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Open and End Cover Letters on a Strong Note

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Summary: The beginning and end of your cover letter may be the most important part of your cover letter if you want to really get the hiring managers attention as a qualified candidate.

How you begin and end your cover letter will determine your chances of getting an interview. Have you ever opened up a book, read the first sentence and immediately put the book back because you were already bored? How do you feel after reading an entire book only to be left dissatisfied with a boring ending? Imagine your cover letter is a book that the hiring manager is going to read when they open your application.

If the first sentence of your cover letter is dull, then there is a good chance that your application will be tossed. If the hiring manager makes it through your cover letter only to be vastly disappointed in the ending, your application may find itself in the toss pile. The purpose of a cover letter is to hook the hiring manager’s attention from the first sentence, all the way through to the last period. You want them to be excited about meeting you in person during an interview.

Now the hard part comes in because not all of us are authors of New York Times bestselling novels. Your goal is to help the hiring manager get to know you better and want to learn more about what you have to offer. Avoid generic openers like “I am writing to…” or “I am interested in the position…” The hiring manager knows why you are writing so don’t waste valuable space stating the obvious.

A better way to your cover letter is to jump right in, stating your current position or experience. Examples of this would be, “As an Information Technology professional with experience in high-level management…” or “For the past three years…” The cover letter is your opportunity to tell the hiring manager about key facts that are not clearly evident in your resume.

You should be starting out your cover letter, highlighting your success that the company can benefit from. By the end of the cover letter, the hiring manager should be clear about why you are the best fit for the position and can fill the role better than any other candidate. Include your experience and strengths that are critical to the job.

Now for the closing of your cover letter. By the time people get to the end of their cover letter, they think the rest of their cover letter is good enough to carry them to an interview and they are often tired of writing so they quickly end. The end of your cover letter is your final “pitch” of your qualifications and indicate you will follow up with them.

An example to build off is, “With a diverse background and record of strong performance in marketing, I am well prepared and excited to tackle new challenges. …I would love to speak with you to further discuss my skills… Respectfully,” Another way of ending your cover letter is, “I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to talk about your marketing needs and how my skills/experience can contribute to your success. I will follow up with a phone call to your office on. …Thank you.”

What is the hardest part of an application for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Open and End Cover Letters on a Strong Note by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin