At first, you may think that the cover letter should repeat all information from your resume but in a story-like form. However, that’s not true.
Instead of re-writing your resume, you need to focus on making the right impression.
You can do that by talking about the skills that help you overcome challenges, your excitement when it comes to the industry, your past achievements, and your knowledge of the company.
Now let’s look at some other things that will make your cover letter stand out.
We've made an in-depth guide on what should your cover letter include that you can check out!
Choose the right salutation and craft a strong introduction
Addressing your cover letter to a specific person works in your favor for two reasons: it shows your attention to detail, and it proves that you’ve taken the time to research who the person might be.
However, sometimes this might be much more difficult than expected. On such occasions, we advise you to focus on salutations that go beyond the impersonal “To Whom It May Concern”.
Here’s a brief list of suitable phrases:
- To the Human Resources Department,
- Dear [company name] Recruiter,
- Dear Angela Stone,
- To the Recruitment Team
A noteworthy introduction is what will grab the reader by the collar and make them want to get to know you better.
But what’s the best way to begin your cover letter? Highlighting your excitement about the position!
Be honest and original – this will get you remembered. You can even link your excitement to the reasons why you’d like to grow in this exact field.
Link your hard and soft skills to your achievements
So what skills do you need to include? Well, unfortunately, there’s no one answer to this. It all depends on the job description and the skills you’ve currently got.
According to experts, what recruiters look for in cover letters is how you can link your soft skills to particular achievements and goals. So, try to figure out what has helped you on the way to success.
However, don’t forget about hard skills. Even if they’re not the focus of your happy story, you need to include at least the ones that were mentioned as part of the requirements section of the job posting. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen applicant documents for certain keywords and phrases.
Show that you did your research before applying
Adding a line or two about the company can help you prove your excitement and readiness to become a valuable team member.
You might also choose to link your previous work-related tasks and achievements to current industry or even company issues and how you think they can be resolved.
End on a positive note
While a strong introduction makes a great first impression, a confident, yet considerate conclusion is essentially what will get you a callback.
There are different ways to end your cover letter. But remember – the closing line you choose should match the company culture.
Your safest bet would be going for traditional phrases like “Looking forward to hearing from you” or “Looking forward to your reply”. For bonus points, add a simple “Thank you for your time and consideration”.