There are many aspects of job searching that can be frustrating, and for most, writing a cover letter would be at the top of the list. You may often ask yourself, “does anyone even read these things?” The answer is YES! Cover letters do get read. They are your first writing sample to a potential employer and pull all the pieces of your resume puzzle together. Make sure your cover letter allows you to stand out from the crowd with these tips.
- Short & Simple: Do not, we repeat, do not write a cover letter longer than one entire page. Be concise and get to the point. The reader needs to get the most important information as quickly as possible – focus on why you are the best person for the job. Mention experience, mention a personal connection to someone in the company, or lead with one or two other reasons why the hiring manager should consider you and continue reading.
- Address the Recipient: In the age of Google and social media, it should be easy for you to identify the hiring manager so you can address them directly. And whatever you do, make sure your spell their name correctly. If you can’t find the person, you can do a generic “Dear Hiring Manager,” but leave out any gender specific salutations.
- Solve the Puzzle: The point of the cover letter is not to repeat your resume, but to connect your resume to the job description. Paint a picture how your experience matches the requirements for the position. Tell a story of how you will bring value to the company and also show a genuine interest in the company and the field. The goal is to make a personal connection between you, your background, experience and interests with the position for which you are applying. The more you can do that, the better chance you have of making it to the interview stage.
- Be a Closer: You will want to write a line or two repeating (in a fresh way) why you are interested and thank them for the time. You will also want to mention how you plan to follow-up (yes, you will need to be the one to follow-up). Many applicants focus all of the attention on the start of the letter, but the closing is just as important. Finish all the good work you started.
And if you need additional help or another pair of eyes, remember our tenured staff is more than willing to assist you. We know a few things about cover letters (being as we read them all day long). We would love to help you – call us today!