Most hiring managers receive the same boilerplate resume over and over again. As a result, it can be tough to compare candidates and find the best-qualified ones. For you, however, it provides a valuable opportunity to set yourself apart. But if you’re not a cover letter writing expert, where do you begin? Start by following these tips:
Include the right names.
You’d be surprised how many times hiring managers get cover letters that have their names or the company name wrong. This is often due to a quick cut-and-paste job from another cover letter. Though it’s a small mistake, it sends a big message that you’re not detail oriented. So check names before hitting the submit button.
Also, if you don’t have the name of the hiring manager, call the company to get it. This will distinguish your cover letter from all those others that come in addressed to: “To Whom it May Concern.”
Don’t repeat what’s on your resume.
Many candidates make this mistake and simply summarize the details of their resume. Don’t be one of them. It’s a pointless exercise since it doesn’t give the hiring manager any new information. Instead, tell a story in your cover letter, delving a little deeper into who you are as a professional and the value you can offer to a potential employer.
Highlight important accomplishments or awards.
Telling a hiring manager “I am applying for ABC position” doesn’t do a lot to communicate your strengths. Instead, look to the job posting for a clear sense of what’s important to the company in terms of skills and abilities; then focus on one or two achievements that align best with those. Wherever you can, quantify accomplishments with numbers, whether in terms of dollars, time saved, profits earned, or other facts and figures.
Avoid cliched language.
For instance, don’t say you’re a “team player” or a “dynamic self-starter.” These are overused phrases that are meaningless to hiring managers. If collaboration is an important part of the job, rather than saying you’re a team player, talk about a specific time you collaborated successfully as part of a team to achieve a positive outcome. What did you do? How did you get there? And what were the end results?
Still struggling with writing your cover letter?
If you’d rather leave cover letter writing to professionals, turn to ResumeSpice. We can help craft an effective one that helps you stand out from the crowd, so you get more calls for interviews. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.