The job search can be an exciting journey and also a challenging process at the same time. You must focus on polishing your resume and crafting a cover letter that sparks the attention of the hiring manager. Your application materials matter, which is why it is important to make sure that your letter stands out from the other candidates.
The primary purpose of a cover letter is to prompt the employer to invite you for an interview, explains Margaret Buj with Careerealism. Unfortunately, many candidates fall short in capturing interest and engaging hiring managers. Avoid compiling application materials that are too long, bland and sloppy to increase your chances of job opportunities in your industry.
1. Keep It Brief
You may have a long list of skills, achievements and awards, but it is not appropriate nor professional to drone on and on when writing a cover letter. Employers want to know that you can share your knowledge in a concise manner and show that your experience and skills are relevant to the open position. Focus on the reason you are writing and why you are qualified in just a few brief paragraphs. Highlight any achievements that are relevant to the position or the industry and explain concisely why you want to work for the company. Close with a brief call to action, which encourages the hiring manager to request an interview and offer a gesture of thanks for taking the time to read your letter.
2. Personalize Your Letter
Employers can spot a template resume and cover letter within seconds. Avoid using generic language and a design that is replicated for each one of the positions you have applied for during your job search. Customize the letter so that it is in line with qualities the company is seeking in a job candidate. Scour through the job description and match your skills to the skills identified as desired or necessary. Highlight how you have mastered the skills or have the experience that the company is seeking within your letter. Provide bullet points that outline how you meet the job requirements to make it easier for the hiring manager to see that you have what it takes to succeed as an employee.
3. Include a Call to Action
Your purpose for writing a cover letter is to gain an interview. Be direct and ask for an interview at the end of the letter. Statements such as "I'm looking forward to meeting with you to discuss the position" or "I am available this week for a personal meeting" show that you are eager, motivated and determined.
A common myth is that a cover letter is not necessary when applying for a job. This is false. Employers rely on these letters to assess your creativity, professionalism and eagerness to show that you have what it takes to make it as a future employee.
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