Reports of the death of cover letters have been widely exaggerated. Regardless of what you may have heard, over letters are a critical portion of your application package and can often make or break your chances of landing an interview. They are your first opportunity to present yourself to an employer, so it is important to write a letter that stands out for positive reasons.
Use these tips to craft a cover letter that will get noticed.
Write An Original Letter Every Time
Cover letters can be challenging to write and take a lot of time. This is why so many job seekers use a form letter. However, a form letter will not get you noticed. Hiring managers can spot a template immediately because those letters do not address the specifics of the job posting.
To stand out, tailor each cover letter to the job. Address the skills experience, qualifications and requirements listed in the post. Include details about you that illustrate why you would be an asset in the position. And finally, double-check to be sure you have the company name and contact name spelled correctly. Get those wrong, and your cover letter and resume will end up in the proverbial “circular file.”
Cover The Three Most Important Bases
A well-crafted cover letter will always address three questions a hiring manager has about every applicant:
- Why are you applying for this specific job?
- What makes you the right person for this role?
- Why do you want to work for the organization?
The answers to these questions form your case that you are an ideal choice, so every letter you send out should address these three critical points, using data and proof whenever possible.
Make The Ask
Always close your cover letter with a request for an interview. This small step reinforces your interest in the position and shows enthusiasm for the opportunity. Neglecting this critical step can be seen as apathy.
Get Expert Advice
Effective cover letters take skill and practice. And for those in technical fields to whom numbers come much easier than words, cover letters can be downright anxiety-inducing. This is where a recruiter can help. When you work with a recruiter, you have an “insider” working to promote you as a candidate. And a strong recruiter can provide you with feedback on your cover letter, resume and your interviewing skills to help you land your ideal job.