Unfortunately, writing a solid cover letter is a crucial part of the job hunt that almost no one looks forward to. We all know it’s difficult to convey to hiring managers and recruiters how amazing you are on a single page. It also can be challenging to not just regurgitate everything that’s already on your resume.
So, how do you craft a killer cover letter that impresses potential employers? Make sure you follow these three tips to guarantee yourself an interview.
Address the cover letter to an actual person
First things first, address your cover letter to an actual human being. Never, and I mean never, start off with “Dear Sir or Madam.” Starting your cover letter with a generic opening will almost guarantee your application gets thrown in the trash.
Do a little research. Get on LinkedIn and look up the company. Using the company’s name as the search term, you can quickly do a search for employees that work at the company. Keep scrolling through names until you find someone who appears to be the hiring manager.
If you are still struggling to find an appropriate person, give HR a call. They will be happy to help you properly address your letter. Introduce yourself and tell them exactly what position you are applying for. They may even remember you when sifting through all those job applications!
By doing a little research and addressing your cover letter to a real person within the company, it shows that you put thought into your application and that you are extremely interested in the position.
Tailor it to the job you are applying for
You MUST customize your cover letter to the job. If you’re not modifying your cover letter to each job you apply for, you could potentially be handing the job to a competitor.
You must carefully analyze the job description and use some the same verbiage from the job description. Select keywords and phrases that are essential to this position and work them into your cover letter. This is crucial if you’re submitting your cover letter online. If you don’t have relevant keywords and phrases in your letter, your cover letter will get filtered out from Application Tracking Systems (ATS) and your application won’t even land on the hiring manager’s desk.
Be careful not to overdo this, but mirroring the job description will help illustrate that you are a perfect fit for the position and demonstrate that you carefully read through the job ad. If a job is worth applying for, it’s worth a customized cover letter.
This is the most important factor for drafting a killer cover letter. Be yourself, be honest, and don’t be afraid to show off your personality. Employers hire for people, not skills. Most skills can be taught, but companies cannot create a genuine, passionate candidate.
This is your opportunity to show employers why you’re a great candidate. Demonstrate your passion for the role and tell a good story. Stories help bring your background to life and allows your personality to shine through the letter.
Companies and hiring managers want to see that you’re excited about the position. This may sound crazy but have some fun with it. If you are bored writing the cover letter, then the hiring manager will likely be bored reading it. Your writing reflects who you truly are. Don’t be afraid to be creative! Just make sure you keep it professional.