Whoever told you that no one reads your cover letter was wrong. While your cover letter may only be looked over for a few minutes, it is looked at. Some hiring managers will only look at your cover letter, because it gives them all the information they need. Resumes are boring, whereas a cover letter can be more interesting. So with the fact that cover letters are actually very important to your chances of getting an interview, you need to make sure you are using yours to portray yourself as the best possible candidate.
- Every cover letter should be customized to the application you are submitting. You can adjust one for a similar position, but it should still be tailored specifically for the one you are applying to. This includes adding some research on the company and how you would fit in to their culture to be the best option for the position.
- Connect the required skills and experiences on the job description to your resume skills and experiences. Use the same words to make sure it stands out that you have the required skills and experience.
- Complement but do not duplicate your resume. Take a few points from your resume that apply directly to the job and expand on them.
- Get to the point quickly, keeping your cover letter one page long with 3-4 paragraphs.
- Send your cover letter and resume as a PDF. The document will open up cleaner and every one will be able to read it.
- Have a strong introduction that will make the hiring manager keep reading.
- Have a strong conclusion that will ensure they remember you.
- Your cover letter needs to show that you did your research on the company. Address how you can affect their bottom line more so than any other candidate.
- Compliment the company on what they have done and why you admire them.
- Discuss your soft skills and strengths. These should demonstrate your passion for your career and the job.
- Be enthusiastic.
- It is okay to brag about yourself a little. Include relevant achievements, especially those which have quantitative results.
- Show your personality off by keeping the cover letter conversational.
To learn more about writing a good cover letter, read these articles:
- These Four Paragraphs Are Essential to a Great Cover Letter
- Never Have These 6 Things in Your Cover Letter
- How Your Cover Letter May Be Ruining Your Job Search
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