job seeker getting help with cover letterWest Michigan Works! hosts free workshops for job seekers looking to polish their skills and techniques. This includes a cover letter writing workshop to help job seekers discover their professional voice.

According to a survey, 86% of hiring managers found cover letters to be valuable when reviewing candidates’ job applications. The document is a one-page, personable document. It gives hiring managers detailed background information, like work history, skills and experiences.

West Michigan Works! Franklin service center in Kent County offers a free bi-monthly workshop for job seekers at all levels. The workshop helps with formatting, layout and writing basics.

“Many job seekers that come have never written a cover letter before,” says Clementina Ingram, Talent Development Instructor at the Franklin service center. “Or if they have, they’re coming to learn how to write a more effective one.”

Market Yourself

Ingram, who runs the workshop along with Talent Development Instructor, Elizabeth McMurray, welcomes job seekers to come learn about writing that makes them standout to potential employers.

“You’re using your cover letter as a way to market yourself and to get an interview,” says McMurray. “Your resume says a little bit about your skills, but your cover letter can go more in depth.”

Get Individualized Feedback

The workshop also offers individual consultation to job seekers looking for suggestions and tips on what they have written. As a result, job seekers who attend the workshop will leave the hour-long session understanding that a cover letter should complement their resume.

“People struggle with writing cover letters because they think it has to be something grand, but it really doesn’t have to be,” says McMurray. “We felt that having an individual workshop to strictly go over cover letters would be helpful to job seekers who feel that way.”

West Michigan Works! has other events and workshops for job seekers looking to sharpen their skills, meet hiring employers or take their next step toward a new career. Events and workshops can be found by county at westmiworks.org/calendar.