By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer
Many job seekers fail to thoughtfully consider the importance of the cover letter introduction. Often times, it’s viewed as just another paragraph among many in the document. But in reality, the cover letter introduction holds a lot of weight. In fact, it can be the determining factor in whether a hiring manager will continue to read on through the remainder of the letter. So what makes your cover letter stand out — not just among other paragraphs within the document but among other candidates’ cover letter intros?
The Unique Opening Sentence
It’s not uncommon for job seekers to utilize a blanket opening statement when writing their cover letter introductions. Even in your own cover letter, you may be guilty of opening with something such as: “I am writing this cover letter to express my interest in your Regional Sales Manager position with XYZ Company.”
The problem with this introduction is that it provides hiring managers with information they already have; it’s obvious to him or her why you’re writing the cover letter. So instead of the bland introduction, why not consider one that surprises the reader — such as: “Team spirit is the backbone of any successful pharma sales department — and as a team player with 10 years of award-winning sales experience, I am ready to play ball with the best!” A statement like this captures the reader’s interest because you’ve expressed a sincere enthusiasm — and it makes him or her want to know more about you!
Stating Your Intentions
Another common practice of job seekers is to waste time writing about what they hope a company will do for them. So an effective way for you to make your cover letter introduction stand out is by going into greater depth about what you can do for the company.
You’ve already outlined some of the experience you would bring to the table. Why not go a little further and explain that you are aware of the company’s goals and objections in direct relation to the sales department. Also note in your three- to five-sentence introduction that you are well aware of just how important the sales department is to the company. Then highlight your skills, accomplishments, and goals that will help move the company toward greater success.
Your cover letter is an important aspect of the application process and should be written with care to ensure that you will be called for an interview. Implementing these simple steps will ensure that your introduction, in particular, stands out in a unique yet professional manner — and will greatly increase your chances of receiving that callback you’ve been hoping for.
About the Author
Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.
Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - October 27, 2011.
Sign up for the free weekly Career Insider eNewsletter.