According to a survey conducted in 2016, 40 percent of hiring managers said they’re more inclined to pay attention to resumes that come with a cover letter. While the resume is made to prove that you’re the perfect fit for the job in question, adding a cover letter will further solidify the case that you’re truly “the one”.
A well-written cover letter can prove that the experience and skills you possess make you the best person for the job. Therefore, learning the tricks to writing a compelling cover letter will boost your chances of getting recruiters to give your resume a second look or better yet, call you for an interview. So get informed and discover the 3 secrets for writing cover letters that are sure to land you your dream job.
#1 Understand the real purpose of a cover letter
It’s true that you need to showcase your experience and skills, but most hiring managers look beyond these in terms of choosing the best candidate for a job. After all, if things were that simple, cover letters wouldn’t be that significant at all!
Employers look into other things, too. This includes your work habits, communication skills, social skills, intelligence, enthusiasm – and yes – your personality, as well. Your cover letter should be able to give employers a bird’s eye view of those things.
You also need to keep in mind the type of cover letter you have to send to potential employers and contacts. For instance, application letters are traditional cover letters and they’re meant for specific job types and openings. On the other hand, letters of interest are cover letters you need to make if you’re asking about possible, specific job openings at a particular company. You could use a letter of interest for a spontaneous application, for example. It’s important to make sure you create the right type of cover letter that best reflects the job you’re applying for.
#2 Follow the proper format
A winning cover letter not only includes all the necessary information, but should also look professional and well-polished.
One thing to remember is that your cover letter must have a normal font size, ideally between 10-point and 12-point. Additionally, it should be professional and straightforward. Fonts that are commonly used in cover letters and resumes include Times New Roman, Arial, and Georgia.
Next, you’ll want to break up your letter into short paragraphs. A wall of text would simply be an eyesore to hiring managers. Remember that it’s important to make a good first-impression and if their initial reaction to your cover letter is, “Oh no, it’s all in a single paragraph!”, then expect a huge red flag to be raised. To avoid this from happening, make sure to divide your letter into small, short paragraphs consisting of three to four sentences each. Not only is this visually pleasing, it’s also readable and the hiring manager will thank you for it.
Also, if you want to avoid writing a cover letter that will most likely end up in a huge pile of unread junk, you need to stop using vague jargon. It’s still important to keep it professional and polite but using clichéd phrases like “go-getter”, “team player”, or “self-motivated” will only make your letter forgettable and downright generic. Instead, use a more lively tone and replace those overused phrases with power words like “initiative” or “collaborated”, and use specific examples if you wish to prove a point.
Most importantly, keep things short yet meaningful. Your potential employer may have already seen dozens of cover letters before yours, and perhaps one of the biggest issues they’ve come across with is that many applicants write cover letters that are way too long. The rule of thumb here is to try to squeeze everything in a single page, with nothing more than 350 words. If you’re applying online, your cover e-mail should contain no more than five sentences, since you usually include links or attached files for the recruiter to click on when possible.
If you ever need further help and advice in writing a winning cover letter, consider checking out reliable online writing sources, such as: IHateWritingEssays reviews for writing services, ScamAdviser check and SiteJabber business reviews.
#3 Compliment your resume
When working on your cover letter, keep in mind that you’re writing something beyond your resume. As mentioned earlier, the cover letter should contain all the specific points that make you the most qualified person for the job.
It’s highly recommended that you highlight up to three skills or abilities, then include examples of experiences or situations wherein you demonstrated those traits. By citing examples, you make your cover letter uniquely different from your resume. For instance, if you want to showcase your experience and skills as an administrative assistant, provide specific examples of when you successfully handled clerical duties in a work environment.
If applicable, include statistics and numbers to show how you were able to add value to your previous job. For example, you can provide data on how productivity has improved while you worked with said company. On the other hand, if you’re a fresh graduate or still don’t have a lot of work experience, think beyond the qualifications and sell your potential instead, by showcasing some of your transferable skills. Of course, you need to provide evidence, like classes or projects that allowed you to demonstrate such skills.
Writing the perfect cover letter isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process either. By unlocking the secrets for writing cover letters, you’ll take a huge leap towards snagging the job of your dreams – and impressing recruiters with your savvy!
About the writer: Carol Duke is very keen on teaching students new, effective ways of learning. When not freelancing and blogging on marketing-related matters, Carol enjoys traveling, taking immense pleasure from visiting new countries.
Author: Ali Neill
As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.
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