Cover letters that don't suck: 3 Steps
SEATTLE, WA -- The Hook: Introduce yourself and your story. Drop enough hints along the way so that recruiters feel compelled to read further. Here are two techniques for the hook: "The Name Drop" - If you've networked with this company, you can allude to conversations you've had in the past; "The Subtle Brag" - Pick out something from the company's website or job posting that you know they value when looking for candidates. Then, open this paragraph with a one-liner that exemplifies this skill or trait.
The Primary Story: It's easy to claim that you have skill A or B but it's much more effective to show it. Prove that you'd excel at the job by telling a story about a time you've already done it. Start by identifying the most important skills for the job at hand. Then take the recruiter on a journey showing that you've been doing this job for ages, just in other contexts. This story can come from past jobs, extra curriculars, or even side projects and hobbies.
The Secondary Story: This story is complimentary to the primary one. Identify the other skills your recruiter is looking for. These will likely be softer skills like teamwork or communication. Awesome! This makes it easier to find and position a story for this paragraph. Simply revisit your resume, grab the most impressive experience where you've used that soft skill and plug it into the same storytelling format used in the previous example.