When applying for a job, your cover letter should grab and keep the attention of the hiring manager long enough for him to consider you for a job interview. Achieving this is not always easy, as competition is fierce in most major job markets. You need a compelling cover letter that makes you stand out to effectively compete. These tips for enhancing your cover letter can help you make it to the interview phase.
1. Research the Company
Before you begin the task of crafting a compelling cover letter, you must research the company. Find out what the company does, and learn about its mission, great achievements and recent challenges. You can find this information on the organization's website and social media pages. Search reputable local or national news outlets for unbiased information about the organization. Doing research gives you insight into the overall direction of the company and helps you determine what the organization needs. With this information in hand, you can decide which details to include in your cover letter.
2. Customize Your Letter
Never send a generic cover letter to a potential employer. Use the information you gathered from your research to create a compelling cover letter that provides specific details about what you can do to help the company meet its goals. If the company has a problem and you have the solution, mention that in your cover letter. Explain why you're the perfect choice for fixing the problem, and briefly describe your experience with fixing similar problems in the past. Customizing your letter in this way piques the interest of an employer, and the person reading your letter will likely want to know more about you and how you can contribute to the organization.
3. Paint a Picture
Don't bore the recruiter by overusing keywords and phrases found in the job description or filling your cover letter with industry jargon. Create a compelling cover letter by being descriptive. The hiring manager should be able to picture you working for the organization as he reads your letter. For example, if you taught an entire department a specific skill that dramatically increased production in a previous position, explain your desire to teach this same skill to a specific department within his organization. This gives recruiters a mental image of you teaching a class or training employees. It also makes recruiters think about the benefits of increased production.
4. Keep It Short
Make sure your cover letter is no longer than one page. Job recruiters might receive dozens or even hundreds of application materials for one job opening. Their attention spans are already put to the test, so don't sabotage your chances by creating a two- or three-page cover letter. It's also a good idea to avoid large blocks of text. When creating your compelling cover letter, use short paragraphs, and break up your document with bullet points so it's easier to read.
Crafting a compelling cover letter takes time and effort, but doing so is necessary if you want to stand out among other applicants. Follow these four tips to boost your chance of landing that all-important job interview and getting one step closer to securing your dream job.
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