First off, you need to remember that a cover letter should build upon the information in your resume, rather than just repeat it.
Second, make sure that the tone of voice you use matches the company culture.
And last but not least, try to convey your enthusiasm for the position and the field. This will give your text a personal touch.
But how can you make your cover letter grab every hiring manager's attention? Let’s see…
Use an appropriate salutation and write a powerful introduction
Choosing the right salutation might be tough – we get it. After all, you don’t want to sound way too formal or too friendly.
There are some things that should definitely be taken into consideration when it comes to addressing your cover letter. First and foremost comes the recruiter’s name.
Even if you don’t know who the person reading your cover letter might be, try to find out. Check company websites or social media profiles or even media articles.
If this doesn’t help, you can go for traditional gender-neutral salutations that don’t require knowing the hiring manager’s name.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Dear Human Resources Manager
- Dear Mr. Johnson
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for]
- Dear Nathan Lovelace
Coming up with a good introduction is your chance to make the right impression and give the hiring manager a solid reason to remember you.
So instead of going for popular opening lines such as “I found your job advert on website X”, prove that you are actually passionate about the position. Share why you would like to grow in this field and what makes the company exciting.
Talk about your hard and soft skills
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.
Prove that you're familiar with the company
Proving that you’re familiar with the company is a great way to win the recruiter’s heart. It shows that you’ve taken some time for research and that you’re attentive to detail.
What’s more, it will also help you find out the issues at hand. This way, you can link your own skills and qualifications to some potential challenges the company might have to deal with in the future.
End on a positive note
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.