By Tim Klepaczyk
What do you say in a cover letter? I’ve typically identified where I found out about the open position. Then I’d talk about how my experience matches what the company says they are seeking in the job description – some people even go so far as to list the requirements and matching experience in two columns. Finally I conclude by asserting my confidence that I would make immediate contributions and that I will contact them soon about an interview. This type of cover letter is probably familiar to many of you.
This approach has been adequate in the past, but cover letters can be more effective. The key is to remember that you’re trying to communicate what’s in it for them. If you’ve done your homework, you know the important tasks in the role you are seeking. Find at least three SSAR story examples that reinforce your track record of success in these tasks – Situation you were in, Strengths you used to address it, Actions you took, and Results delivered. Conclude by advising that you have additional stories when you meet.
For this position you are seeking someone who can get these things done.
I have a record of success in such tasks. In this situation from my work history I used this strength to take this action and achieve this result. In a second situation I used this different strength to take this action and achieve this result. In a third situation I used a third strength to take this action and achieve this result.
When we meet I can discuss these examples and more in greater detail. I will contact you soon to arrange an interview.
How much more powerful this is – I know how to do the job well, and will deliver immediate results for your company. That is a more effective message for a cover letter.
Tim Klepaczyk is an RF & microwave engineer with over 20 years of experience in applications & sales and product design & validation. He also loves writing.
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