Writing a Cover Letter

Cover letters are meant to compliment your resume and tell a prospective employer how your experience benefits them. Because of this, they must be tailored for each position to which you apply. To help make the process less time consuming, here are some general guidelines you can use to make your cover letter stand out amongst the competition.

Keep the overall theme employer-oriented.
If the story you are trying to tell doesn’t relate to the open position or the company’s needs, do not include it. Also, avoid using the word “I” as much as possible.

Start off strong.
Your first paragraph should be a value-packed statement showcasing what you offer and how it relates to the position you are applying. To prevent your cover letter just being skimmed by the Hiring Manager, emphasize the job title to catch their eye. Save space for valuable information by avoiding stating the obvious like your name (which should be in the contact header) or “I am writing…”.

Show that you would be an asset for the company.
A good way to style the body of your cover letter is by bulleting your skills and/or qualifications in no more than three to five bullets. The benefit to this approach is that it provides quick and easy readability for the Hiring Manager. Look at the job posting and emphasize your experience with their job requirements towards the top of the list, since these are the most important to them. Use specific examples and numbers to support your claims and show a clear image of your skills.

End with an action statement.
Rather than say you hope to hear from them soon, state that you would appreciate the opportunity to meet for an interview to further explain how your qualifications meet their needs. Be sure to tell them how and when you will follow up to schedule a meeting. If the job posting requests no calls to the company, then simply repeat your contact information for easy reference.

Beginning your job search can be a tedious process, and we are here to help and make it as easy as possible. Call us at 361.833.3535 or contact us online to learn how we can help!

Is Your Job Description Enticing or Bewildering?

To hire great talent, you need to get a great talent pool to apply for your job. That may sound glaringly obvious, but it’s surprising how many companies fall down on the job when it comes to the first impression they’ll make on most candidates – the job description.

Perhaps nothing is as frustrating to a job seeker than reading through a job description and still having no idea what the position entails, what skills are necessary and sometimes even basic details like the job title or company location.

Here are three applicant turn offs that are sure to significantly decrease the number of qualified candidates applying for your position.

What’s the title?
The problem is usually not so much that the title isn’t listed, but that it’s 10 words long and does nothing to describe the actual position. Even if your company lists the official job title as “Primary Facilitator of Quality Assurance in Executive Correspondence and Scheduling”, “Executive Assistant” will be much clearer and more relatable for candidates.

The same goes for the description itself. Avoid making the reader try to translate long strings of business jargon in an attempt to figure out what the job actually entails.

How long is this thing?
In the digital age, attention spans have gotten shorter, and job seekers are no exception. If your description is an epic-length single block of text, many candidates won’t even bother to begin reading it. Keep it concise – you don’t need to go into all the details about your three insurance plans and all the equipment in the company gym. Stick to the pertinent details and use bullet points wherever possible to highlight the important points.

Is this a top secret position?
For various reasons, it’s sometimes necessary for a company to conceal its name in a job ad. But don’t be too secretive. If the candidate gets through the job description without finding a mention of your industry or the city in which they’d be working, they’ll be less inclined to take the time to apply.

If you’re not getting enough qualified applicants for your positions, The Wilson Group has extensive experience in attracting top talent and finding the best fits for our clients. Please contact us if we can be of any help.

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