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3 seldom used elements to make you stand out

In general, employers and recruiters spend only a few seconds scanning a candidate’s cover letter before moving on to somebody else’s. That’s why it’s essential for job seekers to quickly capture a reader’s attention and do something to immediately set themselves apart.

According to Evelyn Salvador, author of the recently released book Step-by-Step Cover Letters, “One way to get an employer to really notice your cover letter is to infuse it with personal brand identification elements, such as a slogan, testimonials or a mission statement. Each of these elements is optional, but they might be just the thing that make your cover letter stand out from those of other candidates.”

Salvador further explains these elements and how to use them.

A slogan

This brief sentence or phrase can be placed under your name in the masthead, in the left-hand scholar’s margin or in italics at the bottom of your cover letter. Some examples of slogans that Salvador provides include:

• For an elementary teacher: “Helping students take positive steps toward their future”
• For a registered nurse: “Providing caring, professional medical care from infants to geriatrics”
• For a sales manager: “Meeting challenges, overcoming obstacles and closing sales”

Testimonials

Stating what others have said about your performance adds credence to the information you provide in a cover letter.

Testimonials can include excerpts from letters of recommendation, customer thank-you letters, vendor satisfaction letters, performance evaluations, internship summaries, staff memos and other commendations you have received.

A mission statement

This element should be short, to the point and state what your mission is specific to your targeted career goal — what you plan to do or have done, what you believe in, why your profession is important to you or another promise or value-added statement of some sort that will pique the employer’s or recruiter’s attention. Some mission statements that Salvador offers include:

• “If the customer is happy and you are making a sale, it’s a win/win. I believe in making customers happy.”
• “Each step a child takes in his life has an effect on his future. I would like to help students take positive steps by creating an educational experience conducive to learning.”
• “A successful travel marketing manager is able to listen to and act on behalf of the client to offer the high-end customer service expected from an airline.”

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