When a company advertises a job vacancy, they are effectively saying, “We don’t have someone to do this role — we have a problem!” What is vital is for you to achieve in both your resume and cover letter is the impression that you are the solution. As well as a professional CV, your will need a targeted cover letter.
A recruitment colleague of mine recently completed an analysis of the quality of cover letters sent to his consultancy. Out of every 100 candidates, on average:
- 73% of applicants supplied no cover letter or a brief introduction in the email of one to two lines
- 16% supplied poor quality cover letters with spelling mistakes and highlighting no relevance to the specific role being advertised
- 11% provided a professional cover letter highlighting the key aspects from the advertisement and their relevance to the appointment
Therefore, by just creating a professional cover letter, you can immediately position yourself in the top 11% of candidate’s right from the start.
This is where “mirroring” the job description is pivotal. In most job advertisements and position descriptions, there is a section highlighting specific characteristics and skills that would be effective in the position. Read through the documentation and summarize what the ideal person would look like. Write your cover letter that shows how your skills, achievements, qualifications and experiences can meet these requirements. Use the keywords in the job description to make sure the parallels are obvious even to someone hurriedly skimming your resume.
To be effective in a world of global recruitment, create a “brochure” that sells your skills and makes it clear to hiring managers that you are the solution to their problem.
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About The Presenter
Featured in the Economist and Harvard Business Review, Tom O’Neil is an international author, award winning motivational speaker and regular contributor in personal and career achievement. He is international author of both the ‘1% Principle’ and ‘Selling Yourself to Employers’, and is also an international contributor (2008 – 2014) to the world’s best-selling personal development guide ‘What Color is Your Parachute?’