It’s time to start applying for jobs and you’ve got your resume down pat, but what about your cover letter? Have you made sure that you’ve tailored your cover letter for every job application? But you’re applying for 57 jobs we hear you say? To which we reply, “how badly do you want the job?”
Cover letter’s get read.
In fact, they could be the barrier between the employer and your resume. If you fail to impress via your cover letter, you may have just wasted all your hard work on your resume. Some might say they are the most important part of your application however, more often than not, they get the least amount of consideration by the applicant.
Your cover letter should sell your skills, and highlight to prospective employers, why you are better than all the other applicants. Yes, we bet you forgot you had a bit of competition when it comes to your favoured jobs!
Here are our tips to writing the perfect cover letter.
1. Write a new cover letter for every job application.
Thought you could get away with changing the name of the potential employer and company? Wrong! Whoever is reading that letter won’t be wowed by your generic skillset. You need to demonstrate in the first paragraph why your specific skills would benefit their company in that role. Make sure they know that this letter is written specifically to them, and it will put you in the follow up pile above the others who didn’t!
2. Go the extra mile.
Gone are the days of anonymity thanks to the internet. You don’t need to begin your letter with “To Whom It May Concern” because chances are you know who it concerns, so use their name. It’s called networking. Do your background research, who are you talking to via your cover letter? At the very least write the specific job role you are applying for.
3. Your opening line is the hook.
Mention the job you are applying for and then finish this sentence “I am passionate about this role because…” and “My specific skills from XYZ job would benefit this role because…” Sell yourself in the first few sentences. It’s called the elevator pitch. You have from the time it takes to get from the first floor to the fifth to sell your soul to your potential employer. Do not tell them how they can help you for example, “I would love to work with you to expand my skills as a…” Tell them why YOU would benefit them.
4. Include your personality.
Unless you are a real-life robot, include a bit of your personality in the cover letter. You don’t want to sound robotic as that translates to being insincere. Have a slightly conversational yet formal tone. It also depends on the company you are looking to work for. What tone would emulate them?
5. Finish strong.
There is no reason to go over a page when it comes to your cover letter. Keep it short, sweet and straight to the point. The employer will probably be skim reading several for the position so don’t let yours drag. The closing paragraph is your last chance to emphasize your enthusiasm for the company or highlight how you’d be a great fit for the position.
Best of luck.