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4 cover letter styles for every type of jobseeker in 2020

In 2020, the cover letter may seem like

In 2020, the cover letter may seem like a quaint concept. After all, more often than not you're submitting your resume electronically and putting it into an automated system that churns out keywords and data. Why bother with a specially written letter that's intended to be seen by human eyes? But it's that human touch […] The post 4 cover letter styles for every type of jobseeker in 2020 appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

In 2020, the cover letter may seem like a quaint concept. After all, more often than not you’re submitting your resume electronically and putting it into an automated system that churns out keywords and data. Why bother with a specially written letter that’s intended to be seen by human eyes? But it’s that human touch that helps cover letters survive in today’s digital world. A cover letter is an opportunity to differentiate yourself, frame your qualifications, and yes—even fit in some more of those keywords.

Cover letters may not be required for every job application if you’re not using traditional mail, but they’re usually an option to submit, even to an automated engine. In a job search you should be grabbing every opportunity that comes along, so having cover letters ready to go can only help you.

Let’s look at the best kinds of cover letters for different types of job seekers.

The Classic Cover Letter

Every cover letter should have three main parts: an attention-grabbing opening line, a clear pitch, and a strong closing. The cover letter is a way to help build the narrative that your resume will support. So your opening should be punchy and stand out from the crowd. That means ditching “I am applying for a position at your company” in favor of an anecdote or a personal connection you have to the job or company. And when you’re opening your letter, always make sure it’s addressed to a person. Nothing will cause the reader to glaze over faster than, “To whom it may concern” or “Dear sir or madam.”

The second part of the cover letter is where you flesh out your pitch—why you’re a good fit for this job. It shouldn’t be a laundry list of everything you’ve ever done (after all, your resume follows the letter), but rather your elevator pitch for what qualifies you for this job in particular.

When you close out a cover letter, it’s important to shownext steps (like “I look forward to hearing from you”) or a statement of howyou feel you can contribute to this organization or role. It’s also crucial tothank the person reading it. Cover letters are a step beyond for busy hiringmanagers, so showing a little graciousness and politeness here is a great wayto finish the letter.

Here’s an example classic cover letter:

Dear Ms. Brooks,

When I was a child, I would run to the mailbox to get my issues of American Kid magazine that came in the mail. It was the highlight of my week! When I saw that American Kid is seeking a senior graphic designer, I was so excited that I essentially dropped everything to run to the mailbox again, so to speak.

I have more than 15years’ experience as a graphic designer, leading teams and coordinating complexprojects on incredibly demanding deadlines. Working on prominent newsweekliesand industry-specific publications has given me the ability to produce resultsfast and on-point.

I would love to hear more about this opportunity with your organization and would like to schedule a call to discuss at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Terry Bowers

By taking that basic template and making a few tweaks to themain body, you can tailor your cover letter to meet several different jobsearch needs.

The Employment Gap Cover Letter

One of the biggest assets of a cover letter is that it givesyou a chance to explain gaps or other issues in your resume. That way, ratherthan a reader noticing a gap and raising an eyebrow, you’re getting in front ofit by explaining the issue.

For example:

After spending a year caring for a family member, I’m ready to jump back into the full-time graphic design world. In the time since my last position as a designer, I’ve stayed active as a freelancer and continually built my skills to keep up with the ever-evolving trends in the field.

You don’t have to go into too much detail, but it’s anopportunity to frame your work history and current situation on your own terms.

The Results-Oriented Cover Letter

In many fields, like finance or sales, you have to be ableto show that you’re results-driven and successful. That means being veryspecific about what you’ve achieved. Your resume will ideally have numbers aswell, but the cover letter lets you create kind of a highlight reel of yourbest stats.

For example:

In the past threeyears, I’ve demolished every sales target I had. In 2017, I increased salesrevenue by 7%%. In 2018, it was 9%, and in 2019 it was 11%. My team led ourregion in sales for more than five years.

Cover letter readers have limited time, and numbers andstatistics are a great way to pull the eye toward the most importantinformation.

The Career Change Cover Letter

When you’re changing careers your resume is in a tough spot: you have experience, but it’s not necessarily the experience in your new chosen field. The cover letter lets you show how your existing experience and skills would apply to this new job.

For example:

In my long experience as a retail manager, I gained valuable insight into what it takes to motivate a team and accomplish group goals in a demanding, fast-paced environment. Although I’ve left the retail world behind for the greener pastures of accounting, the project, and people management skills I built throughout my career fit well with my new path.

As with an employment gap, this frames you and your experience for the reader, instead of leaving them to make their own assumptions or connections based on your resume alone.

Even if a cover letter isn’t required for a particular jobapplication, you should still continue writing one anyway. In a competitive jobsearch, the care and information you put into your cover letter can be whatmakes all the difference between getting an interview and staying in the“maybe” pile.

The post 4 cover letter styles for every type of jobseeker in 2020 appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

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