Generic opening lines? Boring rehash of your resume? Typos?

YIKES!

If you want to make a hiring manager cringe (and promptly send you a rejection letter), commit one of the cover letter mistakes above. But if you want to make a hiring manager smile (and promptly call you for an interview), use these expert tips from Kinsa’s recruiters:

Remember what your cover letter is for.

A cover letter is not a re-hash of your resume; it’s a high-level overview and summary of:

  • why you’re the ideal candidate;
  • how you’re going to perform incredibly well in the role;
  • the things that make you passionate, successful and likeable;
  • the reasons you’ll fit well within the organizational culture.

Bear these points in mind as you draft your cover letter. If the copy doesn’t convey your passion, pinpoint your talent, and position you as an obvious front-runner, strike it and replace it with more compelling information.

Stand out – from the 1st sentence.

Many candidates squander their opportunity to make a great impression by leading with a bland statement like “I am submitting this resume in response to your online posting for a (insert job title).” Stand out from the first sentence by:

  • citing a key accomplishment relevant to the available position;
  • posing a thought-provoking question about your functional area or specialization;
  • leading with a hard-hitting recommendation from a former client or employer.

Customize and personalize it.

Are you a “generic” food & beverage professional? We didn’t think so. But if your cover letter takes a one-size-fits-all approach, you put yourself in the same category as 90% of your competition. Show that you really care about the opportunity – and that you’ve done your homework – by:

  • referencing a recent mention of the organization in the news (conduct a quick Google search or visit to the employer’s “press page” for ideas);
  • explaining how your personality and soft skills make you a great culture fit (research the employer online to find out more about their culture, values, mission – and then “connect the dots” for the reader);
  • addressing a “pain” the employer or hiring manager may currently be experiencing (read this earlier post on “pain letters” for step-by-step help drafting this type of cover letter);
  • addressing the letter to an actual person (check LinkedIn or ZoomInfo to find the hiring manager’s name, or place a call to the organization).

Related posts:

Want that Executive Food & Beverage Interview? Make things “painful” for the hiring manager

How to Write the Perfect Job Interview Thank You Note

Cast a Wider Job-Search Net with Kinsa

Want the inside track on unadvertised positions? Have a target employer you’d like to work for? Kinsa Group can help expand and augment your job search, connecting you with opportunities that never make it to major job boards. Search executive food & beverage jobs here or submit your resume to get started.

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