Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Top 10 Tips for a Branded Cover Letter – Part 1

Susan Guarneri_0634Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Susan Guarneri
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Top 10 Tips for a Branded Cover Letter – Part 1

With the proliferation of automated online applications by employers, cover letters are mainly read AFTER your branded resume successfully navigates the automated screening in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The exceptions: when you include a branded cover letter in body of the email message sent directly to a hiring manager or recruiter, or when an employer is screening resumes and cover letters manually.

Of course, producing a top-notch, branded resume (discussed in Top 10 Tips for a Branded Resume – Part 1 and Top 10 Tips for a Branded Resume – Part 2) is the first, and most critical step.

But cover letters can be pivotal…especially if you integrate your personal branding into your targeted cover letters, just as you did with your branded resume. It’s true, sometimes cover letters are not read at all. But when they are read, either upfront in the selection process or after your branded resume gets you the nod for further scrutiny, they become exceedingly important. Why? Because unlike your resume, you can expand on Why, What, and How:

  • Why you are a great match with the job opening and company,
  • What you have to offer of value (your Brand ROI), and
  • How you obtain your results that aligns with the company and team cultures.

Format your cover letter in three brief, simple sections (paragraphs and/or bulleted lists). Each section has a theme: Audacious Attention, Branded Benefits, and Confident Close. Let’s start with the first section. The final two sections will be addressed in Part 2 of this article series.

Audacious Attention

Grab their eyeballs with one or more these tactics in the first section:

  1. Brand Image – visual appeal via branded logo / header, tagline, fonts, and brand color that matches the look and feel of your branded resume.
  2. Brand ROI – overall impact of your past accomplishments and proven future ROI that meets – and exceeds – the needs of the job and the company’s goals.
  3. Brand Values – synchronicity of your values with the company’s stated mission and values in action; research and cite specific examples of alignment.
  4. Brand Network – mention of company employees or customers within your social network, including those who would refer you for the job and why they feel you would be a great hire.
  5. Brand Uniqueness – how you are different from your typical competitors in this job function or industry and why that makes you an exceptional candidate for this specific position.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next month!

Susan Guarneri, Career Assessment Goddess and Reach Master Branding Strategist, can guide you to your best-fit career options and help you land your DREAM Job.

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