Too often, job seekers overlook or underplay the importance of a cover letter. They put all of their efforts into writing a resume, but many won’t even bother with a cover letter at all.
The truth is, when you are looking for a new position, your cover letter is your time to shine. It is the single best way to make a good first impression on a potential employer and an opportunity to bring meaning to your past experience.
Here are a few tips that will help get you noticed:
1) Don’t Replicate What’s Already on Your Resume
Talk about why you are singularly qualified for the position. Mention personal qualities and skills that your resume may not cover. Talk about how the job will connect to your long-term career goals – and why you want to work for that company. Show that you’ve done your homework about the organization and its leadership and they will know you mean business.
2) Be Specific About What You’re Applying For
Don’t just cut-and-paste your cover letter for every position you apply for. A cover letter that is specific to the job, the company, and the department will cut through the noise. If you can tie aspects of the job to your unique skillsets, put those details front and center.
3) Personalize It
Address your cover letter to the hiring manager personally. It’s okay to call the company directly to find out this information, but if you’re working with a finance recruiter in Dallas, they may be able to obtain that information for you.
4) Convey Confidence
A cover letter is no place for modesty. No matter what position you are hoping to land, your prospective employer is looking for a confident candidate that can bring something to the table. Talk about goals you have achieved or milestones you have reached, whether it’s consistently reaching sales targets or managing a high-performing team. Seize the moment. Blow your own horn. Be proud of your accomplishments. Raise some eyebrows. It’s the right time.
5) Use Keywords From the Job Posting
Today, it’s becoming more common for recruiters to use AI-driven software that scans applications for keyword matches. As long as they accurately represent your skills and experience, include as many keywords and key phrases from the posting as you can identify.
6) Address Any Glaring Issues
If you have any gaps in employment or changed jobs frequently over a period of years, these issues might be a concern to a potential employer. Be up-front about these issues before you’re asked and detail what you’ve done in the interim to maintain or upgrade your skills.
7) Make Sure It’s Mistake-Free
Once you’ve crafted a compelling cover letter, the last step before you hit send is to proof it. Typos, spelling mistakes, and bad grammar are a strike against you, no matter how worthy you are. Once you’ve done as much as you can do yourself, ask a friend with strong linguistic skills to look at it for you. A fresh set of eyes always makes things better.
Whether you write it into the body of an email or include it in an online application, a well- written cover letter will get you noticed. So, following the above tips will help you craft a great letter, getting you one step closer to landing your dream job.