A Cover Letter Separates You From the Pack

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.

3 Tips for Perfecting Your Cover Letter

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.

 

How to Customize Your Cover Letter for the Job – Without Forcing It!

You’ve spent hours on your resume. When it comes to your cover letter, it’s tempting to cut corners. But as expert cover letter writers, the team at ResumeSpice knows doing so can sabotage your job search efforts. Hiring managers actually do read these and they offer you another valuable opportunity to set yourself apart as a candidate.

So when it comes to crafting a compelling one, how can you go about customizing it for each position in a way that seems authentic, not forced? Start with these simple tips:

Tip #1: Read through the job posting again.

Before you begin writing your letter, take a look at the job posting. What skills and abilities do you have that seem most important to this particular employer? Make a list then be sure you’re highlighting these specifically in your cover letter. You don’t need to cover each one. Just one or two where your background is the strongest. This will enable hiring managers to quickly see you’re a fit for the position.

Tip #2: Open with a compelling statement.

Instead of just stating that you’re applying for “XYZ job,” write something that grabs the attention of the hiring manager. They’re likely going to be seeing many boilerplate letters that all start off the same. So when you take this approach, you’re going to entice them to keep reading. 

Some thought-starters about what to lead with include:

  • Highlighting someone who referred you to the job or a mutual connection.
  • Bringing up an industry trend to demonstrate your knowledge and experience.
  • Talking about why you entered your career field and expressing passion for what you do.

 

Tip #3: Tell a story.

Is there a particular project you worked on that’s highly relevant to the position? Did you recently win an award that speaks to your unique skills and abilities and the value you can offer in this role? Are you genuinely attracted to this company’s products or services? If so, why?

Whatever the case, when you tell a story, you’re going to bring your background to life in a way that’s more personal to the hiring manager. This will further enable you to distinguish yourself among other candidates.  

Tip #4: Skip the superficial.

When it comes to your cover letter, don’t litter it with superlatives and unsubstantiated claims. Instead, clear and simple language is your best approach. Calling yourself a “guru” or a “star” candidate will just undermine your credibility and make it seem like you’re more fluff and less substance.

Tip #5: Proofread, proofread, proofread.

Just as with your resume, it’s important to proofread your cover letter carefully to check for mistakes in grammar and spelling. It’s also critical to ensure that you’ve addressed the letter to the right person and that their name and job title are spelled correctly. 

If you’d like professional help creating a well-written cover letter, turn to the cover letter writers at ResumeSpice. Not only do we know what hiring managers are looking for, but how to set your background apart so you get noticed and get a call for an interview. To learn more, call us today at 832.930.7378.

 

Cover Letter Writing 101

Is the cover letter dead? While most job candidates would love the answer to be a resounding “yes,” that’s just not the case. Hiring managers still rely on cover letters to learn more about the job seekers they’re considering interviewing.

Yet, if you’re like many job candidates, writing a cover letter is a struggle. You’re not sure what to say, how to say it, and which details are going to make you stand out the most to potential employers. That’s where the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice come in. Below are some tips and tricks from our team to help you craft a quality letter that gets noticed:

Start with research

Before beginning the writing process, do some research. Learn all you can about the company, including its services, customers, mission and vision. When you have a solid understanding of what they do and who they serve, you’ll be able to demonstrate relevant examples of the value you can offer.

After some leg work you’ll also gain a better sense of the tone you should be using in your letter. For instance, if you’re applying to work in a more formal, corporate setting, then you’ll want to be more conservative with your language.

Make a memorable opening statement

Avoid the “I am applying for the position of ABC analyst.” This simply wastes valuable real estate on the page and does nothing to convince a hiring manager of your worth. Instead, stand out with a strong opening statement. Talk about what grabbed your attention about the job or what excites you about the company. When a hiring manager has read through dozens of cover letters with the same opening statement – and yours offers a fresh and interesting perspective – you’ll differentiate yourself in a big way.

Show the value you can offer.

Hiring managers want to get to know candidates who have a solid track record of achievements. It’s therefore smart to offer relevant examples of a problem you helped solve, a successful project you initiated and completed, and any other results you were able to deliver in past positions.

Demonstrate enthusiasm.

Many times, hiring managers are used to seeing dry or boilerplate cover letters from job candidates. That’s why a little energy and enthusiasm can go a long way in helping to set yourself apart. So talk about why you want the job and what about the company stands out to you. For instance, “I read your company blog daily and would be thrilled to be a part of an organization known for setting industry standards.”

Writing a cover letter can be a daunting task for many job seekers. If you would like professional help with the process, connect with the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice. We will learn about your background, experience, and accomplishments to help you produce a winning letter that showcases why you’re uniquely qualified. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.

Why You Need an Original Cover Letter for Each Job You’re Applying to

Some candidates make the mistake of focusing on their resume without giving much thought to their cover letter. Others don’t even send one in at all, believing that hiring managers simply don’t read them.

But submitting a personalized and persuasive letter, along with your resume, is another vital tool that will help you stand out in a sea of other candidates. Here’s why:

  • Your cover letter is a great place to get personal about your background, skills, and abilities. You can share a story that ties in well with the opening to which you’re applying. Or you can talk about your in-depth knowledge of the company and how excited you were when you saw the posting. Your cover letter provides space for you to showcase who are you as a candidate beyond just your skill set and past job titles.

  • Another reason a personalized cover letter is so important is that it gives you the chance to get more specific about why you’re a great fit for the job. While your resume is talking about your past, your cover letter can highlight your present state – i.e. why you want the job – and the future value you can contribute. You can discuss what you bring to the table, the impact you could make if hired, and which specific skills and abilities the employer might be most interested in putting to work.

Whatever you do with your cover letter, avoid regurgitating what you have on your resume, just in letter form. The information you include in your cover letter should be unique to that document and either build on, or introduce, what’s in your resume. It shouldn’t be a replica. 

Some other tips from our professional cover letter writers to help you craft a polished and powerful letter include:

  • Research the company and their hiring needs so you can more easily align your background and abilities with their mission, culture, and job opening.
  • Write a great lead. This is the opening sentence and should engage the hiring manager from the start, so they want to keep reading.
  • While you should always be professional, it’s ok to go with a warm and friendly tone in your cover letter. You want to come off as a human, not a robot.
  • Avoid clichés and empty statements, like you’re a “hard worker” or “team player.” Instead, get specific and offer details and stories that show you’re a hard worker, rather than saying it.

Clearly, writing a cover letter isn’t always easy. That’s why if you’re struggling with the job, then you should consider working with professional cover letter writers, like those at ResumeSpice. We can help you distinguish yourself from the competition, all so you get the call for an interview. Interested in learning more? Contact us at 832.930.7378 today.

Four Must Haves for a Strong Cover Letter

As a leading cover letter writing service, ResumeSpice has seen firsthand how a strong cover letter can set a candidate apart. A strong cover letter includes a few key essentials:

The hiring manager’s name.

Don’t write the letter “To Whom It May Concern.” Instead, address it directly to the hiring manager (double check that you’ve spelled their name correctly). If the name isn’t included in the job description, you should still be able to find it online or with a quick call to the company. When you make this extra effort – and the letter is actually addressed to the specific hiring manager – it’s going to stand out relative to all the other letters with generic salutations.

A focus on the employer.

Many job candidates make the mistake of rehashing their resume details in their cover letters. Don’t make that mistake. Your letter should be about the value you can offer the company, not about regurgitating your background information. Placing yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager, review the job description again. Read through the company website. And then ask yourself what the hiring manager needs for the person in this role to be successful. Make a list and use it as a guide as you’re writing your cover letter.

Enthusiasm.

When you submit a cover letter that sounds like you copied and pasted it from the web, it’s not going to get the attention of the hiring manager. Instead, cut through the clutter with a little enthusiasm. That doesn’t mean you need to profess your love for the company. It does, however, mean explaining what excites you most about the position.

Accomplishments.

A cover letter is not the place to simply state that you’re qualified for a position. Use the opportunity to demonstrate that you’re more qualified than other candidates. Offer one or two specific examples of past accomplishments that are most relevant to the job opening. These should showcase your proven track record and make your more memorable when the hiring manager is evaluating candidates to potentially interview. 

For many job candidates, writing a cover letter can be a struggle. If that’s true for you, let the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice help. We can work with you to best describe what makes you uniquely qualified for a particular role, all so you can stand out from the crowd and secure an interview. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.