Many job seekers treat their cover letter as an afterthought to submitting their resume. Some don’t bother to write one at all! Your cover letter is your introduction to a prospective employer, an opportunity to make a good first impression, a way to show that you’d be a great hire, a means to showcase your personality and convince a hiring manager to call you for an interview. Your resume is informative but impersonal. Your cover letter provides a glimpse of you, grabbing interest and making the reader excited to check out your resume. It’s important to include a targeted cover letter in the body of your email message or with your online application. The following are some tips for writing a cover letter that stands out.
- Be human: Don’t write a “cookie-cutter” letter. Speak naturally. Be your unique self and create a connection.
- Convey enthusiasm: Add value to your application by allowing the prospective employer to feel your excitement through your cover letter. Be eager and energetic. Tap into what motivated you to apply for the position.
- Start strong: You need to grab attention within the first sentence or two. Get to the point. Know what the company wants/needs and let them know why you’re best suited to provide it. Assure them that you’ll fit in.
- Use your contacts: If you know a key employee with the company, mention it.
- Refrain from repeating your resume: Your cover letter should complement, not regurgitate, your resume. Provide a fuller picture of who you are. Add a personal touch. Draw in the reader by showcasing your qualifications. Promote yourself.
- Keep it brief: Start with an attention-grabbing introduction that expresses your enthusiasm about the position and the company. Follow with a description of your skills, accomplishments, attributes and qualifications as they relate to the role. Then state how you can add value. Thank the hiring manager for their consideration. Explain that you’d like to follow up with a call/email/interview. Make your letter a succinct statement on who you are, why you’re interested and what makes you best for the job.
- Tailor the content to the position: Never use a one-size-fits-all letter. Target your letter to the job you’re applying for. Demonstrate your familiarity with the specific industry, employer and type of position. Match your unique skills and experience to that position. Explain what you can contribute. Use facts and figures that support your claims.
- Do your research: Research the company and impress the recruiter with what you know. Look at current events and/or blog posts about the company. Tie the information you learn into the opening of your letter.
- Pay attention to grammar: Misspelled words and/or use of improper grammar are a no-no! They leave a bad impression. Check your work. Have a friend check your letter.
- Be confident: Draw attention to specific examples of your work. Brag a little about your achievements and back them up with quantitative data. Mention relevant awards and advanced skill sets. A confident employee is an asset.
- Use descriptive language: Avoid cliches (team player, people person, good communicator). Use descriptive statements and follow them with examples of when you’ve displayed these skills.
- Address the hiring manager personally: Address your cover letter to the person actually hiring for the position. If it’s not in the posting, use LinkedIn and/or call the organizations mainline to ask for the name and title of the hiring manager.
- Use keywords: Incorporate key phrases identified in the job description. Some companies use resume-filtering software that scans for keywords, preferred skills and experience.
Be sure to write a cover letter for each job application. Tailor it to the company that you are applying to and the position you are seeking. Personalize it. Convey your unique personality and your enthusiasm for the position and you will likely score an interview.
Looking for a new position? Interested in some expert advice and assistance? Call the Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.