Cover Letters with Industry in Mind

Know Thy Business

To write an effective cover letter, you have to do your homework.  Just any generic cover letter template or one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work. To get the advantage, you must understand the employing company, the job itself and the industry the company works within. This background will give you the information you need to create a cover letter that communicates your benefit to a potential employer.

Using the right cover letter template can be a good tool, but you’ll need specific information and there are several ways to find it. The following offers some tips to understand the company, job and industry:

Checking Out The Company:

Start with the company’s corporate website, but your research shouldn’t end there. A search engine can find additional data – a great way to get candid information. If the general public can access the organization, you can become a company consumer. For example, if the company is a retail organization, with online or offline stores, visit the e-commerce site or actual outlet as a customer would. This experience increases your understanding and helps to create an impressive cover letter.

Checking Out The Job:

Most positions have similar if not identical postings within an industry. By reviewing descriptions for the same job at other companies on commercial employment sites, you can gain valuable information.  For example, if the position you are applying for is a “Regional Sales Director,” go to various job sites for other “Regional Sales Director” descriptions. Reviewing multiple descriptions for the same position may give a new perspective.

Checking Out The Industry:

The company you’re evaluating is rarely the only organization within an industry. It’s a big advantage to learn more about organizations in direct competition with your potential employer. Competitive insights are a vital demonstration of your value and   online or offline industry periodicals can help add to your knowledge. Your best bet, however, may be your own network of friends. Chances are, you know someone within your industry that is happy to tell you more about the business.

Once you have completed your research, you’ll be armed and ready to use the right cover letter template and the right information to create the ultimate cover letter.  Take the insights you’ve found and apply them to the experience you’ve outlined in your resume.  Make the connection for the potential employer, and they will make a connection with you!