Employer Focused Cover Letters
When you write an employer-focused cover letter, the idea is that you are writing a cover letter with the employer’s needs at the forefront of your mind. Before you get started, think about what the potential employer values. Consider gaps in the employer’s workforce or problems with sales, research, or other objectives that need to be remedied, and for which you could be the solution. When you work on the letter, try to read it from the potential employer’s point of view, and ask yourself, “If I were this employer, would this letter make me want to hire me?”
Some job candidates even go so far as to get in touch with the company in advance and ask questions of the hiring manager or another employee who works in HR. Sometimes you can find out what the company’s burning needs are, and you may even learn more about the important criteria they are trying to fulfill.
Some occasions you might even be told which projects the candidates are being hired for. If you can’t get this information directly, do some research online and learn everything you can about the company and see if you can work it out for yourself.
When you start your cover letter, you need to catch the attention of the employer from the start. It is obvious that you are applying for a job, so once you’ve done a standard introduction, you should jump right into talking about the employer. Talk about a current project or a recent achievement, and discuss the problems the employer is facing. There is some level of presumptuousness in doing a cover letter this way, so it is a risky move. But it can make your cover letter stand out among all the rest, which focus on “I, I, I.”
Then, you should talk about how you can bring a unique solution to the problems the company is facing, should they choose to hire you. Get as specific as possible here. Don’t just say, “I’m a people person and a problem solver, and I’m the best candidate.” This doesn’t prove anything. Bring up specific projects and tasks which would fall under your job duties were you to be hired for the position you are applying for, and specifically describe how you would bring your unique qualities on board to complete tasks and finish projects.
Writing an employer-focused cover letter accomplishes several objectives at once.
- It tells the employer you actually have been doing research and paying attention to their needs—great job skills.
- It shows you can think about others and not just about yourself. Employers appreciate a team player. The letter demonstrates that far better than announcing, “I am a team player” ever would.
- It helps you to stand out amid the dozens of other candidates who have their eyes on the same position.
The downside is of course that if you get it wrong, you will look presumptuous, and the employer will throw your resume aside. But you’re already taking a chance, so why not go for it if the situation seems like the right one?