Knock, knock…Who’s there? Your cover letter!

Do I really need a cover letter? YES! It is the “knock on the door” before being invited in.

Cover letters are an introduction to skills, expertise, and background that your resume cannot convey. A resume is focused on you; a cover letter is focused on the company. Your cover letter allows you to emphasize specific examples in your career that relate to the job you are applying for. When writing your cover letter, be brief. Most hiring managers will only glance at your cover letter.


Who are you and why are you here?

  • Have a strong opening statement. Catch their attention right away by saying something direct and dynamic-“Before you read any further, let me draw your attention to 2 reasons why you might want to hire me.”
  • If you have a personal connection with the hiring manager, mention it in the first sentence or two.

Why should I be talking to you/Why you are reaching out to me?


  • Keep it Simple!
  •  Identify what their need is and how you will solve their problem. Research the company beyond the job description to gain more knowledge about the business.
  • Highlight your specific skills and qualifications by using a success story that provides concrete examples of how you have saved money, time, or resources in a previous position.
  • Use numbers and percentages to catch the reader’s eye.
  • Be honest and genuine about yourself.


  • Use “fluff” terms, like “team player” or “people person.” Show off your skills with descriptive statements. It can be a little longer, but it also creates a stronger statement.
  • Let your fear of “bragging” get in the way. Write the letter from the perspective of a friend, mentor or previous employer-someone who would sing your praises.
  • Apologize for skills you don’t have. Focus on what you bring, not what you are missing.

Why should I open the door and let you in?

Provide a call to action Request a conversation to talk about how you will save the company time, money, or resources. Write a targeted cover letter by using specific examples or success stories to highlight your skills will be the knock on the door that will let you be invited in.

Ultimately, the cover letter is far more important than people think. Keep these tips in mind when you write your next cover letter to help it stand out! Interested in some more cover letter tips? Thinking of making a job change, but unsure where to start? Consider emailing us at We can help you navigate the waters of job seeking, both online and off.

By: Leslie Arnold, Career Solutions Group