Writing a cover letter is a tough job. How do you convince the hiring manager you’re right for the position in just a few paragraphs?
One recent trend is to send in a “pain letter” rather than just a cover letter. A pain letter is simply where you talk about a hiring manager’s biggest problem – i.e. “the pain” – and then explain how you can solve it. Some experts so that in doing so, you showcase your skills and experience, your knowledge of the company, and your desire to make a contribution.
But are pain letters really a good idea? After all, how do you really know what a hiring manager’s biggest pains are?
Sometimes, the answer is right in the job description. For instance, the job description might say something like:
“We’re looking for a social media manager who can develop an effective strategy and improve our presence on various social media channels.”
Once you know the specific pain point (lack of strategy and visibility on social media in the example above), you can get to work crafting a letter that shows how you can relieve the issue for the employer.
That said, if you can’t figure out a specific pain point, don’t try to guess at it. If you do – and you’re off the mark, you’ll appear presumptive and out of touch to the hiring manager. Instead, aim to frame your cover letter in terms of what the hiring manager needs (a finance whiz, an administrative guru, or whatever the case may be) and how you will excel in the position.
Keep in mind, the best way to stand out to a hiring manager isn’t to follow the latest trends. It’s to have a solid resume with a proven record of success and write a compelling cover letter that explains why you’re a great fit for the job.
A few other cover letter writing tips include:
- Tell a story – in other words, why you want to work at the company, or why you first entered your career field.
- Don’t regurgitate your resume. Include new information on your cover letter.
- Use numbers where you can to quantify accomplishments.
- Don’t be overly formal; be professional yet friendly.
- Customize each letter for the different positions you apply to.
- Keep it short – no more than one page.
Need more help writing cover letters – or finding your next dream job in Central Virginia? Call the employment experts at Adams & Garth. We can connect you with leading employers and top jobs throughout Central Virginia. Call us today to find out more.