Hiring managers look for candidates who can creatively describe their skills and experience while showing professionalism and personality. Your cover letter is key to impressing a potential employer during your job search. Write to impress by using these seven tips to get your foot in the door.
Make it Personal
Your cover letter should be formal, but you must also remember that you are writing the letter to an actual person. Research the individuals conducting the interviews during your job search and address each person by name within your letter to create a personal connection.
Focus on the Introduction
The first paragraph should engage the potential employer and prompt them to want to continue reading. Avoid standard phrases such as "I'm applying for XYZ position" and begin with an anecdote about why you want to work in the industry or for this company. Delve into your personal career goals to capture interest right away.
Match Your Skills
Employers put together job descriptions and advertisements to recruit qualified job candidates. Show that you are the ideal candidate when writing your cover letter by matching your skills to the skills desired in the job description. Highlight experiences within past positions that are similar to those the company is seeking. Detail your experiences with computer applications, leadership challenges and equipment that the job description notes are desired as well as those that are essential.
Your cover letter should not just repeat information from your resume. Expand upon your responsibilities by noting relevant accomplishments in previous positions. Detail sales goals and deadlines met, your ability to work well with teams and any awards or recognitions you have received within your career.
Tap Into Your Network
Hiring managers are often intrigued by candidates who are familiar with current or former employees. Tap into your professional network to find an individual who can refer you to the hiring manager and provide an introduction. Reference this introduction within your letter to make a personal connection right away.
Compliment the Company
Focus your letter on why you want to work for the company. After researching the business, mention any accomplishments or recognition that you find admirable. Detail what you find interesting about the products and services provided and outline how you are invested in helping the company grow. Research the company's culture as well and show how your skills and personality fit well with its model.
Even the most engaging cover letter is likely to be tossed into the trash if it is riddled with grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. Proofread thoroughly to catch any awkward phrases or errors and request feedback from a professional within the industry before forwarding your letter to a hiring manager.
Your cover letter may be the deciding factor in determining whether or not hiring managers will seek out your skills and experience. Show that you are the ideal candidate by crafting a letter that is engaging and professional.
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