Your cover letter is one of the most important pieces of your resume, working to draw a recruiter's attention and summarize your qualifications. When you are applying for a long-shot job, especially if you do not have the education and experience to make you the ideal candidate, a good cover letter becomes even more vital. Use these two tips to craft a cover letter that gives you the benefit of the doubt.
Even if your experience does not quite fit with the job for which you are applying, you can still convey that experience to the reader in a way that emphasizes the broader skills that help you succeed in any job. These transferable skills include the ability to communicate with diverse individuals, finish projects on time and communicate in written language. Find past experiences that convey these skills, and mention them within your cover letter. A good method to catch a busy recruiter's eye is to use an experience summary in your cover letter. According to U.S. News & World Report, this list should include your major sources of experience and the time you spent in each one.
Another essential cover letter technique for a long-shot job is to convey to the recruiter that you've done your research. In your letter, mention something that the organization is known for, and explain how you would make a good fit for its team and help it to achieve its goals. Gain a good understanding of the company's history, goals, culture and needs using the company's website, worker profiles and job postings. Do whatever you can to convince the reader that you are interested and invested in this job opening, even if you are not the most qualified candidate. Your research can also help you determine what skills and experience to list on your cover letter. A personalized resume instantly stands out to a recruiter over standard resumes that could have been sent to any other company.
These two methods help your cover letter to catch and maintain a recruiter's attention. Before submitting your resume, be sure to check it for grammatical and spelling errors. Good grammar is important in any cover letter, but for a highly competitive or long-shot position, it is even more essential as a recruiter is already spending precious time reviewing your application among more qualified candidates. Finally, write your letter with a positive attitude, showing confidence and self-worth while being careful not to come across as narcissistic.
Your past experience and transferable skills are valuable for future opportunities no matter what industry you call home. Create a results-focused cover letter with a professional appearance to show recruiters that you're a serious candidate, and never be afraid to try for a long-shot dream job.
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