How to Write Your Best Cover Letter
Think of your cover letter as a hiring manager’s first opportunity to get to know you. If you Google “cover letter examples,” the varying quality of what you will find spans the spectrum. If you need some inspiration to get started, check out the examples from Muse that are anything but boilerplate.
A cover letter that merely repeats the highlights of your resume discourages your interviewer from thoroughly reading your resume because they feel like they’ve “seen it all before.” Take the opportunity to let your cover letter do the talking for you, and outshine your competition for the job. Here are some tips to get your interviewer to read your cover letter AND your resume.
Show your interest
Did you find this opportunity via networking? Explain how you found out about the opening and why you want to be considered. Don’t just simply state, “I really want this job because I think I’d be really good at it,” detail your interest. Show your interest with stating something like, “I understand one of your 2015 initiatives is XYZ.
The only thing I enjoy working on more than XYZ in my current role would be the opportunity to do so for a travel obsessed organization like yours.”
Link your current experience to what you’d be able to do for their company, and explain why you’ll leave you role to do great work for them.
Show them what you would do for their company
Don’t lead with something like, “I’ve already done ABC, so this is the next logical step to take in my career and will round out my resume.” This focuses on what the company and the position will do for you and your experience, not explain how you will instantly add value to their organization.
Instead, relate your previous experience in a way that illustrates your built-in talent that will allow you to function as a star performer with a minimal learning curve. One way to start the paragraph explaining why you have applicable, outstanding experience is, “Here’s what I can confidently deliver to you in this position…”
If you don’t have every requirement that the job description is asking candidates for, don’t focus on the attributes you don’t have. Highlight the key qualities you do have, “I understand that with your company’s double digit growth this year you are looking for people (like me) who are comfortable working without a formal job description. I’m open to getting coffee for anyone who needs it, as well as giving input for which client logo I think the creative team displayed their best work.”
Because all job requirements are not created equal, the talent you do highlight might be more important to the overall position, whereas, what you’re lacking could be more of a “nice to have.”
Don’t use acronyms
You might be inspired to show your creativity and relatable nature by using everyday acronyms. Reign in the desire to fall in to your texting language with the LOL’s (laugh out loud’s), FOMO’s (fear of missing out’s) and NP’s (no problem’s). Instead, keep it conversational, and be authentic. Feel free to say something like, “I’m excited to be applying for the XYZ position listed on your web site.”
Tone down the formality and keep it short
This is way too formal, “Heretofore, consider this an application for my consideration of the position of ABC.” Can you imagine if you’re the 499th cover letter this hiring manager has read today, and they come across this? You know where your cover letter and resume are headed. Along with sounding like you’ve descended straight from the Shakespearian era, don’t drone on and on. Keep your cover letter to 250 words, or about half a typed page.
Using these tips, your cover letter should stand out from the competition and hopefully snag you that in person interview. We’d be happy to help you craft the perfect cover letter so send us a message if we can help!