Five Simple Steps to a Successful Cover Letter

Most folks put (or should put) a lot of effort into crafting a resume that conveys their talents and breadth of  

experience. But these same people often drop the ball when it comes to crafting a cover letter to complement

that important document. This can be a costly error. If your resume gets you in the door, your cover letter

is what prompts employers to answer that door in the first place.   


Cut to the Chase

Brown-Volkman reminds applicants to begin their cover letter  by clearly identifying why they're reaching out

to a company. "Start by completing the statement, 'I am writing to you today because....'" Cover all pertinent

facts, such as the position's title and location. Also include up front where you saw the ad for the position

and who recommended you, she says.

What I Like About You

Brown-Volkman says that flattery will get you everywhere. "Next, complete the statement 'I like your company

because....' Compliment the organization on what they have done right and what you admire about them. This will

show that you've taken the time to get to know the company in detail," she says.

What You'll Like About Me

Brown-Volkman urges job seekers to list their most vital qualifications. "Now, tell the employer, 'Here are

relevant examples of work that I've done that match what you're looking for.'" Briefly discuss the items you

want to showcase so a hiring 
manager  can spot them easily. "Bullet points work well in making your

accomplishments easy to read.

What Else You'll Like About Me

Now, succinctly, personalize your letter. "Describe who you are and what makes you stand out from other

applicants," says Brown-Volkman. "Discuss your 
soft skills  and strengths  and what you're passionate about

Research  the company's mission statement to see if your values match up and use similar

language. "This is your last chance to say, 'Here's why I am a good candidate,'" she says.

And In Conclusion

In your closing paragraph, Brown-Volkman recommends expressing your enthusiasm for a position and an

interview and to include a plan of action. "Make note of your contact information and state what the next steps

will be," she says. "If you will wait for their reply, tell them that. If you will be following up, tell them when they can

expect to hear from you." Don't drop the ball on your first promise to a potential employer, though. "Whatever you

put down, make sure you do what you say you will do," she says.

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