How to write a targeted cover letter

A targeted cover letter is the only kind of cover letter you should be writing. Anything less is a waste of your time and the hiring manager’s time.

What is a targeted cover letter?

A targeted cover letter focused on a particular position with a specific company will get the hiring manager’s attention. Often job seekers think the value of a cover letter is just having one. If they write a generic one that should do the job, right? No, it won’t!

5 key ingredients in a targeted cover letter

1. Know where you are going.

    1. Don’t use the same cover letter for every job. If you are applying for a project manager job, you need to emphasize your project management skills.

2. Echo the job description.

Many people use that same old untargeted cover letter for everything, and hiring managers know that. Surprise them by infusing your opening paragraph with an echo of what they want: This Charter School Teacher should have experience with student-lead, project-based instruction, and certifications in Technical Education, Science, or Math.

3. Sell and cross-sell your value.

If your goal is to combine different aspects of your skills, clarify that value. A client who recently landed wanted to combine IT background with apparel industry background: “I have a unique perspective as someone with substantial IT project management experience combined with nearly five years as an entrepreneurial business owner and development manager in the retail sector.”

Create interest with your Targeted Cover Letter

A targeted cover letter can use many strategies. Don’t be afraid to use something different and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Repurposing resume content is OK as long as it flows with the letter. A recent client targeting executive marketing and communication roles used this strategy:

Challenge – Increase visibility

    • Led Super Bowl Commercial social media marketing for ABC company, with 22 agents, two continents, 13,000 tweets, and FB posts.

Ask for the job.

Never forget to tell them you want to talk. For some opportunities, you might plan a call back date and tell them that you will call back next Tuesday. For others, at least tell them you want the interview:

I welcome the opportunity to talk further about my background and how my passion, enthusiasm, and skills can benefit XYZ Corporation. Please contact me to schedule an appointment for the next step in your interview process.

Not taking the effort to write a targeted cover letter may cost you the job.

Customizing your resume and cover letter submissions is key to a successful job search. Pushing out applications willy-nilly in volume will make your job search last longer.

Land your next role! I can help you win new positions by using my interactive coaching style of resume writing to create your new resume and help you use multiple tools such as LinkedIn to propel you to success in your job search! Learn more here

How to write a targeted cover letter

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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