It’s the moment every job hunter has been waiting for – they see the perfect job advertised on LinkedIn or via an email from a recruiter, and they know they would be the ideal candidate. But no matter how aligned you are with the position, there is still a gatekeeper who decides which candidates will get the coveted interview.
And that’s where a stellar cover letter can vault you to the top of the heap. There are three main areas you have to conquer: grabbing them with the introduction, underscoring your ideal qualities in the body and then wrapping up with a strong closing that compels them to move you and your qualifications on to the next step.
We will discuss the closing and how a killer closing can help ensure success. Here are some things to include in your closing:
A brief summary of why you are the perfect candidate. The body of the letter spelled out specific job responsibilities and achievements, but here is where you can add in an umbrella sentence that leaves them with that confident feeling that you are the right person for the position:
“I know exactly what it takes to thrive in a fast-paced agency environment, thanks to the three years I recently spent at Cruise and Holly, and I am ready to put those skills to work for you.”
Description of additional information you are including. This might take the form of a link to your LinkedIn profile or personal website if you have one; and/or your resume. It’s always smart to include your resume as a pasted-in document below the cover letter, as well as attaching it, since some email clients screen out attachments. Double-check to make sure the link in the email works; the attachment is the right one and that you have remembered to attach it!
The best solution is to send the email to yourself first, so you can check formatting and make sure all the links and attachments show up perfectly. You also can attach a list of references, but make sure that you have first alerted those contacts to the fact that you have offered their name. Make sure it’s not a current employer if you don’t want them to know you are job hunting, for example. If you do include references, add a brief sentence that describes each person and the capacity in which they can discuss your professional achievements, as in:
“Jill was my direct supervisor at Maytag Insurance for four years and can discuss my work ethic and client interaction skills.”
Include a call to action. Add in your contact information so they can readily reach you. But, even better, say that you will contact them in a few days. Even if hiring managers may not want a lot of calls, mentioning that you intend to follow up – and then doing so – can help keep the ball in your court. If you call and they sound busy, just remember not to call again. If you reach voicemail, leave a brief message but don’t continue to call back. They’ll let you know when they have further questions.
Here are some examples of strong closing statements:
Attached is a link to my LinkedIn profile along with my resume. I look forward to talking with you about the position in more detail and how my expertise perfectly matches the credentials specified in your advertisement. I will call you next week to confirm receipt and see if we can set up a time for an interview.
* * *
I appreciate your consideration and look forward to meeting you soon to find out more about the position and how my experience would be an asset to your company. You can reach me at (contact information), or I will call you next week to coordinate a convenient time to discuss on how my expertise will be an asset to your company.
* * *
I invite you to look at my LinkedIn profile and also talk with some of my references who will assure you that I am a go-getter, results-oriented professional who would be the perfect fit for your position. I look forward to talking with you soon!
The goal of the closing is to leave them wanting more, but also providing them enough information that they have a clear picture of who you are, what you offer and why they would be crazy not to contact you to talk more about the position!