Although it may take less time to craft a generic cover letter, the reality is that your application materials do not stand out unless they are customized. Hiring managers are looking for candidates who are creative, eager, and willing to put in the time and effort during the job search to research positions and craft letters that appeal to the right audience. Capture the attention of a potential employer with a personalized letter.
Create a Template
Job seekers must first create a template for a cover letter to determine a format suitable for the industry. Pay close attention to your use of bold or italics while also ensuring your font is readable. Include a header that spotlights your name and your area of expertise so that your application materials look professional. A template is essential during the job search so that you have a formulated document ready to be customized when applying for positions. Write a few paragraphs that outline your general skills related to the industry, and leave blank spaces to fill in later when personalizing the piece for each position.
Change Your Job Title
When outlining your area of expertise in the header or within the text of a cover letter, be prepared to customize and change this information for each position. For example, when applying for a management position, change your ideal title to business executive or marketing manager to show you are an established leader. Your application materials should show that you are the most qualified applicant. It all begins with the job title.
Customize Your Skills
A cover letter does not provide enough space to outline your entire employment history. Therefore, it's necessary to customize the skills you highlight to the position. Scour through the job description to pinpoint keywords, software applications and hardware the potential employer requires or desires. Include these keywords in your letter when describing your experience and highlighting your professional accomplishments. Change this information for each position you are applying for to ensure you are targeting the right audience.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
When crafting a cover letter from a template, thoroughly proofread for any details that do not apply to the position you are seeking. Remove any references to other companies or skills and experience that are not relevant to the company. Proofread for typographical errors, and check and double check the spelling of the hiring manager or human resources contact. Applicants who produce document that are professional and free from errors increase their opportunities and leave a positive impression with potential employers.
Crafting a customized cover letter is beneficial for job seekers and potential employers. Show that you are eager and professional by personalizing each letter to put your relevant skills and experience in the spotlight.
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