When was the last time you took a good, hard look at your cover letter? Is it doing its job to expand on your work history? Does it tell employers more about the type of employee you are, and why you want to work for them? Today’s article is inspired by Energy Services Group International candidates who feel their cover letters just aren’t communicating their technical qualifications in the best possible light. Here are a number of tips and tricks to make sure you land that interview.
Focus on Results
Hiring managers are constantly reading through resumes and cover letters that say plenty about what a person was asked to do, but rarely about what that person actually accomplished. When we say that your promotional material (your resume and cover letter for starters) should be results-oriented, we mean it. Employers want to know what you can do for them. Focusing on your past results helps to give them a clear picture of what you will be able to do for them, should they hire you as well.
It’s All About the Data
For technical jobs, data on results and deliverables is not usually difficult to come by. This is a key strength that your cover letter already has. Focusing on that data and communicating the quantifiable impact of your work will attract the attention of a hiring manager in a way that descriptive and quality-based keywords simply can’t do. With that in mind, don’t be shy. Tell readers exactly how much that project was worth or how much money you saved the company. This will cement in the hiring manager’s mind that you are a real competitor for the position.
A cover letter is not the place to be modest. While you don’t want to exaggerate your past performance (which can easily get called out by a previous employer in a reference or background check), accomplishments are a distinguishing factor in your professional history. While everyone likely has their own accomplishments, yours are unique to you and your work background. Bringing an employer’s attention to those accomplishments allows them to see your previous work experience in its best light.
Know and Use Relevant Terms and Keywords
Keywords are obviously important in today’s tech heavy recruiting market. The lack of appropriate keywords in your resume and cover letter shows a lack of understanding of your industry, and a lack of investment to do the research. Make sure to note your technical skills prominently within a cover letter, because employers are looking for those job-related skills that only experienced workers are likely to have in their wheelhouse.
Don’t make the mistake of writing too long of a cover letter. Especially in the technical fields, hiring managers aren’t looking for fluff or padded cover letters. They want to know the critical points that would make you a worthy candidate for a job in the energy industry. Be sure your cover letter is concise and to-the-point to get past this stage in the hiring process.
ESGI offers a variety of solutions for your staffing needs – staff augmentation, enterprise project management, vendor management, full-time contractors, contract-to-hire, or permanent placement. Contact us today to learn about our technical staffing services in Virginia and beyond.