A job suitability statement is a key component of any effective cover letter for resume submissions. Writing a successful job suitability statement results in employer interest, a job interview and, ultimately, a job offer. It requires matching your skills, experience and education to the requirements and responsibilities of the target job and then persuading the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for the position. An effective job suitability statement is specific, brief and accurately tied to the company's position and needs, as well as your skills and experience.
Do Your Homework
Research the company and the job as thoroughly as possible. Familiarise yourself with what the company does, how long they've been in business, the company's industry and competition, the history of the company, what kind of and how many people work there, and what kind of company culture they have. Try to find out the name and title of the hiring manager and something about the department or division the job is in.
Calling and talking politely to the receptionist or operator for a few minutes with some specific questions is a good way to get insider information. Make a bullet-point list of everything you find out about the company and have it in front of you when you are preparing your cover letter.
Use the Job Description
Many employment ads and job postings have partial or complete job descriptions with them. Many times hiring managers will send a copy of the job description before or after a telephone interview. Print the job description and employment ad and have it in front of you when you are preparing your cover letter.
When writing your cover letter, open with a strong job suitability statement that matches, point by point if possible, your top skills and experience to the main requirements in the job description. The job description may label them essential functions, major responsibilities or objectives. For example, if the first essential function in the job description is "To lead a team of three junior sales representatives in meeting sales goals while selling 15 per cent of your department's total annual sales goals," open your job suitability statement with a brief description of how you've led sales teams while meeting your sales quota. If you don't have any exactly or closely matching skills and experience for the main job functions, you should consider if you are qualified for the job.
Know Why You Want to Work There
Being clear about why you want to work for the company in the open position and being able to state it briefly is essential. It should be the second sentence in the job suitability statement, after you state how your skills and experience match the job requirements. Include specifics about what interests you about the company and why you would be happy working there.
Tell Them What's in it For Them
The third sentence of your job suitability statement should tell the employer how the organisation will benefit by hiring you, whether they will get an experienced, ambitious salesperson, a highly educated technical engineer or a proficient manager with a proven track record. Sell them on all the benefits of hiring you for their opening.
- "The Complete Q&A Job Interview Book'"; Jeffrey G. Allen; 2000
- "The Quick Resume & Cover Letter Book"; J. Michael Farr; 2007
- "15-Minute Cover Letter: Write an Effective Cover Letter Right Now"; Michael Farr and Louise M. Kursmark; 2009
- "Complete Guide to Writing Effective Resume Cover Letters"; Kimberly Sarmiento; 2009