There are several things you need to do if you want to make your cover letter stand out.
First and foremost, make sure to stick to a tone of voice that is either formal and more on the traditional side or completely matches the company culture.
Second, make sure you’re not just re-writing your resume. Rather, build upon it.
And third, focus on achievements and motivations, rather than plainly listing your hard skills.
Now, if you want to stay on top of your cover letter game, we’ve got some additional tips for you.
Address your cover letter to the right person and make your introduction strong
In general, the salutation you use depends on the tone of voice you’ve decided to go for but also on the company culture.
However, it’s always a good idea to address your letter to the person responsible for the recruitment process. If you don’t know their name, try to find it out. And only if that proves to be impossible, choose a generic salutation.
Here are some phrases you can use (note that some of them require you to know the hiring manager's name):
- To the [team you're applying for] Department,
- Dear Paul Black,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Ms. Stone
You wonder what the key to good introductions is? (Moderate) Creativity!
You’ve probably heard that many people out there have started using phrases like “I found your job advert on platform X and decided to apply”, right?
And what’s wrong with such phrases, you may ask. They’re outdated and they definitely won't make you stand out, to say the least.
So go for something different. Begin your cover letter by sharing your excitement about the company, the position, and even the field.
Mention both your hard and soft skills
Listing hard skills on your resume is quite straightforward, isn’t it? But when it comes to writing a memorable Accounting cover letter, you need to be a bit more creative.
The thing is, cover letters are designed to tell a story. To show the thought process behind your achievements and motivations. To put the recruiter in your shoes and allow them to get to know you better.
Maybe you want to share how you deal with challenges? Or what helps you reach your goals? It doesn’t really matter.
And while soft skills are important, hard skills shouldn’t be skipped either. Mentioning some hard skills (especially the ones listed by the recruiter) is always a great idea. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen documents for certain keywords.
Show that you've researched the company
Showing that you’ve researched the company and are excited to become part of its team is definitely one of the best ways to prove you're a strong candidate.
Recruiters want to make sure that you’re at least as passionate about the company and the industry as them.
It’s also a good idea to mention how your previous experience could help you in your work and what impact it could have on your long-term performance.
In addition, showing that you are aware of industry or even company issues and are not afraid of facing them will give you additional points!
End with a call to action
The last paragraph of your cover letter should briefly sum up the whole text. This is the time to express your motivation to get to the next step of the hiring process, but also your gratitude for the reader’s time and consideration.
You can be creative or use traditional closing lines here – it all depends on your preference and the company culture.