Cover letters are part of the job application process that are often overlooked and underutilized. While not all employers will take the time to read them, there are many that do. Therefore, you want to make sure that it complements your resume and positions you as a strong and qualified candidate. For entry-level and post-grad job seekers who may not have in-depth experience on their resume, their cover letter can provide additional support for their candidacy.
There are several components to consider when writing your cover letter that can make it more engaging and attractive:
Your cover letter provides a little more flexibility for letting your personality shine through. While it should still be professional, that does not mean it has to be boring. Keep content fresh and show your enthusiasm for the job and what you do. The verbs and phrases that you choose can show off your personality in a positive way that makes you come alive. As a new graduate or someone just starting out in the industry, this is important and can demonstrate your motivation and drive.
After carefully reading the job description, zero in on the main points the employer is targeting. While your resume should hit these key elements, incorporating them into your cover letter is important as well. You can share specific examples or accomplishments that support your qualifications and stimulate their interest to find out more. These experiences could be from internships, projects, volunteer work, or other tasks that are relevant to the posting. Avoid trying to rehash your entire resume in just a few short sentences. Determine which points will have the most emphasis.
Your cover letter may be the first introduction that the hiring manager has to who you are and what you can do. Be confident that your education and experience has equipped you to be able to handle the tasks required. Assert your strengths with confidence because you know you are a good fit. As a recent article on The Savvy Intern explains, “Sign the letter ‘I look forward to hearing from you’ rather than ‘I hope to hear from you’ or ‘I think I am qualified for the role.’ Assume you will hear from the company in your tone – otherwise they will sense your first lack of confidence and then question your qualifications.”
Keep it short – no more than a page. Say what you need to say in a concise way and get to the point. Avoid long, drawn-out explanations. Hiring managers read a lot of cover letters and resumes every day, so make it impactful. Consider using bullet points and bold key words to draw their eye to main points that you want to emphasize. Don’t forget to edit carefully to avoid spelling or grammar gaffes that can detract from your message.
Just because a hiring manager may not spend a great deal of time pouring over your cover letter does not mean that you should not put the time and effort necessary into creating a polished and professional product. Do not waste the opportunity to make a positive impression right from the start and entice them to want to learn more about you. A formulaic letter shows little motivation or effort – make it personal and meaningful. Show that you took the time to research the company and the position and are confident that you are a good fit by outlining why.
The professionals at Chic Resumes value cover letters as an integral part of the application process. We can work with you to tailor your cover letter to a specific job opening and better show employers what you have to offer. To find out more about our comprehensive resume packages and personalized service, call (803) 831-7444 or email email@example.com.