Writing a great cover letter opening statement is important. It encapsulates who you are and describes what value you can bring to the company. It encourages the hiring manager to read the rest of your cover letter. Make sure your opening statement is persuasive – and memorable – with these five tips.
1. Don’t be generic or obvious
Some of the worst cover letter opening statements aren’t specific. Don’t write “To Whom It May Concern,” but actually figure out who is doing the hiring for the position and write specifically to that person. You also don’t want to include any generic formalities or waste space by writing obvious statements. These can be:
- “My name is…”
- “I am writing to express my interest…”
- “I have also enclosed my resume…
2. Replace generic opening statements with dynamic ones
- All of the best examples replace generic, non-specific phrasing with a short description of who you are or reasons you’re excited by the company’s opening. Try these examples:“I’m a dynamic educator with six years of experience teaching fourth grade math and science.”
- “As the social media manager for _____, I have implemented new tactics that have increased our Twitter followers by 10 percent.”
- “I was excited to see a position open at _____ because your work with low-income families has long been an inspiration to me.”
3. Create a natural segue between the opening statement and the introduction
Your opening statement should flow easily into the rest of the opening paragraph. To improve flow, your opening statement should be as concise as possible. Remember, don’t write out your entire life history or work experience. Instead, make sure that you’re answering these questions:
- Who are you?
- Where have you’ve worked?
- What are your major accomplishments?
- How can you succeed at the company?
4. Learn to write an email cover letter
Increasingly, a modern cover letter is sent via email. If you’re in IT, for example, you always want to write a cover letter email. To nail the email cover letter opening, keep your first paragraph limited to under 150 words. This opening should hook the reader by detailing your abilities.
5. Tailor the opening statement by matching keywords
You want your opening statement to fit the job description exactly. Use Jobscan to learn which keywords are most important to the job listing and incorporate them into your cover letter. This will catch the hiring manager’s eye as well as helping you increase your chances of becoming a search result in an applicant tracking system. Jobscan Premium even has a cover letter scan option for specific cover letter checks.
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