In today’s day and age of job searching on social media, video interviewing, and applying through LinkedIn, you may be wondering whether a cover letter is really needed – or if it’s outdated? At ResumeSpice, we can tell you that a cover letter still has plenty of value, if you take the right approach.
That means you can’t regurgitate what’s on your resume, or copy and paste a boilerplate letter from the Internet. However, if you put the following tips into action, you can create a cover letter that gets noticed – and gets results.
Tip #1: Tell a story.
One of the best ways to make an impression on a hiring manager is to tell a story in your cover letter. For instance, have you been a fan of the company for a while, or always wanted to work there? If that’s the case, talk about what attracts you to the organization and what value you can add to it. Stories are unique and compelling ways to bring your experience to life and stand out to a hiring manager.
Tip #2: Talk about the contributions you can make.
Hiring managers want to know what’s in it for them if they hire you. So don’t talk about what a great opportunity the job would be for your career. Instead, talk about the challenges or opportunities you see at the company – and how you can make a positive difference if hired.
Tip #3: Focus on a key accomplishment.
Think about a career accomplishment that you’re 1) proud of and 2) that’s relevant to the company and job opportunity. Write about what you learned, how you went out about solving the problem or producing positive results, and how you can do the same for the hiring company. Whenever possible, use facts and figures to underscore your claims.
Tip #4: Don’t talk about what you don’t have.
If there’s a skill the job posting lists that you don’t have, don’t focus on it. Instead, discuss the skills and experience that you do have that are most relevant to the opportunity. If the skill gap is important to the hiring manager, they’ll ask you about it during the interview.
Tip #5: Follow the right format.
When you send a cover letter in, hiring managers are expecting a business letter; not a quick email with a couple of sentences followed by a smiley face emoji. So make sure you follow standard guidelines, including keeping it to one page, including your name and contact information, using a professional-looking font and type size, and proofreading it carefully to catch any errors and typos.
Do you need more tips and advice on cover letter writing? You’ve come to the right place. At ResumeSpice, we’re not only resume experts, but cover letter specialists too. We can help you craft a letter that puts your skills and experience in the best possible light – and helps you get that coveted interview call. Contact us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more.