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  • Lori A. Jazvac

Simple Cover Tips to Get You Noticed: Highlight Your Unique Value Proposition

As both a former career changer and a professional resume writer, I come across hundreds of cover letters each month. The ones that are the most compelling tell a concise story. They are customized and authentic.

In the job search world, today's cover letter is not just an ordinary letter. It is a brand marketing tool that defines and elaborates on a powerful asset -- your unique value proposition as part of your brand.

In fact, a cover letter can be compared to the appetizer before the main course (the branded resume), captivating the attention of the prospective employer with a glimpse of your performance and your potential-what you can bring to the role and the company.

Employers have little time to sift through long-winded cover letters or brief ones that really don't communicate value. This is why it is important to articulate your unique value proposition and avoid including meaningless adjectives and redundant information. If you say that you are results-focused, you need to back this up with factual evidence.

While cover letters are getting shorter and simpler, they need to show solid results and demonstrate unique value within less than a few seconds! Otherwise, your resume may not get placed into the "yes" pile to get read.

As a jobseeker, you will need a cover letter any time that you cannot submit your resume directly to the hiring manager. Here's why.

  • The cover letter will allow you to:

  • Introduce yourself and why you are applying to a specific company.

  • Grab the attention of the employer with key career specifics that align with the employer’s goals and needs.

  • Express your personality and demonstrate what sets you apart from other candidates.

  • Tell your story behind the numbers–briefly.

  • Be creative, yet strategic rather than simply restating accomplishments from the resume.

  • Share information that would not otherwise appear on a resume.

  • For example, if you're making a career change or need to explain an employment gap, the cover letter can address this issue.

Remember these effective cover letter tips when applying for a job:

  • Ensure you customize your cover letter using information you gather during your research about the company.

  • Address the cover letter to a key decision-maker by their full name.

  • Consider starting the introduction with an attention-grabbing question. For example, "Do you need a results-driven project manager with a track record of coordinating and executing million-dollar projects?"

  • Utilize a cover letter format and style that matches the resume. Be consistent with the design.

  • Distinguish your authentic brand.

  • Highlight your key achievements briefly.

  • Consider creating an “e-note” instead of a formal cover letter, especially if you are submitting your resume via email.

  • Make sure you’ve included anything specifically requested in the cover letter — e.g. schedule availability and training requirements.

  • End your cover letter with a convincing call to action!

A cover letter that includes all these key features will likely peak the employer's interest to keep on reading. It will then lead the employer to invite you for an interview. So tell your story in the cover letter, concisely and thoughtfully.

Don't forget to customize your cover letter to the organization and the role.

For a customized resume package that includes an attention-grabbing cover letter, visit

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