Create a Cover Letter That Will Secure an Interview

It is a given fact that advertised job openings in our world today generate hundreds of applications. With this level of competition, the skills and accomplishments outlined on your resume may not be enough to receive the hiring manager’s attention, even when you’re qualified for the job. To create an interest level with a recruiter or hiring manager and potentially secure an interview, you must have a compelling cover letter.

The cover letter gives you the opportunity to tell the reader what benefits and value you bring with your skills and qualifications – instead of leaving the reader to decipher it. Although your cover letter should be compelling, it should also be concise and to the point.

If you are not sure if your cover letter is conveying the message it must, follow these tips to create a compelling cover letter and secure an interview:

·         Be certain to customize your cover letter for each job opening you apply for and tell the hiring authority how you learned about the position. Was it through a mutual contact? Did you read about it on LinkedIn or Twitter? Or are you reaching out in hopes of establishing a relationship with a security industry recruiter or hiring manager for future consideration?

·         Find the name of the hiring manager or recruiter you’re forwarding your letter to. Use online resources, such as LinkedIn, to find it. If necessary, call the company directly and ask for the appropriate name.

·         Tell the reader why you should be considered out of all the other candidates – after all, this is what they’re wondering anyways!

·         Relate your experience, skills, and interests to the employer’s needs. Show that you understand their security and business priorities and are able to make a contribution toward the goals.

·         Highlight the professional skills you have developed through your experiences.

·         Show your unique personality and motivation by briefly telling a work related story with specific and quantifiable results. Be sure to tie in your story’s theme to the rest of your letter. But – be sure not to turn your story into an autobiography. That’s a sure way to be eliminated from consideration.

·         Highlight the leadership and volunteer roles you’ve held in professional organizations like ASIS.

·         Use language that is professional but friendly and natural. There is no need to try to impress – let your skills and accomplishments do the talking.

·         Close the letter on a strong note. Request an interview or tell them you’ll follow up in a week and then be certain to follow up on that date.

Key to Remember: Most hiring authorities read a cover letter first and may not end up looking at your resume. Don’t spoil your opportunity by sending a cover letter that’s not compelling.

David Lammert

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