When applying for a job, the importance of a cover letter should not be overlooked. While some people may think that they do not need one because they have a strong resume, the addition of a well-crafted cover letter can boost their chances. It is an opportunity to highlight key skills that catch the hiring manager’s attention and makes them want to find out more.
While a simple Internet search will produce a plethora of templates and ideas, using a formulaic cover letter is not always the best choice. It can provide a good starting point, but ultimately personalizing your cover letter will help you to stand out and make a better impression. There are several risks that templates pose:
A formulaic cover letter is designed to fit almost any position at any company. It tends to be rather vague and fill-in-the-blank in nature. Hiring managers can tell when a candidate is simply attaching the same letter to each application, and they often blend in with other candidates who do the same.
The better option is to tailor the cover letter to the specific position. The team at Chic Resumes recommends identifying the specific position you are applying for in the opening paragraph so that the hiring manager knows right off the bat as they read on. Also, if your cover letter should become separated from your resume, the employer still knows what you are applying for.
Also, align the key strengths that you are highlighting with what the job opening is looking for. This is your chance to showcase your skills in a different way than on your resume. Do not simply summarize your resume – add more emphasis to what you can do to truly benefit the company and position you are applying for.
If your cover letter does not have a similar look and feel as your resume, it can look disjointed. Use the same font and a similar format so that everything looks cohesive and ties together. Also, adjust the wording so that it reflects you and your personality. Templates can be very bland or stiff, so make it your own while still using professional language.
Lack of Initiative
A big drawback of a formulaic cover letter is that it can convey a lack of initiative. Rather than starting out with “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern,” take the time to find out who the hiring manager is, or who applications are reviewed by. A quick Internet search or call to the company can provide this information, and it gives the cover letter a more personal feel.
Adjusting the content to fit with the job opening and nature of the company shows initiative as well. It shows that you were interested enough in the job to find out more about the company and what they stand for and value. You are aligning yourself with the culture and showing why you are a good fit. Templates are often vague and could apply to any organization. Sometimes they actually may not fit with the company at all and convey that they candidate put little effort into their research and finding out about the job or organization.
If you are looking to boost your appeal and make a stronger impression on hiring managers, let the professionals at Chic Resumes help you tailor your cover letter to the position you seek. Call (803) 831-7444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
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.