To paraphrase Mark Twain (when it was reported in the New York Journal that he’d died): “The report of the cover letter’s death are exaggerated.”

In fact, a well-written cover letter can go a long way to helping a job seeker over 50 help an employer see how your career accomplishments, educational background and skills can fill an employer’s specific needs…and get you a job interview.

If you’re a job seeker 50 or older, read below for some tips on how to create a great cover letter.

  1. Always customize the cover letter to the specific position. The cover letter can showcase your business writing skills and it also allows you to show the hiring manager how your background and skills, as well as recent and specific accomplishments make you a great match for the position.
  2.  In fact, it’s best if you can highlight skills and recent accomplishments that never become outmoded. Highlight decision making skills, negotiation skills, closing skills, skills that keep processes efficient, supervisory skills, etc.
  3. If your resume might raise some concerns or questions of an interviewer, your cover letter can address them from the get-go.
  4. For example, the cover letter is the place to address any gaps in your work history.  You took time off to care of an elderly parent. You were laid off from a previous employer, etc.
  5. The cover letter is also where you will bring up your salary requirements, especially if you’ve had a high salary in previous positions. A statement such as “Through my career, I’ve received salaries that ranged from…” This also is the spot to explain (particularly if you’ve been out of work for a while) that you understand that the position pays less and that that’s acceptable to you.
  6. The aim of a cover letter is to show how your experience and skills will benefit an employer (as in, solve his or her problems). Identify the problems an employer is facing (you can glean much from the job description/ad) and then show how you’re the right person to fix those problems.

If you live in or around New York City and are looking for work, no matter your age, send your resume to the recruiters at Winston Resources. We have terrific opportunities with some of NYC’s finest employers. Contact us today.

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