Is a cover letter really necessary today? For most recruiters and hiring managers, the answer is “yes.” Unfortunately, many candidates end up treating it as an afterthought, without investing the time and effort necessary to truly set themselves apart.
But think of it this way: Your cover letter is the first impression you’ll be making on a potential new employer. So when you submit one, you want to ensure it’s as persuasive as possible.
With limited space, how can you do that? Here are three tips from the cover letter writers at ResumeSpice:
Open with a great lead.
You want to stand out from the start and that begins with your opening sentence. Don’t simply state the obvious, such as: “I’m applying for ABC position.” The hiring manager already knows that. Instead, leverage the lead sentence so you’re more memorable.
For instance, explain why you want to work for the company. Perhaps you’re a fan or customer. Or, if you have a mutual connection with the hiring manager, mention that. Whatever you do, don’t send in a cover letter that has the same first sentence as the majority of other candidates.
Customize the body.
You might have one generic cover letter, and that’s a good place to start. However, you need to customize and edit it each time you send it. In fact, the more you personalize it, the better.
This goes beyond simply swapping out the name of the hiring manager, company and job title. Instead, think through your background and accomplishments and how they relate to the position. Read through the job posting again if necessary, and make notes about relevant areas where you have specific experience or strengths to highlight. Then make sure you underscore these in the body of your letter.
Explain how you can deliver.
Hiring managers want to know what you can do for them, which is why it’s critical to quantify your work as much as possible. This will help to set you apart as a candidate and demonstrate that you have a successful track record. Just make sure you’re clear and succinct in your language, avoiding hyperbole and clichés. For instance, don’t say you’re a “dynamic sales star.” Rather, talk about how you sold $150,000 in new products last month and have the skills to do the same for the company you’re applying to.
The strength of your cover letter can make or break your chances of getting an interview. So take time with yours, focusing on letting your abilities, accomplishments and personality shine through.
Interested in learning more from a professional cover letter-writing service?
As experienced cover-letter writers, ResumeSpice can help you stand out and distinguish your unique skills, strengths and personality from the crowd. Find out how with a call to our team at 832.930.7378.