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 2
Cover letters may seem passé in this era of social job search. But a succinct branded cover letter can be the turning point in getting noticed, gaining credibility, and producing a ‘halo effect’ of likeability in a saturated job market.
The unvarnished truth – and many recruiters and hiring managers would agree – is that cover letters tend to be ho-hum and forgettable. So, how can you write a memorable branded cover letter?
Top 10 Tips for a Branded Cover Letter – Part 1 addressed how to write the critical first paragraph and get Audacious Attention. Appealing to the hiring company’s needs and wants (some of them unstated but definable via online research and social networking), rather than talking about what you want, is a surefire way to get noticed.
The second paragraph of a branded cover letter must address the baseline concerns of the employer: will you be an asset to company and will you fit in with the team and company culture?
1. Brand Qualifications – address the requirements for a specific job posting using bullet points or a numbered list. Show how your unique qualifications are a match for each requirement. This is the minimum hurdle to get considered.
2. Brand Accomplishments – go beyond the minimum by including quantified accomplishments that tie in to each requirement for the job. Just claiming a skill or XX years of experience is not proof that you would be an asset. Results matter!
3. Brand Style – describe briefly how you attained your accomplishments. What was the signature leadership style you employed? Demonstrate how your approach to getting results dovetails nicely with the company’s values and culture.
4. Brand Add – on Value – tip the scale in your favor with added benefits that exceed stated expectations. Perhaps you have expertise in a second language or additional technical skills. How could that be of benefit in this job?
A wimpy closing paragraph typically goes something like this: I am looking forward to hearing from you. This conjures images of you waiting passively for a phone call or an email. Not too compelling, is it? How about this instead?
5. Brand ROI – summarize the overall impact of your Branded Benefits. This translates into a ROI that employers will recognize and value. Then close with a confident sign-off: ‘Eager to join your team!’
Write a brief one-page cover letter that showcases your top-line brand value that is relevant to the job you are seeking. Make it easy for the employer to see that you would excel in that role and that you would seamlessly mesh with their culture.
Does that mean you have to do some research and take some time to customize your branded cover letters? Of course! Generic cover letters are exactly that – generic, like a commodity. Instead, you have unique brand value, so why waste your time attempting to be generic?
Polish your branded cover letters, using one or more of the tips mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this Top 10 Tips article. You will find it to be an invaluable return-on-investment for your time!
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.