In today’s digital era, it is easy to go online, grab a resume and cover letter template, and fill in the blanks. However, these documents often lack personality and may not be the right format to adequately present your skills. Sending off a form letter can give employers the impression that you did not care enough to take the time to make it personal and a reflection of who you are and what you have to offer.
While you don’t want your cover letter to come off as stiff and impersonal, you also want to avoid becoming too emotional and sharing too much. There is a fine balance that exists between drawing the reader in and oversharing. Unlike your resume, which is written in third person, your cover letter is written in the first person. The cover letter has more flexibility to allow you to add details that may not necessarily fit as well into the flow of your resume. After all, it is designed to complement your resume, not rehash your work history or tell your life story.
Professionalism is still key. Although you are writing in the first person, avoid becoming too lax with your style. You still want to convey that you are a skilled professional with excellent communication skills. Getting too personal and comfortable could deter from the impression that it is still a business relationship. Keep in mind that you would be representing the company and want to present yourself in a way that builds trust and confidence.
Stay positive. While a story about how you overcame a personal challenge could showcase your skills, it can also incidentally draw attention to the negative. This can change the whole feel of your cover letter. You want to avoid complaining about a previous employer or emphasizing the struggles you have gone (or are going) through. While they very well may sympathize, they are focused on finding someone who is a good fit for the position and the company. Everyone has a story to tell, but they also must have the skills and abilities necessary to carry out the job.
Show your strengths. One risk of becoming too emotional in your cover letter is appearing needy or desperate. While you may be counting on this job opportunity, gain attention instead by showing your strength and determination. Rather than telling the hiring manager that you can boost sales, increase customer engagement, or solve problems, show them. Adding essential details and bolstering your claims can support your candidacy. Just keep it short and to the point.
Employers can see through fluff and emotional pleas. They recognize when a candidate shows genuine interest and ability, as opposed to quickly filling in a template. Your cover letter is your opportunity to build interest and make the hiring manager want to move on to your resume and see what else you have to offer. Pick out some of your strongest points that you want to further highlight. It is okay to create a personal connection, but make sure that it stays professional and presents you in a positive and capable light. If an employer wants more detail about a situation or something they gather from your resume or cover letter, they can ask during an interview.
A cover letter is an essential to the job search and application process. It creates a more comprehensive and complete package that demonstrates who you are and what you have to offer. If you are struggling with what you should include in your cover letter and how to make it personal yet professional, contact the team at Chic Resumes today. We can help you find a balance and showcase yourself as a strong candidate. To find out more, call (803) 831-7444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.