After weeks of searching and networking, you’ve done it. You’ve found the perfect job for which to apply.
Of course, the first thing you want to do is impress the employer. In fact, you want to make such a great first impression they can’t turn you down. So what do you do? You wow them with your cover letter.
When it comes to applying for jobs, many job seekers are apprehensive about experimenting with their cover letters. There’s so much pressure to impress the hiring manager, and one slip-up could land your application in the trash.
In addition to writing an impressive cover letter, 18 percent of employers say a creative cover letter is valued. This is why you should allow your personality to shine through in order to differentiate yourself from other job seekers applying for the same position.
If you’re searching for some unique ways to make yourself stand out to employers, here are five unconventional ways to start your cover letter:
1. Break it down.
Employers like numbers. They especially like numbers when they have meaning. If you choose to use numbers to illustrate your experience in your cover letter, use them within context. This will allow employers to understand your accomplishments and how they qualify you for the position.
Example: 640 hours. 50 volunteers. Eight weeks. One event. That’s what it takes pull together Spring City’s Annual Community Expo.
As a special events professional, I’ve gained experience pulling off extremely successful events under tight deadlines. This is why I believe I’m qualified for your Special Events Manager position for Flowerville’s Chamber of Commerce.
2. Use a quote describing your work ethic.
Although it may seem cliché to use a quote in your cover letter, when used well and in context, a quote can add more value to your cover letter.
Select a quote that relates to your experience, passions, and the position for which you’re applying. Once you find a quote, tie it into the elements of your experience and explain how it summarizes your qualifications.
Example: Stephen R. Covey once said, “Accountability breeds response-ability.” As an experienced manager, I believe accountability is the key to success in any work environment. In every management position I’ve had, I’ve encouraged my employees to be accountable for their successes and failures, which is why my leadership style will be a great fit for this position.
3. Tell a mini anecdote.
Telling a story in your cover letter allows employers to see your more personal side. When employers search for candidates, they’re not only looking at your qualifications, but they also know if you’d be a good fit for their culture, too. By telling a story that relates to your career path, it will allow you to reveal your genuine self to the reader.
Example: I fell in love with basketball at a very young age. Not only do I love the sport itself, but also I loved the numbers behind the scores. Because of this life-long interest in sports and numbers, I believe I would be an excellent candidate for the Data Analyst position for the Washington Wildcats.
4. Illustrate your passions, dreams, and goals.
Employers not only want to hear why you’re qualified for the position, but they also want to know why you chose your career path. Employers want to hire passionate employees because they know these individuals will be motivated to do their job.
Example: Content marketing, social media, and research are my passions and areas of expertise. Not only are these my passions, but also I believe these skills are the foundation for any digital marketing professional. These passions, combined with my enthusiasm, would make me a great candidate for your Digital Media Manager position at ABC Marketing, Inc.
5. Speak as if you’re already hired.
When you jump into writing your cover letter, shift your mindset to as if you’re already hired. Pretend you’re in the break room and one of your coworkers or manager asks you why you chose to work at their company. This is a great way to show your interest in your cover letter.
Example: When I discovered Accounting Solutions was hiring, I knew I had to apply. I’ve been waiting to find a company where I feel like I can make a difference while working as an accountant. Not only are your clients awesome, but the overall mission of your company is something I believe in, too.
6. Say it in 140 characters or less.
Brevity is key when applying for any job. The shorter and more powerful statement you can create, the stronger your cover letter will be. Remember, employers don’t have a lot of time to review cover letters and resumes. However, if you can make your introduction short and sweet, you’ll help the employer decide if they should keep reading.
Example: Design and nature are my elements. Let me tell you how my web design experience will help you protect the environment.
There are endless ways to write a cover letter and there’s no perfect formula. Just keep in mind your audience and how you can relate to them, and you’ll be able to write a much stronger cover letter that will land you an interview.
What tips would you add to ensure a cover letter stands out to an employer?
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Cover Letter Samples for Business and Administration
When you're applying for administrative and business jobs, one of your most important qualifications will be your communication skills. The first time they will be evaluated is when the hiring manager reviews your cover letter and resume. It's important to make a good first impression, in order to increase your chances of landing an interview (and eventually, the job).
Before you start writing a cover letter, take a look at administration and business cover letter examples to get an idea of how to construct a professional and effective letter that is going to sell your credentials to the hiring manager.
What to Include in the Letter
Before you start writing your cover letter, review the job posting. You'll find a list of the job qualifications that the employer is looking for. Use your cover letter to show the hiring manager that you meet those requirements.
Match your qualifications to the job listing by analyzing the ad and making a list of keywords related to the skills and experience sought by the hiring manager. You can also include the general administrative and business skills that employers seek in the candidates they evaluate for employment opportunities, as well as any hard or soft skills related to the role but not specifically included in the ad.
Work these keywords into your cover letter and resume, to ensure that your application materials make it through the applicant tracking system and get to a real person with the ability to call you for an interview.
The letter should include the following:
- Subject Line, with your name and the job (if you’re sending your cover letter via email)
- Contact Information (top of letter for printed letter, below signature for email cover letter)
- Professional Greeting
- Paragraph 1: A brief introduction and why you are writing
- Paragraphs 2 and 3: Your qualifications for the job for which you're applying
- Closing Paragraph: Appreciation for being considered for the job, and how you will follow-up if you have a contact person
- Professional Closing
If you're not sure what to write, review these tips for how to write a cover letter before you get started, and a list of what to include in a cover letter.
Cover Letter Examples for Administration / Business Jobs
Review cover letter examples and then write a personalized letter that explains how your skills relate to the criteria listed in the job posting.
It's important that your letters are customized for each job you apply for, highlighting your relevant experience.
Sample Cover Letter - Business / Administration
Your City, State, ZIP Code
Your Phone Number
Your Cell Phone Number
Dear Hiring Manager,
I was excited to read about the Administrative Assistant job opening at XYZ company. I have several years of experience in a variety of fields including insurance and finance.
In addition to my extensive office experience, I have strong communication, customer service, and administrative skills. My broad background makes me an excellent candidate for this position.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you to arrange an interview.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
More Cover Letter Samples:
Cover Letter Templates and Formats
Starting your cover letter from scratch? It’s often easier to start from a template. Staring down that blank page has the effect of making even the most accomplished job seeker momentarily forget all their qualifications and achievements.
These templates can offer a good starting point for your cover letter. Be sure to personalize your cover letters each and every time you apply for a job. It’s essential that your cover letter be targeted to the role you’re applying for; generic cover letters won’t show the hiring manager that you’re serious and enthusiastic about the role.
Again, these templates are just a starting place for your resume, which should be personalized to reflect your unique skillset, and targeted to the job for which you’re applying.
Administration / Business Resume Examples
When you are preparing to apply for jobs, it's helpful to look at resume examples, as well as cover letters, for your occupation. Review sample administration / business resumes including human resources, consulting, marketing, public relations, management and more resume examples.