One of the most important documents that a job seeker will write is the cover letter. While many job seekers simply reuse the same letter repeatedly, the savvy job seeker will use a new letter to stand out among other job applicants.
Here are eight tips that will help you write a cover letter that gets noticed on our job portal!
1. Send Unique Letters to Unique People
This seems like basic advice, but it’s surprising how few job seekers listen to it. Always make sure to create unique cover letters for every application! Job seeking is a grinding task, and it’s no wonder that some job seekers decide to make a standard cover letter that they attach to every job application. However, this tactic doesn’t work. The employer can tell that the letter is generic, and unless the resume is outstanding, the entire application goes into the garbage bin.
Even if your resume is outstanding, sending a generic cover letter is a poor way to make a first impression. Instead, write a cover letter that makes specific references to the hiring company, such as noting the company’s prior accomplishments and listing products the company makes that you use or appreciate.
Always do your research to ensure that you are knowledgeable regarding the company in question, and make sure to refer to the hiring manager
by name. These are basic steps for any job seeker.
2. Spellcheck is Your Best Friend
While typos in cover letters aren’t as common as they used to be, they still exist, and there’s no good reason for it. A few years ago, many people thought that reading would become a relic of the past, as video and audio became more popular on the Internet. Those people have been proven wrong, and language skills are more important than ever in the workplace. A simple run of a spellcheck program fixes grammatical errors that may otherwise go uncaught, and it is activated by default on nearly every word processing program.
However, you shouldn’t simply run a quick spellcheck and think that everything
in your document is perfect. Spellcheck is easily fooled by homonyms and other words that tend to get mixed up. Examples of these mix-ups include “your” and “you’re”, along with “too”, “to” and “two”. If you find yourself mixing these words up and placing the wrong ones on the page, make sure to double-check everything because Spellcheck won’t save you in those instances.
3. It’s All About the Flow
Always make sure that you aren’t writing huge chunks of text in your cover letters because no one will read them. Instead, make sure that your paragraphs are only a few sentences long, and are easy to read. After all, hiring managers
are busy people, and many of them don’t have time to read your three-hundred-page letter.
Also, try to make the letter engaging. A unique literary voice will go a long way towards ingratiating you with a hiring manager
. Remember that they are people too!
4. Always be Professional
However, don’t lose sight of the fact that you are applying for a position, and as such, you should be professional at all points in the cover letter. Hiring managers
don’t read these letters just for a good time. They read these letters
to hire employees. Make sure you promote yourself and always keep your professionalism in mind.
5. Avoid Brevity if Possible
While large chunks of text should be avoided, also be careful of making your cover letters too brief. Rushed or overly short letters give the impression that you are merely providing a cover letter because you are forced to, as opposed to providing one because you want the position. Always try to make your cover letters substantial, but not weighty.
6. Address Questions in the Cover Letter
Suppose you have a resume gap because you had a child? Where do you let an employer know that this one-time gap was a special event? It’s simple. You explain the situation in the cover letter. The cover letter should be the document that explains your resume. If there are any unusual patterns in your resume, you can explain them in the cover letter.
If there also are any unusual occupations in your history, which a hiring manager
may not understand with just a resume, you may want to elaborate on them using the cover letter. Cover letters are vital for those with unconventional resumes and wasting your opportunity on a generic letter doesn’t make any sense.
7. Keep Opinions to a Minimum in the Cover Letter
Remember, no one likes someone who comes in and tries to solve everyone’s problems without learning the situation first. Instead, focus on the skills
and unique mindset that you can bring to a company in your cover letter.
Trying to solve a company’s problems in a cover letter is presumptuous and doesn’t make you look good. Also, you may not realize everything about a situation, and so simply be wrong. Avoid this sort of thing.
8. Don’t Gush About How Much You Love the Company
While it’s acceptable for applicants to touch on how much they like the hiring company, it is never acceptable for the applicant to “gush” in a cover letter. To “gush” is to go
on and on about how wonderful the company is, and how amazing it is to have an opportunity to work there. In this instance, the applicant is devaluing themselves by implying that they are not worthy of employment at a particular company. While some excitement at the prospect of working at a company you love is understandable, try to make sure that any enthusiasm you have is genuine and possibly subdued.
The Importance of Cover Letters
Never underestimate the value of a good cover letter. A well-crafted letter can help communicate with the hiring manager
, which is always valuable. While there are always mistakes that you can make while creating a cover letter, a great one will allow you to stand out against the competition, which is invaluable. Always write a cover letter if you can.
If you’re a job candidate trying to create that perfect cover letter, contact us at Mapertunity! Our job search power tool will help you find great jobs, and our Geographic information system will pinpoint exactly where to forward that resume.