noticed:

Start with research

Before beginning the writing process, do some research. Learn all you can about the company, including its services, customers, mission and vision. When you have a solid understanding of what they do and who they serve, you’ll be able to demonstrate relevant examples of the value you can offer.

After some leg work you’ll also gain a better sense of the tone you should be using in your letter. For instance, if you’re applying to work in a more formal, corporate setting, then you’ll want to be more conservative with your language.

Make a memorable opening statement

Avoid the “I am applying for the position of ABC analyst.” This simply wastes valuable real estate on the page and does nothing to convince a hiring manager of your worth. Instead, stand out with a strong opening statement. Talk about what grabbed your attention about the job or what excites you about the company. When a hiring manager has read through dozens of cover letters with the same opening statement – and yours offers a fresh and interesting perspective – you’ll differentiate yourself in a big way.

Show the value you can offer.

Hiring managers want to get to know candidates who have a solid track record of achievements. It’s therefore smart to offer relevant examples of a problem you helped solve, a successful project you initiated and completed, and any other results you were able to deliver in past positions.

Demonstrate enthusiasm.

Many times, hiring managers are used to seeing dry or boilerplate cover letters from job candidates. That’s why a little energy and enthusiasm can go a long way in helping to set yourself apart. So talk about why you want the job and what about the company stands out to you. For instance, “I read your company blog daily and would be thrilled to be a part of an organization known for setting industry standards.”

Writing a cover letter can be a daunting task for many job seekers. If you would like professional help with the process, connect with the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice. We will learn about your background, experience, and accomplishments to help you produce a winning letter that showcases why you’re uniquely qualified. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.

Why You Need an Original Cover Letter for Each Job You’re Applying to

Some candidates make the mistake of focusing on their resume without giving much thought to their cover letter. Others don’t even send one in at all, believing that hiring managers simply don’t read them.

But submitting a personalized and persuasive letter, along with your resume, is another vital tool that will help you stand out in a sea of other candidates. Here’s why:

  • Your cover letter is a great place to get personal about your background, skills, and abilities. You can share a story that ties in well with the opening to which you’re applying. Or you can talk about your in-depth knowledge of the company and how excited you were when you saw the posting. Your cover letter provides space for you to showcase who are you as a candidate beyond just your skill set and past job titles.

  • Another reason a personalized cover letter is so important is that it gives you the chance to get more specific about why you’re a great fit for the job. While your resume is talking about your past, your cover letter can highlight your present state – i.e. why you want the job – and the future value you can contribute. You can discuss what you bring to the table, the impact you could make if hired, and which specific skills and abilities the employer might be most interested in putting to work.

Whatever you do with your cover letter, avoid regurgitating what you have on your resume, just in letter form. The information you include in your cover letter should be unique to that document and either build on, or introduce, what’s in your resume. It shouldn’t be a replica. 

Some other tips from our professional cover letter writers to help you craft a polished and powerful letter include:

  • Research the company and their hiring needs so you can more easily align your background and abilities with their mission, culture, and job opening.
  • Write a great lead. This is the opening sentence and should engage the hiring manager from the start, so they want to keep reading.
  • While you should always be professional, it’s ok to go with a warm and friendly tone in your cover letter. You want to come off as a human, not a robot.
  • Avoid clichés and empty statements, like you’re a “hard worker” or “team player.” Instead, get specific and offer details and stories that show you’re a hard worker, rather than saying it.

Clearly, writing a cover letter isn’t always easy. That’s why if you’re struggling with the job, then you should consider working with professional cover letter writers, like those at ResumeSpice. We can help you distinguish yourself from the competition, all so you get the call for an interview. Interested in learning more? Contact us at 832.930.7378 today.

Four Must Haves for a Strong Cover Letter

As a leading cover letter writing service, ResumeSpice has seen firsthand how a strong cover letter can set a candidate apart. A strong cover letter includes a few key essentials:

The hiring manager’s name.

Don’t write the letter “To Whom It May Concern.” Instead, address it directly to the hiring manager (double check that you’ve spelled their name correctly). If the name isn’t included in the job description, you should still be able to find it online or with a quick call to the company. When you make this extra effort – and the letter is actually addressed to the specific hiring manager – it’s going to stand out relative to all the other letters with generic salutations.

A focus on the employer.

Many job candidates make the mistake of rehashing their resume details in their cover letters. Don’t make that mistake. Your letter should be about the value you can offer the company, not about regurgitating your background information. Placing yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager, review the job description again. Read through the company website. And then ask yourself what the hiring manager needs for the person in this role to be successful. Make a list and use it as a guide as you’re writing your cover letter.

Enthusiasm.

When you submit a cover letter that sounds like you copied and pasted it from the web, it’s not going to get the attention of the hiring manager. Instead, cut through the clutter with a little enthusiasm. That doesn’t mean you need to profess your love for the company. It does, however, mean explaining what excites you most about the position.

Accomplishments.

A cover letter is not the place to simply state that you’re qualified for a position. Use the opportunity to demonstrate that you’re more qualified than other candidates. Offer one or two specific examples of past accomplishments that are most relevant to the job opening. These should showcase your proven track record and make your more memorable when the hiring manager is evaluating candidates to potentially interview. 

For many job candidates, writing a cover letter can be a struggle. If that’s true for you, let the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice help. We can work with you to best describe what makes you uniquely qualified for a particular role, all so you can stand out from the crowd and secure an interview. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.

How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You Hired

For most job candidates, the only thing worse than writing a resume is crafting a cover letter. What are you supposed to say in it? How long should it be? What are hiring managers on the lookout for?

You have questions; at ResumeSpice, we have answers on how to write a cover letter. Here are some tried-and-true tips for creating a cover letter that will get you hired:

Customize it.

You know your resume should be tailored to each job to which you’re applying. So should your cover letter. If it’s not, there’s a good chance you’re doing more harm than good by submitting one. 

So, before you begin writing a cover letter for a job application, make sure you review the job description and jot down some of the key qualities the company is seeking. Also, do your homework – research the company online so you can gain an understanding of what they do and the market they serve. With this knowledge in place, you should have a better understanding of why you want to work there, why you’d be a good fit for the position, and how to communicate that in your cover letter.

Talk about benefits.

In other words, what can you do for the company? Tie your background to the specifics you’ve found out about the company and where you can make the biggest impact.

For instance, explain how you can help them achieve a certain goal, or how you have experience with a certain obstacle they’ve been facing. When hiring managers are reviewing your cover letter, they’ll be wondering why they should hire you. Connect the dots and make it easy by focusing on the company’s needs and how you can meet them.

Check the basics.

When you’re writing your cover letter, format is key. Make sure you address it to the correct person and that their name is spelled right. Also, make sure you reference the name of the company accurately, using the job description as a guide. If you use the wrong name, or spell it incorrectly, hiring managers will take notice.

Proofread it.

Another tip when you’re wondering how to make your cover letter stand out? Proofread it. Just as you would your resume, make sure you carefully review your letter before sending it out. Even better, ask a friend or relative to do the same, so they can catch any errors you might have missed.

Need more help on how to write a cover letter for a job?

Call in the experts at ResumeSpice. We can help you identify your key strengths, write about them effectively in your cover letter, and increase your odds for landing the interview – and the job. Contact us at 832.930.7378 to learn more about how to write a cover letter.

Why Is a Cover Letter Important?

In today’s day and age of job searching on social media, video interviewing, and applying through LinkedIn, you may be wondering whether a cover letter is really needed – or if it’s outdated? At ResumeSpice, we can tell you that a cover letter still has plenty of value, if you take the right approach.

That means you can’t regurgitate what’s on your resume, or copy and paste a boilerplate letter from the Internet. However, if you put the following tips into action, you can create a cover letter that gets noticed – and gets results.

Tip #1: Tell a story.

One of the best ways to make an impression on a hiring manager is to tell a story in your cover letter. For instance, have you been a fan of the company for a while, or always wanted to work there? If that’s the case, talk about what attracts you to the organization and what value you can add to it. Stories are unique and compelling ways to bring your experience to life and stand out to a hiring manager.

Tip #2: Talk about the contributions you can make.

Hiring managers want to know what’s in it for them if they hire you. So don’t talk about what a great opportunity the job would be for your career. Instead, talk about the challenges or opportunities you see at the company – and how you can make a positive difference if hired.

Tip #3: Focus on a key accomplishment.

Think about a career accomplishment that you’re 1) proud of and 2) that’s relevant to the company and job opportunity. Write about what you learned, how you went out about solving the problem or producing positive results, and how you can do the same for the hiring company. Whenever possible, use facts and figures to underscore your claims.

Tip #4: Don’t talk about what you don’t have.

If there’s a skill the job posting lists that you don’t have, don’t focus on it. Instead, discuss the skills and experience that you do have that are most relevant to the opportunity. If the skill gap is important to the hiring manager, they’ll ask you about it during the interview.

Tip #5: Follow the right format.

When you send a cover letter in, hiring managers are expecting a business letter; not a quick email with a couple of sentences followed by a smiley face emoji. So make sure you follow standard guidelines, including keeping it to one page, including your name and contact information, using a professional-looking font and type size, and proofreading it carefully to catch any errors and typos.

Do you need more tips and advice on cover letter writing? You’ve come to the right place. At ResumeSpice, we’re not only resume experts, but cover letter specialists too. We can help you craft a letter that puts your skills and experience in the best possible light – and helps you get that coveted interview call. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more.

 

200+ Action Verbs and Power Words to Include in Your Resume

Coming up with unique action verbs to start every resume bullet is no easy task. But it’s worth the time and effort to help add punch to your resume.

The team at ResumeSpice has compiled the ultimate list of resume action verbs – over 200 words that you will help your resume stand out in a sea of “Responsible for” bullets that HR and hiring managers are tired of reading.

accelerated
accomplished
accumulated
achieved
acquired
activated
adapted
adjusted
administered
advised
allocated
analyzed
annotated
anticipated
applied
appraised
arranged
articulated
assembled
assessed
assigned
authored
balanced
briefed
budgeted
built
catalogued
categorized
chaired
championed
clarified
cleared
coded
collaborated
collected
compared
compiled
completed
composed
computed
conducted
consolidated
constructed
contacted
continued
contracted
convened
conveyed
coordinated
corresponded
counseled
created
critiqued
decided
defined
delegated
delivered
demonstrated
derived
designed
designated
detected
determined
developed
devised
directed
distributed
downsized
drafted
edited
educated
effected
elicited
encouraged
enlisted
established
evaluated
examined
executed
exhibited
expanded
expedited
experienced
experimented
explained
explored
extended
facilitated
figured
financed
focused
forecasted
formed
formulated
fostered
founded
functioned
gained
generated
governed
grouped
guided
helped
identified
illustrated
immunized
implemented
improved
increased
indexed
informed
initiated
instituted
instructed
interpreted
interviewed
introduced
invented
investigated
judged
led
listened
maintained
managed
marketed
mastered
measured
mediated
merged
modeled
modified
molded
monitored
motivated
named
negotiated
observed
obtained
operated
ordered
organized
originated
outlined
oversaw
perceived
performed
persuaded
planned
planted
presented
presided
printed
processed
accelerated
accomplished
accumulated
achieved
acquired
activated
adapted
adjusted
administered
advised
allocated
analyzed
annotated
anticipated
applied
appraised
arranged
articulated
assembled
assessed
assigned
authored
balanced
briefed
budgeted
built
catalogued
categorized
chaired
championed
clarified
cleared
coded
collaborated
collected
compared
compiled
completed
composed
computed
conducted
consolidated
constructed
contacted
continued
contracted
convened
conveyed
coordinated
corresponded
counseled
created
critiqued
decided
defined
delegated
delivered
demonstrated
derived
designed
designated
detected
determined
developed
devised
directed
distributed
downsized
drafted
edited
educated
effected
elicited
encouraged
enlisted
established
evaluated
examined
executed
exhibited
expanded
expedited
experienced
experimented
explained
explored
extended
facilitated
figured
financed
focused
forecasted
formed
formulated
fostered
founded
functioned
gained
generated
governed
grouped
guided
helped
identified
illustrated
immunized
implemented
improved
increased
indexed
informed
initiated
instituted
instructed
interpreted
interviewed
introduced
invented
investigated
judged
led
listened
maintained
managed
marketed
mastered
measured
mediated
merged
modeled
modified
molded
monitored
motivated
named
negotiated
observed
obtained
operated
ordered
organized
originated
outlined
oversaw
perceived
performed
persuaded
planned
planted
presented
presided
printed
processed
produced
promoted
protected
provided
publicized
quantified
questioned
raised
recommended
recorded
recruited
reduced
rendered
reorganized
repaired
reported
represented
reproduced
researched
resolved
responded
restored
retained
retrieved
revamped
reviewed
revised
rewrote
routed
scheduled
searched
selected
served
screened
shaped
shared
showed
simplified
solicited
solved
sourced
specified
spoke
stimulated
streamlined
structured
studied
succeeded
summarized
supervised
supported
surpassed
syndicated
synthesized
targeted
taught
tested
tracked
trained
translated
tutored
updated
utilized
validated
verified
wrote
produced
promoted
protected
provided
publicized
quantified
questioned
raised
recommended
recorded
recruited
reduced
rendered
reorganized
repaired
reported
represented
reproduced
researched
resolved
responded
restored
retained
retrieved
revamped
reviewed
revised
rewrote
routed
scheduled
searched
selected
served
screened
shaped
shared
showed
simplified
solicited
solved
sourced
specified
spoke
stimulated
streamlined
structured
studied
succeeded
summarized
supervised
supported
surpassed
syndicated
synthesized
targeted
taught
tested
tracked
trained
translated
tutored
updated
utilized
validated
verified
wrote


If you would like to talk to a ResumeSpice career consultant about preparing a customized resume for you, please contact us today! We’d love to help you.

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