Trillium Insights

Thoughts and Insights from Trillium's Practice Leaders

How to Write a Great Cover Letter

How to Write a Great Cover Letter

A cover letter requires the same care and attention that a resume demands.  The purpose of your cover letter is to tailor your message to the specifics of the role and to set your resume apart from others.

The first step in writing a great cover letter is to thoroughly review the role in which you are applying for and make note of skills or responsibilities that align to your background.  Provide examples of some of the skills or responsibilities in your cover letter.  A cover letter should not echo your resume.  It should zero in why you are a good fit for the role in three to four paragraphs.

You will not use the same cover letter twice.  It is vital that you tailor it to each position you applying for.  If possible, personalize the letter using the hiring manager or recruiter’s name.  Place the name, title, company name and address in the left hand corner of your cover letter.  The more personal, the better.

The opening paragraph should state the role that you are applying for, and a statement of why you are confident that you are the best fit. The second paragraph should explain to your reader why he or she should consider you for the role.  Stress your experiences and how they relate to the role, not why their company would be a good fit for your career.  Paragraph three should be used to provide additional points of relevance about you that may not be part of the job description.  The closing paragraph should bring the letter to a polite end.  (i.e.  “I hope to have an opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss how I could contribute to your team. Yours sincerely.”)

Remember, job applications are scanned over in seconds by a human eye, or in some cases a by software. In both instances the reader is looking to see if your skills and experience match the criteria detailed in the job ad.  Best of luck to you!
 

Making a Difference

Making a Difference

I have been posting blogs for over a year now with thoughts to help people find work and to help people find talent.  On Tuesday morning, while running the Information Technology Executives Advisory Group (ITEAG) meeting, I had the pleasure of hearing a friend deliver a presentation about the “6 Principals of Winning.”  It was delivered by a former Chicago Bears football player who told his story about how he “won”.  He defined winning, not in dollars and cents or football games won, but in having purpose and pursuing that purpose.  He talked about how he has reinvented himself multiple times, and that he had so many opportunities to “lose”, but that coaches (mentor’s) gave him advice that he has embraced and that he is still living by over 2 decades later. 

When I sat back and reflected on the engaging conversation that our networking group had, one thing stood out to me.  A key way to win is to “Make a difference in someone’s life”.  How each of us defines making a difference is unique.   The one constant in making a difference is that you have to put yourself out there with purpose in the role of a giver.   My friend made a difference in the lives of almost a dozen people on Tuesday morning by giving both his time and his story.  How have you made a difference today?