Cover letters are now very essential when looking for a job. A well-written cover letter can help you get a job based on its own merit. HR officials often state that the biggest mistake one can make when applying for a job is sending a resume without a cover letter.
And while cover letters are important, a boring or generic cover letter contributes absolutely nothing in helping you get the job. Let’s learn from a professional how you can add some personality to your cover letter without going too overboard.
Myth #1: Make it Unique
The most important thing with writing a good cover letter is to make it unique. There’s no point in writing one if you just rehash whatever is already mentioned in your resume. A cover letter says everything that you are unable to express on your resume for the sake of it being not professional enough.
It should highlight your strengths; explain to recruiters why you are suitable for a particular position, and why you would be a good addition to their team. This is the part where you promote yourself and market your skills. You need to show your ambition and enthusiasm towards the job and convince HR managers that you have what it takes.
In a cover letter you should be able to show how your skills align with those of the job requirements, what you will bring to the table through previous experience, and that you have done your research in regards to the company and the job itself.
Myth #2: Make it Job Specific
Just like one size doesn’t fit all, one cover letter also does not fit every job you’re applying to, especially if you’re keeping your options open. Try to make your cover letter specific to the job you’re applying for. Most jobs have specific requirements or skills they’re looking for listed on their recruitment pages apart from the common job requirements.
Your cover letter should represent how well of a fit you’d be for these skills and what you can bring to their organization in particular. You should put emphasis on the particular job you’re applying for and why you would be a good fit for them. This is why it’s a good idea to personalize your cover letter based on your experiences relevant to a particular field or job instead of writing a generic one.
If you’re writing one for a managerial role, talk about your past experiences managing teams, how familiar you are with the type of position, industry, etc. This will give you an edge over other candidates.
Make it Brief
Recruiters spend an average of six to seven seconds going over your resume because of the sheer amount they have to go through. If your resume successfully catches their attention, your cover letter is what will keep their attention and increase your chances of landing the job. Reading so many resumes is hard enough for hiring managers so try to keep your resume clean and concise—the same for your cover letter.
Your cover letter should explain your skills and why you would be ideal for a job in a simple and concise manner. You need to get your point across without being too boring or taking up too much time or space.
Add some personality to your cover letter but don’t make it too flashy and go overboard in order to try and impress the recruiter. Most people prefer something that is simple and can perfectly encapsulate what you can offer their organization without you seeming too cocky or overconfident in your abilities.
Myth #4: Make Use of Keywords and Numbers
Technology is taking over the world and many firms all around the world are now making use of Application Tracking Software (ATS) to filter the large amount of resumes that come in instead of having hiring managers or HR personnel go through them one by one. This saves up on quite a bit of time and effort.
ATS uses an algorithm that filters out certain keywords in the resume or cover letter and screens them, passing them on for further consideration or rejecting them. This is why it is beneficial if you use keywords from the job description in your cover letter as the software is likely to match them to the requirements of the firm.
Carefully analyze just what it is that the job description requires and highlight potential keywords, then incorporate them into your own cover letter to increase your chances of being called in for an interview.
You can also add numbers and examples in your cover letter as examples to add to its reliability. This can help illustrate your previous experience and what you’re capable of. For example, if you have successfully managed to bring in a specific number of clients for your previous organization, this might be a distinguishing factor on your cover letter.
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