One of the most important steps in applying for a job is understanding the job description. This provides you with the knowledge needed to explain why you are the perfect fit for the position. However, instead of directly restating the description and how you meet it, address the description in a natural and less direct method that flows with the letter and proves you are different from the rest of the candidates.
When reading the job posting, make note of the keywords the company uses in the position description, such as self-motivated, team player, critical thinker and independent. Instead of saying, “I am a good candidate because I am a team player, etc.,” sprinkle in the keywords that describe you in your cover letter as you explain your job history and skills. In this way, not only do you show you have the skills in the job description, you do it in a way that flows with your letter instead of forcing the matter in a blatant, awkward way.
It is easy to say how you match the job description, but it is better to show how you match it. Read about the type of qualities needed for the position and think about your professional history. Come up with a few stories that show how you used these qualities in a work environment. Most importantly, express how you and your skills benefit the company. This promotes you and ensures that your letter is one of the best cover letters the employer reads.
Go Beyond the Job Description
The job description is only one piece of the puzzle. Companies want someone who has the experience and skills to do the job, but they also want someone who fits in with their company culture. If you are in sync with the culture, you are more likely to stay with the company longer. When applying for a job, learn about the company as a whole. Go to its website and study the company's goals. Read its mission statement, history and news and understand the company culture. This is also a great place to identify additional keywords that appeal to the company. In your letter, use these keywords and examples to show you mesh well with the company ideology. This way, you show that you have the skills to do the job and fit in with the company, and you do it in a less formulaic manner that stands out.
It is easy to simply rewrite a job description, and hiring managers and head hunters know this method. Instead, use your own words and examples to show how you are the best choice for the position. With a well-crafted letter that focuses on what you can provide to the company, you are much more likely to get an interview.
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