Writing The Winning Resume Cover Letter!

After having reviewed hundreds if not thousands of resumes, I’m constantly amazed at the number of job hunters who do not add a cover letter to their resume or they submit a one-size-fits-all cover letter. It appears these applicants are just applying for anything that even remotely fits their skills and qualifications and hoping for the best.Most, if not all get immediately rejected. If the job hunter can’t spend the time to focus their efforts on a specific job it shows quite clearly they are not interested. And if they are not interested why should the prospective employer be interested in them.A focused and well written cover letter should establish why you are the person for the job. The resume should back up this assertion.Your resume cover letter should be matched to the job being applied for. You should research the company and it should be mentioned in the cover letter. Perhaps, they are expanding and it fits with your job experience; so add how you can help. This approach requires some work, but a computer, some careful writing and you are left with a cut and paste operation.A well thought our resume cover letter that closely matches the job requirements is going to do the job. Quite often it will invite the recruiter to take a closer look at you resume even though you may a bit light in one or more desired qualifications.Here are some ideas to make your resume cover letter stand out by taking the time to individualize the letter.• Never use the cover letter to summarize your resume. The space on a one page cover letter is limited, don’t waste it.• Briefly indicate why you want the job. What caught your attention about the job or perhaps the company? Is there a particular reason why you prefer this position over other jobs?• Never use space on the cover letter telling the employer what you want. Tell the company why it would want to hire you. Put in a powerful example of why the company should hire you.• What outside your resume makes you well qualified for the job? A rare technical skill, a record of success dealing with a government agency, successfully organizing remote locations, now is the time to mention it.• If you are changing careers, or might not be a perfect match for the job, recognize the fact, but explain why your overall skills and qualifications would mean you’d excel in the job anyway.• Don’t exaggerate to build yourself up or to make a point. If you believe you are the best, prove it or shut up. Nothing turns a recruiter off more than a job applicant saying they are the “best candidate,” or the ‘best project manager.” Stick to the facts, you have too many good achievements, to spoil the picture by adding in something that can’t be proven. If you do the impression you leave with the recruiter is what other things have been embellished?• Many times you may be overqualified for the position. If you indicate in the cover letter why you are applying, you understand what the employer is looking for and explain your reasons. You will usually get a second look instead of an outright rejection if you address the possible issue.Job applicants have argued with me that they have no time to individually write 20 resume cover letters when they are applying for 20 different jobs.First they should rewrite each resume to more properly reflect the skills and qualifications required for each job. Something as little as emphasizing a skill desired by the employer that you had buried in the middle of the second page could vault you to getting the desired interview.Aside from customizing the resume, writing an individual and persuasive cover letter focusing on the employer’s needs for each position will provide you will greater results than a wide broadcast “throw against the wall and see what sticks,” method.