Standing out in the job hunt can be challenging, but adding an eye catching cover letter to your application can help. Here are three strong cover letter openers that will help you stand out.
Start with Why
Why do you want to work for this particular company? What about the organization makes them unique? What projects have they been a part of? What do they have to say about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
This may require a bit of research, but you should be researching your industry anyway. Places to get ideas for this kind of opener include the companies career page (for benefits, mission statements, and overall philosophy), their recent news feed for recent initiatives and positions, and don’t forget social media. Compelling company stories on various channels can clue you into your “why.”
French’s brand mustard, owned by Baltimore-based McCormick, offered limited edition mustard donuts to celebrate National Mustard Day on Aug. 6. The brand rolled out mustard buns last year, and mustard beer in 2020.
As a donut and mustard lover, I have feelings about combining them, and chances are, a hiring manager at McCormick does too. Or maybe they don’t, but they’ve read so many boring cover letters that they’d like a fresh perspective on why someone wants to join their company. Offer them your take.
Open with a Problem You Can Solve
Your industry as a whole is facing a problem. Let’s say its finance, and the regulators are breathing down your neck. Or you’re in healthcare and turnover is at an all-time high. Start with your solution to a problem.
For example: As a human resources director at a major hospital, I’ve reduced nurse attrition by 30% by doing XYZ. I’d welcome the chance to help you retain top talent while increasing employee satisfaction.
Use Their Catch Phrase
The tech company Appfire lists 7 core values in its career section, one of which is “thrive on change.”
Start with the subhead: How I Thrive on Change, then describe how you handled the early days of the Pandemic at your company, shifting to remote work and different ways of interacting with your team. This can demonstrate to the employer that you’ve done your research and considered whether their philosophy aligns with your view of work.
Keep It Short
Keep cover letter openers short and sweet. No one has the attention span these days to wade through 6 sentence paragraphs, or heck, even 3. Keep your openers short, interesting, and useful, and you’ll inspire the hiring manager to keep reading.
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