Job seekers in favor for the resume often overlook the cover letter, but it’s just as important and effective to get noticed by your dream employer. It’s not only a way to expand on your experience, but showcase your unique selling points, or personal brand.
When drafting your cover letter, it’s essential to tailor it. It may include limiting your brand’s focus. You don’t have to expand on everything you do or done, but only to things that match what the description is looking for. At the same time, you want to be able to tell why you’re best fit among candidates who may have the same qualifications – what makes you different.
3 ways to showcase your personal brand
The tricky thing about cover letters, however, is that they’re actually not about you – but rather what you can do for the employer. Essentially, your cover letter should showcase your brand in a way that matches exactly what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Consider below these three ways to showcase your brand in your next cover letter:
Be Creative. The opening of the cover letter is most crucial, as it’s the first impression the employer will get from you. Instead of a boring and standard opening, consider a different approach. You’ll still want to address how you’ll help the employer, but using a narrative hook (for instance, the story of how you became interested in the company) is a unique way to reveal your knowledge and use your own voice instead of a template’s.
Show and Tell. The body of your cover letter is an extended view of what’s already on your resume. As both should be tailored to the job description, choose which accomplishments, competencies, or experiences to talk about in greater detail. You don’t have to choose all of them, but rather, focus one or two where you can show off the results and how they apply to the job position at hand. Be sure to link them to your website or portfolio, which can prompt employers to see more that you’ve done.
Close Strongly. Nearing the end of the cover letter, you want to wrap it up with strong language and a call to action. Avoid using qualifying words (“I think, I believe”) and let them know when you intend to follow up. At the same time, link your social media sites, so they’ll get to see your interactions and expertise for themselves.
In these ways, your cover will be remained, focused, concise, and connect your brand to the employer’s needs.
What are other ways to showcase your personal brand in your cover letter?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.