I’ve been in a few interviews where I’ve heard that my cover letter stood out (a subtle brag.) Nevertheless, I still dread writing and editing cover letters as much as anybody else. The following are 5 crucial tips to help your cover letter grab attention and ultimately aid in scoring that interview:
- Personalize to the company – Do your research and address the letter using names within the HR department. Also, I research the location of the company and include the entire address in the header. This demonstrates to the hiring manager that you put in effort; and is also beneficial to yourself because now you are aware of who to follow up with.
- Show your personality – I used to assist in recruiting and I was the first screen of cover letters and resumes.I found most to be extremely dry but the ones that showcased personality and eagerness to work for the company always caught my attention. To clarify, by personality I don’t mean to include your personal business such as salary requirements; but rather focusing your tone and writing style to match how you speak in real life.
- Mimic their job qualifications with your skills – In my cover letter I am always making sure to include the posted job qualifications/preferred skills if I have any level of experience with them. This part is easy because I simply copy verbatim what is listed. Also, most cover letters are quickly scanned so bulleting this list will quickly capture the hiring manager’s attention.
- Aggressive salutation and follow up – I provide my contact information AND let them know I will be following up within a week.
- Keep it short – Your cover letter is meant to capture any information the hiring manager may not be able to gather from your resume. So for the sake of everyone’s time please don’t use your cover letter to reiterate your resume. Also, I suggest leaving a lot of white space to ease readability.
Feel free to comment any tips so I can continue to learn more 🙂