A cover letter is the first thing that a potential employer will look at when reviewing your resume. A great cover letter is designed to highlight all the best points of your resume and give information that may not have fit into the actual resume. Writing an excellent cover letter will give your application a personal touch which is why you should always include one.
The overall goal of a brilliant cover letter is to make yourself look unique. The details included in a resume tend to be bland with little to differentiate any particular one from the other applications which were submitted for the same job. The cover letter is where you are given an opportunity to let your individual brilliance shine. Use these tips to make your cover letter stand out.
Address The Recruiter By Name
Address your cover letter to the name of the person who will be reading your application rather than just filling in ‘To Whom It May Concern’. Naming the person that your cover letter is written for gives you a chance to show that you’ve done some extra research on the company. This demonstrates to the recruiters that you have the kind of leadership and improvisational skills that they are looking for. They’ll also appreciate the personal touch.
Use your cover letter to mention any other connections that you may have with the company. If you got the information about the job opening from a specific person already with the organization then mention that because word of mouth is very powerful when it comes to deciding on a particular applicant. They want someone who will work well with the team and having connections with existing team members means that you’ll be a good fit.
Tailor Your Cover Letter To The Job That You’re Applying For
Job applicants typically write one resume and one cover letter. They then ship this one version to every position that has an opening with the hope that something sticks. This tactic will save you time but it will cost you the job because recruiters have experience going through resumes so they can tell when one has been copy-pasted. What you need to do is make sure that your cover letter looks like it was made specifically for the person reading it.
Start by going over the job description. Identify what it is that they are looking for and then tailor your cover letter to show what qualities you have that make you perfect for the particular job. For example, mention how you’ve handled large teams with substantial budgets if your are trying to land a managerial role. If you’re applying for a sales job then discuss how you excelled in a previous sales position that you had. These little details let the recruiters know that you put thought into your application.
Keep in mind that recruiters are looking for more than just bodies to fill seats. They want people who love what they do because such people will perform at their best without needing supervision. Write a cover letter which lets the recruiters know that you are this person.
Use Keywords Included In The Job Description
Keywords are being used for more than just SEO ranking. Job recruiters now use these searches to filter through the high number of applications that they receive. Resumes and cover letters which closely match requirements listed in the job advertisement will make it to the next round. Those that don’t include the right keywords won’t even be read.
Including the right keywords is easy. You just need to read through the qualifications required and make sure that your cover letter touches on the job requirements you’ll need such as how much experience you have, relevant software skills and your background in the industry. Using keywords in such a manner will save time for both the applicant and the recruiter.
Include Information Which Isn’t In Your Resume
A cover letter is not a summary of your resume. It is an opportunity to give details that would not otherwise fit in the standard resume format. You want it to include important details such as:
– Your reasons for applying for this specific job,
– Specific skills and experiences which make you right for the job,
– The reasons for any glaring gaps in your resume.
Cover letters are important. They are easy to overlook however including a cover letter and writing it using the points listed above will make your resume stand out from the pile. This is what you need to be successful in a job market that is very competitive.