Do Job Seekers Need Cover Letters? How to Write & Price Them for Win-Win Success (Best Practice Tip Sheet)

Do job seekers need cover letters? Selling and Writing Cover Letters - Best Practices Tip Sheet“Do job seekers need cover letters?” is a perennial question that stumps both job seekers and some career professionals. Yet, a cover letter plays a powerful role in a successful and expedited job search. As such, we created this best practices tip sheet to help resume writers and other career pros  to understand the value of the cover letter, how to write effective ones, and how to price them.

Here are a few interesting facts to consider if you are on the fence about writing cover letters.

#1 – Some prospective employers will throw out a resume that isn’t accompanied by a cover letter.

By always having a cover letter that “sells” the job seeker, this risk is removed. It’s better to have a cover letter ignored or thrown out than have the resume pitched because it didn’t include a cover letter.

#2 – If only 20% of job seekers use cover letters, then any professionally written letter will make a candidate look all the more savvy than other applicants. This approach applies to all job seekers, regardless of their professional level.

Again, it’s not even about reading it—it’s the perception that this person wants to make a good impression. When you create letters for your clients, you increase their professionalism.

#3 – The cover letter crosses the bridge to the reviewer and says, “See how perfect I am for your job.”

Yes, we know the resume needed to be customized, but the cover letter can name drop, skill match, iterate small issues the resume cannot address effectively, and sell the candidate.

#4 – Cover letters are profitable for you to create without requiring a lot of your time.

Let’s face it, your cover letters fill a need your clients have. Once you have mastered an effective strategy, which you will see demonstrated in this tip sheet, you should be able to whip them off quickly for a client once you have written the resume. More revenue per client while giving them a greater chance of success is a win-win.

Read on to learn all the juicy strategies for writing and pricing cover letters and e-notes.

In This 10-page Tip Sheet We Cover:

  • Sending a cover letter as an email vs. attachment.
  • Cover letter customization.
  • Packages vs. standalone.
  • Pricing options.
  • Header styles.
  • Greeting styles.
  • Post scripts.
  • E-notes vs. cover letters.
  • Effective formats.
  • Key topics to address and the three steps to get there.
  • Four ways to grab reader attention.
  • How to close a cover letter.
  • Unconventional strategies.
  • How to approach five job seeker challenges.
  • Sample pain letter.
  • Sample challenge overcoming letter.
  • Sample wording for closings, openings, post scripts, and more.

Special Thanks to Our Contributors

The following CDI members each contributed to this discussion:

  • Anne Hull – Hull Strategies, LLC
  • Miriam O’Connor – Successful Resumes Bay of Plenty
  • Mandy Fard – Market-Connections Professional Resume Writing Services
  • Matthew Warzel – MJW Careers, LLC
  • Debbie Marshall – Thrive Consulting
  • Don Orlando – The McLean Group
  • Katie Pelton – Resumes by Katie
  • Lynda Bundock – Top Job Coaching
  • Lotte Struwing – Lasting Solutions HR Consulting & Coaching
  • Anne Galloway – power-to-change
  • Elizabeth Craig – ELC Global
  • Pierre G. Daunic – Fast Forward Career Services, LLC
  • Lori Jazvac – Creative Horizons Communications – Resumes
  • Kate Williamson – Scientech Resumes
  • Arleen Abrams Lieberman – SureLine Communications
  • Katherine Miller – Notable Writing Studio, LLC
  • Alana Henry – The Writique, LLC
  • Clair Levy – Precision Resume Solutions
  • Rosalinde Rosado 
  • Lucie Yeomans – Your Career Ally
  • Betsy Shepard Reed – BSR Career Development
  • Zakiyyah Mussallihullah – Andy Thomas Careers Now

The following CDI Education committee members worked hard to make this project possible through curation and editing: 

  • Robert Dagnall – Resume Guru
  • Laura Hartnell – Laura Hartnell Career Transition Services
  • Rachel Raymond – RVP Writing and Design, LLC
  • Michelle Lopez – One2One Resumes

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