How to Write Targeted Cover Letters

As any job seeker knows (or should know), cover letters written for specific positions are much more likely to be read and acted upon than one that is general, vague and could be applied to almost any position. Employers want to know not only that you are interested in the position, but exactly why you are a better choice for the position than any other applicant. The best way to do this is to write a letter that clearly answers that question.

Targeted cover letters begin with a greeting that is directed to a specific person, rather than a vague greeting (i.e. Dear Sir or Ma’am or To Whom It May Concern). Doing this conveys right from the start, that you are detail-oriented, willing to put in the work necessary to find out about those little details.  Many job postings list the name of a contact person. However, if there is no name specified, try to find out from other sources, who the person in charge of hiring is.

In the first paragraph of the document, you should begin by identifying where you heard about the position opening. If you are able to name someone familiar to the company, you have a better chance of at least being offered an interview.

After this introductory paragraph, you should talk about  your skills and the experiences that you have had that make you the best person for the job.  Be sure to provide examples of when you have put those skills and that experience into practice.

The next paragraph should be a brief summary of your education and work history. The important thing to remember about this section of your cover letter is that you shouldn’t list every school you’ve ever attended, every class you’ve ever taken or every job you’ve held, only the ones that relate to the position being applied for.

When writing targeted cover letters, remember to research, research, research. The more details you know about the position and about the company, the better your chances are of getting an interview, and hopefully, the job.

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