Most people know that sending the same cover letter to every job is a mistake, especially if the jobs to which you’re applying are in different industries. But formatting a cover letter to suit an industry can often seem like a daunting task, and many people are confused as to how to accomplish it. These tips can help you target your cover letter to the employers you want to work for, so you can land your dream job faster!
Focus on Your Skills
When you go to apply for jobs, try to tailor your skills section to the industry your targeting. For instance, if you worked as customer service representative and you’re applying for a job in sales you can talk about your excellent phone communication skills, and your ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment. If you’re applying for a financial consultant position you can highlight the consultative nature of your job as a customer service representative, how you were able to explain technical processes in a simple way, and how you were able to solve problems for your customers. You’re using the same work experience to apply for these different industries, but you’re highlighting different skills depending on what the industry or job position at hand requires.
Customize Your Cover Letter by Experience
While you want to be honest about your work experience, you don’t necessarily have to include everything you’ve ever done, particularly in your cover letter. Your cover letter should sum up the places you’ve been and skills you’ve learned that directly apply to the job to which you’re applying. So if you’re applying for a marketing position and you’ve worked as a sales associate, include that. However, you probably don’t need to discuss the two years in college you spent as a waitress in your cover letter unless it somehow applies to your future marketing career.
Speak to Your Audience
Another way to customize your cover letter is to speak directly to your audience. It would be beneficial for you to research a little bit about the company to which you’re applying, and even the person who will interview you if you have the opportunity. By understanding who you’re talking to, you can highlight different life and work experiences you’ve had. If you know the hiring manager is a huge animal lover, you might mention the volunteer work you did with the ASPCA. If the company is known for its aggressive marketing tactics, you could mention the canvassing you did for a political campaign. Knowing to whom you are speaking allows you to “speak their language” in a sense and relate to them on their level.
Customizing your cover letter to suit the company, position, and industry at hand is incredibly important, and it will also help you to stand out from the crowd. Many people mass apply to jobs without updating their cover letter or tailoring it to a specific job or company. When you take the time to do this it will be very obvious, and you’ll automatically be ahead of the game. If you’re wondering how to create the perfect cover letter, try using LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder tool as a starting point. First impressions are important; make yours count.
Information Technology cover letters are of exceptional importance as they serve as a human interface between the technical terminology of the resume and the human behind said technical expertise.
Whereas most cover letters only have to paraphrase the qualifications of the resume, the IT cover letter has to first translate and then paraphrase the applicant’s qualifications that make them a good fit for the position.
Below are examples of a highly qualified IT resume and a matching cover letter to accompany it.
You can compare the resume sample to the cover letter template to see how you can draft your own targeted cover letter.
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Information Technology (IT) CL Templates
Dear Mr. /Mrs. /Ms. (Manager’s Name)
This email is in regards to my interest in applying for the POSITION position recently posted through WEBSITE website. With my skill-set and competencies I am more than able to investigate several forensic examination processes and monitor security systems for multiple fortune 500 companies.
While pursuing an Associate Degree in Information Security and Digital Forensics from Trident Community College, I have developed skills in reverse engineering, computer forensics, networking and information security. This knowledge has enabled me to operate in Windows and Linux platforms and master multiple security principles.
I started my career as an Information Security Intern with Chicago Government in May 2011. Working under the direction of senior members, I monitored the overall security of the system and investigated likely loopholes. Utilizing my academic and professional knowledge, I dedicated two years with Technology Smart while working in the capacity of Network Operations Center Monitoring Technician. Here I gained an opportunity to work in a Datacenter environment, improve existing documentation systems and implement stringent measures to improve the overall network security.
I currently work as a Security Operations Center Security Analyst with Security Professionals Inc., where I have been able to further strengthen my technical acumen.
I have attached my resume highlighting my academic and professional skills and look forward to hearing from you in due course.
T: Phone number
E: email address
You can either include a few small paragraphs summarizing key strengths or bullet points in the body, both are acceptable.
Remember, many applications are screened by multiple people, and in large corporations this may include a head Human Resources manager or director as well as a departmental manager or director. So, while a highly technical IT resume is useful in communicating specific technical skills in very technical language, a well written cover letter should communicate the same qualification level to an HR Manager that might not be as technically versed as a department head.
For these reasons it’s good to mix in different key strengths into the cover letter instead of listing just hard or soft skills exclusively. For example, listing both team collaboration skills alongside python development skills shows a great balance between technical know-how and social ability. It is combinations such as these that will help IT candidates stand out from their peers.
Other Useful IT Specific Cover Letter Resources
Dice News How To Write Unbeatable IT Cover Letters
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Cover Letter Samples