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.
Choose the right salutation and show your eagerness for the job
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:
- 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.
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 Content Writer 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 did your research before applying
Showing that you’ve researched the company and are familiar with it is a good way to prove your work-readiness.
It will also point the recruiter to the fact that your skills and qualifications will have a long-term impact on the company. Just link some of your strengths to the ways in which current or potential issues can be resolved.
Choose the right ending
The last part of your cover letter should briefly sum up everything you’ve said so far. It should also express your gratitude for the hiring manager’s time and consideration.
The tone of the closing line depends on two things – your personal preference and the company culture. Don’t go for overly creative phrases if the company you’re applying for relies on strictly corporate language.
Traditional lines such as “Looking forward to your reply” are usually considered a safe bet. So when in doubt, stick to them.