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3 Ways to Start Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter can really increase your chances of scoring an interview by going beyond the resume to tell your story on a deeper level. As a resume is designed to be more formal and high-level, the cover letter can take on more of your own voice, and touch upon points that can be hard to work into the resume.

Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Your Cover Letter?

So often I get asked by candidates, “But do hiring managers even look at the cover letter?” My answer is, you have to assume that they DO – and they DON’T. On one hand, you should have a cover letter or comparable template that you can customize to each role and submit as part of the application if it’s requested. At the same time, hiring managers often look at the resume first, so you want to avoid having any critical information around your qualifications that appears in the cover letter, but not in the resume. The cover letter should complement the resume and add color to your story – but the resume should always be able to stand on its own.

A Good Cover Letter is Interesting to Read

That said – the best way to ensure a hiring manager WILL read your cover letter, is to introduce yourself in a compelling way – while also being clear about what role you are applying to. Believe it or not, that last part is constantly overlooked by a lot of candidates.

The opening line of the cover letter is your hook, and it can often be challenging to nail that perfect opener. Much like the resume, it’s likely that your reader will skim through your letter looking for the most pertinent and relevant information. You want to reel them in with a strong opening line that tells them why you deserve their attention and why they should continue on to read about your qualifications.

Here are a few ideas to create an impactful opening to your cover letter:

Dear Hiring Manager:

I’m reaching out with interest in being considered for the [JOB TITLE] opportunity with [COMPANY NAME]. With over 10 years of experience across X, Y, and Z, I’m confident that I can bring a significant amount of value and expertise to the role.

or…

Hello:

My name is [YOUR NAME], and I am interested in being considered for the [JOB TITLE] opportunity with your organization. My background combines more than 10 years of expertise in X, with additional experience in A, B, and C.

and…

Attention Hiring Department:

I am enclosing my resume in response to the [JOB TITLE] opportunity, as advertised on [JOB BOARD]. My background combines over 5 years of experience across A, B, and C, complemented by a Bachelors degree in X from the University of Wherever.

 

Just to give you a little more context, now let’s plug in some verbiage for each of these and create a solid opener to your cover letter:

Dear Hiring Manager:

I’m reaching out with interest in being considered for the Marketing Director opportunity with Brooklyn Resume Studio. With over 10 years of experience across brand development, marketing strategy, and public relations, I’m confident that I can bring a significant amount of value and expertise to the role.

Hello:

My name Dana Leavy-Detrick, and I am interested in being considered for the Senior Copywriter opportunity. My background combines more than 10 years of expertise in developing compelling and earth-shattering digital content, with additional experience in client management, team leadership, and project management.

Attention Hiring Department:

I am enclosing my resume in response to the Sales Manager opportunity as advertised on your LinkedIn company page. My background combines over 5 years of expertise across new business development, partnership sales, and account management, complimented by an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Your goal is to create a compelling introduction that gives a lead into who you are, what position you are applying to (important), and why you’re a potential fit for the role based on the needs of the position.

What Next?

Need help crafting a powerful cover letter that will make your application stand out? Contact us and we’ll create a solution that ensures you get better results.