Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: cover letter

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to cover letters.

How to Write a Strategic Cover Letter

There are different schools of thought with a varieties of theories on whether or not an independent contractor should include a cover letter with their job application.  There is no arguing, however, that if you are going to write one, it should be well thought out and strategic in order to grab the reader’s attention.  This infographic from the University of North Carolina provides an entire process you can use that will guarantee you consider every detail.

 

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The Purpose of a Cover Letter

Jennifer Farrell By Jennifer Farrell,
Proposal Team Lead at Eagle

A well-known rule in sales is that you must make it easy for the buyer to buy.  No one wants to sift through an 18 page resume to find the gold among the sand. This is why the cover letter is such an important tool for selling yourself.  Your cover letter does the job of highlighting – for the client – the most important pieces of information in your resume.  The cover letter makes it easy for the client to quickly figure out what makes you a better candidate than the 10 others they are considering. Using this simple formula, you can write a compelling cover letter that grabs their attention and holds it.

  • Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself. Reference the position you are applying. It’s fine Contractor Writing Cover Lettersthat this section is only 1 or 2 sentences (maximum.)
  • Paragraph 2: Sell yourself and say “I can offer you XX years of XX experience within the XX industry” and end the sentence describing why you are the ideal candidate like “XX is a company well known for XX and those XX map well to my own personal philosophy of XX.”
  • Paragraph 3: Close it up. “I welcome the chance to speak with you about XX and have enclosed my resume for your review. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this.”
  • Close Properly:  Use a considerate and professional valediction: Best regards, With thanks, Sincerely, and Looking forward to hearing from you, are all excellent choices for a strong close.

A solid cover letter is most effective when it is short, simple, and properly mapped to the exact role for which the candidate is applying. When done correctly, it often becomes the summary email that staffing agencies use to sell your services to the end client. Tell us, what is the best cover letter you’ve ever seen?

Why Recruiters Like Cover Letters

While there are many mixed opinions about the cover letter from both recruiters and job seekers from claims that it’s no longer relevant to others convinced that it is an important tool for recruiters when evaluating candidates, and yet others argue that it depends on the situation.

So what are the pros to providing a cover letter?

A well-known rule in sales is that you MUST make it easy for the buyer to buy; do as much Sending a cover letterof their work for them as possible and you have done your job.  If you think in those terms, then that is what a cover letter should do.  When you submit a cover letter to a recruiter at a staffing agency or any other company for that matter, assuming your have put some effort into customizing your letter, you make it easy for them to understand why you’re the right candidate.

If you are an experienced consultant in the IT space, your resume is probably quite long, listing many different projects and roles over a number of years.  A recruiter looks at hundreds of resumes every day, scanning them to find key skills.  To read through a detailed resume would take added time from an already busy schedule so why not catch their interests with the relevant skills and experience in your cover letter?  Convince them that they need to take the time to read your resume!

There is an obvious parallel between a cover letter from contractor and the information submitted to a client. A cover letter definitely helps with the client submission.  How? When a recruiter at a staffing agency submits a contractor’s resume to a client for review, a brief summary about the contractor explaining why they’re the best person for the role is included.  If you submitted a cover letter with your application, this is the first place that a recruiter will look to develop the summary.  In providing the cover letter, you are ensuring that all of the relevant skills are highlighted instead of hoping that a recruiter will figure it out.

Bring your application to the top of the pile by including a cover letter!

Do you include a cover letter with every application? Has this helped you secure work? We’d love to hear from you.  Leave us your thoughts below!