What is The Best Way to Start a Cover Letter? | JobSearchTV.com

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Questions like this make me crazy, but since someone needed an answer, here it is.

I Hate Cover Letters

The question for today is, “What is the best way to start a cover letter?” I go crazy with questions like this because it is such a small point in someone’s job search.  But if this is important to the listener, I am happy to give an answer.

Here’s what I would suggest you do, don’t think of it as a cover letter:

Use the body of the email that you send with the resume attached to it as the cover letter.  If you’re going to be submitting it through an applicant tracking system, make the cover letter page 1 of your resume.

The best way to start a cover letter is simple.

“Unlike a lot of the resumes that you receive, I actually do have the experience that is required for the role.  Let me show you how my experience matches up with what you are looking for.”

Then, create 2 columns.  In the left column, list of requirements and the functionality of the position as defined by the ad or by the person who told you about the position.  In the right-hand column next to each item, list, how long and how recently you have used each of the requirements are performed the individual function.

Obviously, if you are just spamming your resume to a position, this won’t work and frankly, nothing is going to work.  However, if you actually have the experience and want to stand out from the pack, this is a very easy way to do it.  What you will do is make the fit obvious to them so that even if a 6-year-old girl reading the resume they would know you have the experience to do the job.

Job Search Frustration?

Because they receive so much useless email and resume submissions, they will have a chuckle when they read the beginning of your cover email but, if youThe question for today is, “What is the best way to start a cover letter?” I go crazy with questions like this because it is such a small point in someone’s job search.  But if this is important to the listener, I am happy to give an answer.

Here’s what I would suggest you do, don’t think of it as a cover letter:

Use the body of the email that you send with the resume attached to it as the cover letter.  If you’re going to be submitting it through an applicant tracking system, make the cover letter page 1 of your resume.

The best way to start a cover letter is simple.

“Unlike a lot of the resumes that you receive, I actually do have the experience that is required for the role.  Let me show you how my experience matches up with what you are looking for.”

Then, create 2 columns.  In the left column, list of requirements and the functionality of the position as defined by the ad or by the person who told you about the position.  In the right-hand column next to each item, list, how long and how recently you have used each of the requirements are performed the individual function.

Obviously, if you are just spamming your resume to a position, this won’t work and frankly, nothing is going to work.  However, if you actually have the experience and want to stand out from the pack, this is a very easy way to do it.  What you will do is make the fit obvious to them so that even if a 6-year-old girl reading the resume they would know you have the experience to do the job.

Because they receive so much useless email and resume submissions, they will have a chuckle when they read the beginning of your cover email but, if you actually have the background, this will work.

 actually have the background, this will work.

Job Search Advice for Students

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2400 episodes.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us 

My courses are available on my websitewww.TheBigGameHunter.us/courses The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the JobSearchTV.com account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

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8 Responses
    1. Jeff Altman

      `.When you swim in a lake with lots of fish, that is what happens. When you swim in a lake with a few fish, there is less competition for a hook.

    1. Jeff Altman

      `.When you swim in a lake with lots of fish, that is what happens. When you swim in a lake with a few fish, there is less competition for a hook.

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