Workopolis Cover Letter Tips From Professionals

By Elizabeth Bromstein

Writing a cover letter is a necessary part of the job search, and usually the most painful.

You’re trying to sell yourself to someone you’ve never met and most of us hate doing that.

Even worse, there’s a very distinct possibility that nobody is going to read it. But don’t dwell on that part because you have to write it anyway and you have to write it as though someone might read it, because someone actually might. So, you might as well just pretend someone is definitely going to read it.

The cover letter is designed to accomplish three things. You want to:

1. Introduce yourself as a person
2. Express your interest in the position
3. Impress someone enough to land an interview

It’s often assumed that the cover letter is supposed to bridge any gaps between your resume and the role for which you’re applying, but that is not the case. Your resume should be specifically tailored to the job as well.

How do you write the cover letter? Here’s a simple secret formula.

1. Start with a greeting:

I’m not a fan of the often recommended method of jumping right in with your personal description like “Dear Mr. Vader. I am a marketing manager with 15 years of experience…”

You might start with something like:

“Dear Mr. Vader: I was excited to find your job posting for a marketing manager for The Galactic Empire on Workopolis because I have been an admirer of your company’s marketing and mission for a long time.”

2. Say who you are, what you do, why you want to do that particular job at that particular company, and why you are the best person for the role:

“As a marketer with over 15 years’ experience, I think I can state with confidence that you will not find another candidate more suited for this position. Not only because of my work history, but because I am passionate in my beliefs in rule by tyranny and that the universe should turn to the Dark Side.”

3. Broadly cover your work history, but DO NOT JUST REHASH YOUR RESUME:

“As you will read in my attached resume, I have held a variety of marketing roles across industries from tourism to music festivals. This wide range of experience places me in a unique position, as I have had the opportunity to develop a vast array of skills, from writing and editing, to analytics and SEO, to user experience, audience retention, email marketing, managing budgets, and public relations.”

4. Demonstrate how amazing you are by highlighting a triumph:

“In one of my most recent success stories, I was assigned the project of revitalizing tourism to the Ice Planet Hoth, which I did through content marketing and social media initiatives. In one year tourism to the area increased by 500%, providing a much needed revenue boost to local businesses.”

5. Use a teaser to spark interest:

“If I get the chance to interview with you, be sure to ask about my success with the annual Tatooine Jazz Festival.”

6. Where possible, show you are on top of current trends by addressing challenges in the industry:

“I am aware that The Empire has faced some brand challenges lately thanks to competition from the Rebel Alliance, but I am confident that with my expertise we can turn that around in a very short period of time.”

7. Don’t forget to talk about what you admire about the company:

“I admire The Empire’s staying power in such a competitive industry as well as the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, including the Storm Troopers annual Sick Children’s Hospital drive. It would be a privilege to work for such a respected market leader.”

8. Sign off with respectful enthusiasm:

“I would be thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of your rebrand, and would love to meet with you to discuss the value I can bring to your organization. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.”

OK? Here’s the whole letter.

Good luck writing your own.

 

Dear Mr. Vader:

I was excited to find your job posting for a marketing manager for The Galactic Empire on Workopolis because I have been an admirer of your company’s marketing and mission for a long time.

As a marketer with over 15 years’ experience, I think I can state with confidence that you will not find another candidate more suited for this position. Not only because of my work history, but because I am passionate in my beliefs in rule by tyranny and that the universe should turn to the Dark Side.

As you will read in my attached resume, I have held a variety of marketing roles across industries from tourism to music festivals. This wide range of experience places me in a unique position, as I have had the opportunity to develop a vast array of skills, from writing and editing, to analytics and SEO, to user experience, audience retention, email marketing, managing budgets, and public relations.

In one of my most recent success stories, I was assigned the project of revitalizing tourism to the Ice Planet Hoth, which I did through content marketing and social media initiatives. In one year tourism to the area increased by 500%, providing a much needed revenue boost to local businesses.

If I get the chance to interview with you, be sure to ask about my success with the annual Tatooine Jazz Festival.

I am aware that The Empire has faced some brand challenges lately thanks to competition from the Rebel Alliance, but I am confident that with my expertise we can turn that around in a very short period of time.

I admire The Empire’s staying power in such a competitive industry as well as the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, including the Storm Troopers annual Sick Children’s Hospital drive. It would be a privilege to work for such a respected market leader.

I would be thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of your rebrand, and would love to meet with you to discuss the value I can bring to your organization.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Sybegh Tsark

(If you want to see another great example that pretty much follows this formula [and also uses a fictional role at a fictional company] check out this cover letter on Alison Green’s Ask A Manager.)

Career Summaries vs. Career Objectives

Career summary vs career objective


By the Monster Career Coach

How do employers that you’ve applied to for a job get a quick idea of who you are and what sort of work you’re looking for? Well, they could always read the cover letter you’ve supplied – if they have the time.
A faster way is to provide a career summary and/or career objective in the top portion of your resume, right below where your name, address and contact info appear.

Your Career Summary

A career summary provides a brief, focused overview of your work history. It tells the employer what your specialty is as an employee, and serves as an introduction to the rest of your resume. Here is an example based on someone who has been working as a Customer Service Representative for the past couple of years:


SAMPLE CAREER SUMMARY: A dedicated, helpful Customer Service Representative with experience in the retail and automotive sectors. Able to work independently and use in-house resources effectively, such as online databases and problem resolution procedures. Willing to do shift work and weekends if required.


Notice that a career summary is often written in paragraph form, with up to four or five sentences. It can be used in all resumes regardless of how much, or how little, work experience you actually have.

Your Career Objective

What if you’re fairly new to the workforce and don’t have much to put in your career summary? Or how about if you’re sending out a mass e-mail (or snail mail) to all sorts of employers without knowing if they’re hiring or not, but you want them to know what kind of job you’d be most interested in?

That’s when stating your career objective comes in handy. It quickly tells employers which type of role they should keep you in mind for. Just like in the following example:


SAMPLE CAREER OBJECTIVE: To secure a mid-level Customer Service job with a respected employer in the hospitality or entertainment industries, with room for upward advancement based on performance.


You can see that a career objective is short and sweet, with just a sentence or two that describes the kind of job (and industry, if you want to be more specific) you’d prefer to be hired for.

It’s possible to add those one or two sentences from your career objective directly to the end part of your career summary if you’re looking to save space. However this makes the career summary longer and your career objective may get overlooked.

Summary Or Objective?

A concise career summary should appear near the top of your resume no matter if you have decades of work experience or are a recent grad. Other terms you can use as a header are “Professional Summary,” “Summary of Experience,” or even “About Me.”

The career objective is helpful if you’re not applying to a specific job posting, but instead are sending out unsolicited applications to potential employers. It can be featured under its own header, or if you’re including it at the end of your summary, you could use the header “Career Summary and Employment Objective.”

Whether you use a summary, objective, or some combination of both, you are helping employers get a quick feel for who you are and what kind of work you’d be best at. So take a few moments to write your own and get it into your resume!

 


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