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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Manufacturing Job

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Manufacturing Job

You’ve perfected your résumé and found a manufacturing job ad that you want to apply for. It’s time to write a great cover letter to show this recruiter or hiring manager why you’re going to be the perfect fit. But where do you begin if you already included everything in your résumé? How do you write a whole letter bragging about yourself without sounding like a jerk? That blank page on the screen can be very daunting.

To answer all these questions and more, we spoke with Louis Dupaquier, a recruiter specializing in the energy and manufacturing sectors in Covington, Louisiana.

Here’s what he says you need in a great cover letter for a manufacturing job.

Start Fast, with Substance

Even if it seems like it when the page is blank, a cover letter isn’t long. You need to make your case well and do it quickly. Avoid anything flashy or quirky (e.g. “It’s your lucky day!”) and just go for substance.

Dupaquier recommends addressing your letter to a specific person and quickly highlighting your years of experience, specific skills, or certifications and licenses that will be beneficial to the employer. For example, “Dear Mr. Adams, I’ve been a licensed HVAC technician for seven years and I believe this experience will benefit Consolidated AC Manufacturing and myself as I work for you as a Manufacturing Technologist, because I’m already well-versed in your products.”

Highlight the Right Skills for the Role

Once you’ve grabbed their attention with that opener, use the meat of your letter to show your proven experience and results. This section will vary depending on where you’re at are in your career and the level for which you’re applying. Here’s what you should highlight for different stages in your career:

  • Entry-level or new to manufacturing: Highlight any experience that makes you seem organized, efficient, punctual and dedicated, Dupaquier says.
  • Midlevel:< If you have some experience in manufacturing already and now want to move into management, you need to show how you will positively impact the company, not just how you’ll contribute as an individual, Dupaquier says. For example, he says, “Are you safety conscious, task-oriented and focused? If you’ve supervised others, did you get employees to produce efficiently while making them feel valued?” If so, these are all things to mention, as well as any other special skills you have, such as a knack for scheduling or production line training.
  • Executive: If you want to move up to the executive level, Dupaquier says, it’s not just about how you impress the recruiter anymore. He says that when he recruits executives, he’s looking for someone who’ll impress a board of directors and be comfortable with a higher degree of responsibility and accountability. “As a recruiter, I would also consider how the candidate stacks up against the company’s operations and corporate culture. Important areas to highlight would be compliance, standards/ISO, safety, sales, business development and market research,” he says. Be sure to highlight these in your cover letter for any executive positions.

Close with Conviction

Close your letter by reiterating your interest both in the specific position you’re applying for and in the company itself, Dupaquier says. Don’t make it all about you; focus on the benefit you’ll bring to the organization. Then follow up with a sincere request for a meeting to discuss things further, he says.

He suggests using a phrasing like this: “I believe my experience in heating and cooling installation and repair will allow me to quickly contribute to Consolidated AC Manufacturing. I look forward to learning your interest in my candidacy. I can be reached by email or phone to set up an initial meeting.”

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