You’ve perfected your resume and are ready to start sending it out. However, writing the cover letter is proving to be a bit challenging. You want to attract the attention of a potential employer immediately. And the cover letter is how you can make that happen… or fall flat. Therefore, you must learn the art of writing a resume cover letter—specifically the introductory sentences.
Follow this handy guide when sitting down to write the opening sentences of your cover letter. Using these tips will help you create a unique cover letter that will prove to be memorable, radiate your confidence, and showcase your ability.
And the first step is learning how to stand out from the crowd. This is not the time to be shy!
It’s Your Time to Shine
You are most likely competing against other candidates who possess similar qualifications, job experience, and education. So, now is the time to boast—about your accomplishments! True, your resume will do a great job of outlining your achievements, certifications, qualifications, and experience. But the cover letter’s job is to make an introduction—quickly tell them who you are and why you are sending the resume. The opening sentences are the first impression—so make it amazing!
Lead with an impressive accomplishment that you are most proud of and that pertains to the position you are applying for. For example:
- For my contributions in establishing the telehealth medicine department at Longworth Hospital, I received the prestigious Society of Hospital Medicine Award last year.
- My drive to be the best at what I do paid off—in 2018, the AICPA awarded me the Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Award.
- As an independent medical transcriptionist with five years of experience, I was thrilled to accept the Rising Star Award from the Association for Healthcare Documentation.
What Makes Winning Intro Sentences
A cover letter introduction must be unique and memorable. Your goal is to grab the attention of the hiring manager and never let go. So, forget about all the boring, cookie-cutter sample letter introductions you’ve seen (or used!) and focus on getting your creative thought process fired up. Use honesty (share what you are passionate about), use humor if appropriate (being witty is a creative way to be memorable to a recruiter), use your knowledge (share something noteworthy about the company that demonstrates you did your homework).
Check out these proven tips on writing a winning introduction to your cover letter. Here’s how to do it:
Let your authenticity shine through on the page when you can’t be there in person. Try this:
- I’ve indulged my passion for creative writing since high school and have used my love of storytelling to carve out a career as a persuasive real estate copywriter. Every successful marketing campaign starts with a great story.
- To say I love my four-legged fur babies would be an understatement—just ask any of my pampered felines. My compassion and respect for all animals motivate me to excel in my field as a vet tech.
- When I read the description for (job title), I realized this was a long-term relationship I could commit to. So, let me introduce myself.
Reference the Company
Explain any connection you have to the company, its products, or why their mission statement appeals to you. Try this:
- I thrive in a digital and virtual world. I am excited to have the opportunity to work for (name of company) because I see you as a clear leader in virtual reality technology and its many applications in the business world. This is a team I want to be on.
- When researching (name of company), I was especially drawn to your simple but motivating mission statement. I want to join you in achieving those goals.
Share Something Noteworthy
Take the time to research the company and then find a specific item that stood out to you. For example:
- What impresses me the most about (name of company) is your ongoing commitment to reducing waste and the fact that you were able to reduce your paper consumption by 50% by switching to electronic records. I share a passion for recycling and upcycling and would wholeheartedly support your efforts in the workplace.
Be Enthusiastic and Specific
Describe how you feel about the job opening and specify which position you are applying for. Try this:
- I was thrilled to see the position of Event Manager is now open. I am confident I will be an excellent fit for the role as I have been successfully coordinating corporate events for the past six years.
- I’m excited about the prospect of joining the team at (name of company). I am applying for the senior sales manager position and look forward to sharing my years of experience and managerial skills with your dedicated staff.
Invest the time in carefully and thoughtfully writing the key introductory sentences of your cover letter. Each job application should have a tailored cover letter that is specific and personal. These extra touches are what will make you rise above the competition and put you securely on the road to enjoying your new career.
But you’re not done yet…
Think About Updating Your Entire Resume
Before you send that resume out with a new cover letter, carefully read it over to make sure it is up-to-date. Check out these six tips for a resume refresh that will guide you through updating your old resume and breathing new life into it.