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5 Fantastic Cover Letter Opening Lines

(with step-by-step examples)

 

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by Mary-Rose Hoja in Job search strategy, LinkedIn

As a networking speaker and networking coach, my clients often ask me to review their cover letter.

Whether YOU are a professional considering your next career step, changing to a new area, in an insular or foreign environment, or you simply want a better LinkedIn profile – your cover letter is one of your most powerful tools to steer your prospective employer’s perception of you.

Writing an effective and compelling cover letter is difficult. The first few words can catch the reader or lose them. So I’ll focus here.

How to best start a cover letter is a sticking point for many people. I personally avoid cold cover letters like the plague because I find them soul-destroying to do.

4 reasons why:

  • It puts all your eggs in that basket if that is your only channel in
  • There is no one-size-fits all cover letter. Unless you know the reader, often it is “spray and pray”
  • It takes forever to write

If you are not great at writing cover letters, you risk sabotaging yourself

There are far more effective tactics than this to get in, in my experience. As we talk about throughout the program, building relationships and then using those to get in is just one tactic that is far superior and effective.

Still, sometimes there seems no other way (if everyone’s on holiday, for example).

 

Here are 5 quick ideas:

 

[I will pretend that you are entering a technical or conservative field.]

1. Start with “Like you,…”

The most powerful word when promoting yourself is YOU. Starting the cover letter with “Like you,…” is highly unusual and grabs the reader, especially in technical and conservative fields.

Example:

  • Like you, as a health tech expert I have seen the word health re-defined recently.

PRO TIP: Add a question after the first sentence:

  • Like you, as a health tech expert I have seen the word health re-defined recently. Is it wellness? Number of medical products sold? Or, is there a different story?

 

2. Label yourself in the first 10 words (ideally the first 5-7 words).

Prospects scan quickly to see if you are RELEVANT. They need to know your expertise upfront and you have 2 seconds to position yourself. Put “_______ expert” in the first 10 words of your bio.

Visualise their conversation with others:
Q. “So, who is Ann?”
A. “Ann is a _________ expert.”

Example:

  • As a neurotransmitter expert,…
  • As a networking speaker and networking coach, my clients often ask me to review their cover letters.
  • As an analytical project manager, I excel at extracting data to understand where we should focus in our business.

PRO TIP: Add your accomplishments upfront too.
Example:

  • As an event coordinator for Company X, I ensure seamless communication and marketing between all involved parties. By implementing new social media marketing tactics in the past year, I have doubled our attendance.

 

3. Differentiate yourself from the competition

Example:

  • Unlike many other project managers, I ensure all parties know who is responsible for what, and when each component is due. I do this using my own system that I’ve used for 10+ years, because it works. At any time, I can see the status of all activities. This ensures every event is on time and on budget, plus we clearly see when we’ve succeeded, and what needs to be developed next time.
  • Unlike many event organisers, I show you exactly what to do and how to do it, what to say and when to say it. With 10+ years in research, and  — importantly — real-life innovation business experience, my view is radically different. I appreciate that…

PRO TIP:

  • “10+” and “—“ catch the eye
  • “innovation” is a keyword
  • “radically” catches the eye. That alone might get you called to interview.
  • “plus” feels like you get more than “and”

 

>>> Quick break – if you find this article useful, you will want to get this simple, effective system to track your contacts and job search>>>

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Use the tracker to record the entire process for each job, such as which opening lines you use, the response, what to do next.

This is the exact system I use to track ALL of my contacts and work-finding with all employers and clients, pharma companies, universities, NGOs. It is an excellent resource that I still refer to years after a last contact, which gives you a great competitive advantage.

It is very systematic and simple. I have used it for 10+ years with the same structure. I give it to you for free, because I promise it will help you. Get this simple tracker here <<<

 

 4. Try the word “fusion”

This is a great way to bridge a transition between fields, countries or cultures, or you don’t have much track record for the role you are applying for. It differentiates you, framed to benefit the audience. (Nifty!)

Example:

  • My fusion of Mediterranean friendliness and structured analysis ensures useful AND memorable events because they are inclusive.
  • My fusion of Mediterranean background and analytical thinking connects all parties involved in the event with friendly, clear communication while everyone knows what they need to do and who is responsible for what.

PRO TIP:
Capitalise and italicise words where you want to draw the eye. Use only once or so.

 

5. Meet their needs upfront. Keywords!

Mirror the exact phrasing in the ad/email.

Example:

  • Multi-departmental collaboration for innovation events is what I do best.
  • Written and verbal communication are two of my strongest areas of expertise. In my 5+ years of experience in coordinating teams and EU meetings, I have perfected my skills in multidisciplinary relations, collaboration, and leading a team. These skills combined makes me the best candidate for your Senior Coordinator.

 

To help you even more, I have designed these opening lines so that you can also use them for:

  • your LinkedIn Profile (there are at least 4 excellent places to put them)
  • presentations
  • emails
  • personal introductions
  • over the phone

This is also a great way to see how people respond “live”. Test them fast, don’t over-think. Test them verbally when you speak to people and answer the question “What do you do?”. You will see quickly what works for you. This is a great way to get back into job searching after a break.

 

These are just a few options to inspire you now – I help you choose ones that work for you specifically.

CLICK HEREDo you have a simple, effective system to track your contacts and job search?

This is the exact system I use to track ALL of my contacts and work-finding with all employers and clients, pharma companies, universities, NGOs.

It is an excellent resource that you still refer to years after the last contact, which gives you a massive competitive advantage.It is very systematic and simple. I have used it for 10+ years with the same structure.

I give it to you for free, because I promise it will help you. Get this simple tracker here.

Would you like to put an end to ineffective LinkedIn profiles, resumes and networking? Please share this post with those who may benefit. They’ll thank you because YOU are useful and informative.

________________
Dr. Mary-Rose Hoja helps professionals successfully promote and position themselves, especially to take their next career step. More information plus useful and informative tips await you at www.maryrosehoja.com.

 

EXPERT PROFIT LAB Wed 5 July 3pm CET

Want more high-profit clients? FREE training on how you do it

100% FREE
Quickly add another $10K-$30K in monthly profits from your expertise. 100% privacy, as always.