Research shows that people who write the best cover letters get the best job interviews. So why do so many people spend so much time on their resumes and then slapping a simple looking cover letter on top? Some people feel more comfortable writing a resume than a letter, since a resume has a specific format. Other people may not know that cover letters are that important. If you want to set yourself head and shoulders above other people who are competing with you in the job market, you can make your cover letter stand out with these tips.
Many people mistakenly think that you have to be a good writer in order to write a cover letter. Although cover letters require some writing knowledge they really aren't all that difficult. A cover letter should be conversational but also professional. Make sure to go through several drafts of your letter before you send it off so you can be sure to present yourself in the best light possible. Once you've read these tips, you'll know exactly how to improve your cover letter skills so you can get any interview that you choose.
Tip #1: Your first paragraph should grab the reader's attention.
This is a trick from the world of copy writing. Copywriters use attention-getting headlines to create interest and keep the reader reading. With your cover letter, your should be grabbing the attention of the hiring manager so that he or she will take interest in reading the rest of your letter.
Think about it this way most hiring managers get hundreds if not thousands of responses to a job ad. You can set yourself apart from this sea of applicants by explaining exactly why you're a unique and qualified candidate right from the start. Emphasize your unique experiences in the work force and detail your past positions to make yourself stand out.
Tip #2: Relate your experience to their company
Since hiring managers see so many resumes, they've probably seen the resumes of people who have very similar work experience and skills. That's why it's so important for you to connect the dots between the skills you bring and what the company is doing. It's like painting a picture for the hiring manager that illustrates what you will bring to the company.
For example, instead of just listing your skills as you would in a resume, you would highlight one or two skills and explain how they relate to the way the company is working. This way the hiring manager can envision exactly what you are bringing to the table.
Tip #3: Always include a plan for following up
Many job seekers make the mistake of leaving the ball entirely in the hiring manager's court. If you want to be an effective cover letter writer, you need to show the hiring manager that you can take initiative. In your last paragraph, explain how you'll follow up by making a phone call to the hiring manager within a week. This way the manager knows when to expect to hear from you next.
With these tips, you'll be able to pull yourself out of the multitude of applicants and stand apart.