When applying for jobs, cover letters are just as important, if not more important than your resume. They let the employer know exactly the position you are seeking and give you the opportunity to expand on your resume and skills. Cover letters highlight the experience you have that is most pertinent to the position you are applying for. Moreover, they showcase your writing skills and creativity.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your cover letter:
1. Don’t EVER Send a Resume Without a Cover Letter
This is the first and most important tip. When sending out your resume make sure to attach a cover letter also.
2. Don’t Use Generic Cover Letters
Employers see the same thing all day, stand out in the crowd by making your cover letter unique. Also, employers can tell when you’ve gotten your cover letter from any of the various sites that have examples/templates.
3. Be Consistent
Keep the formatting from you resume the same as your cover letter. Create a uniform, clear, and concise look.
4. Sell Yourself
Definitely tell the employer why you are qualified for the position and any extra information that makes you different from the rest of the pack. Tell them why they should hire you!
5. Pull Them In
Don’t write a boring first paragraph! Make sure you are interesting and give a little hint of your personality. Keep the employer wanting more.
6. Make it Personal
Always address the letter to a specific person. If you don’t have the name of the hiring manager, make an effort to find out by calling the company or using your personal network. If you absolutely cannot find the name use a more specific salutation like “ Dear Hiring Manager for (the position name)”.
7. Take the First Step
Don’t leave it to the employer to call you. Request an interview and let the employer know you will contact them within a specific period of time.
8. Keep it Simple
Don’t use complicated language or write long paragraphs. Keep things short and sweet. Get to the point and never ramble.
9. Be Creative and Proactive
Use positive active words. Don’t doubt yourself! Using words like “I think” or “I believe” are not concrete. Instead, try “I am confident” or “I am convinced”.
10. Don’t Repeat Your Resume
You’re wasting yours and the employers time by repeating your resume, highlight DON’T repeat.
11. Spelling and Grammar
Always, always, always read over your cover letter for mistakes! You don’t want to look lazy or incompetent, check your letters over for spelling and grammar errors.
Always remember that your cover letter speaks worlds about you as an individual. Keep it fresh and new for each company, show employers that you’ve got something they want. Cover letters can either get your resume read or thrown away, always keep that in mind.