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Cover Letters: Follow the Posting

cover letterEveryone dreads the cover letter to some extent. This is mainly because a new one has to be written each time a job application is filled out or a resume submitted. Having a template to work with can ease the stress and reduce the work when customizing a cover letter for a position that you’re applying for. And when customizing your cover letter, there are things that should not be overlooked. Use the job posting as your guideline.

The purpose of a cover letter is to summarize your skills and indicate your interest in a position. If done well, a cover letter will make a prospective employer want to learn more about you and will get them to move on and read your resume. The first thing they will look for is if your skills meet the requirements of the position. Do not disregard the job posting when including this information. In fact, the job posting should be your primary reference for your cover letter. When you highlight your strengths, don’t randomly include what you think they are looking for. Include what you know they are looking for by including the job requirements listed in the posting. Don’t stretch the truth, only list the requirements you have that are your real strengths and in which you actually have experience. This will illustrate to the employer that you were paying attention to their needs. And their needs are what are most important to them.

Expressing your interest in the position and the duties of the job will lead the hiring manager to want to learn more about you. If you properly show how your skills and experience are a great fit, they may even continue on to your resume! A good cover letter can open the door to an interview and possibly a job offer, so make sure you let the job posting guide you and help you match your skills to their needs.

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