So what’s the difference between a cover letter and a resume?
In short – the resume showcases your achievements and skills, while the cover letter focuses more on your personality and motivations.
Of course, you should mention some of your relevant skills in the cover letter as well. But make sure you’re not repeating your resume word by word.
Now let's move on to the things that make every cover letter great!
Address your cover letter to the right person and make your introduction strong
We advise you to address the cover letter directly to the person responsible for the recruitment process. If you don’t know their name, take some time to research it.
This will show that you’re attentive to detail and are willing to go the extra mile when necessary.
Here's a list of salutations you can never go wrong with. Note that some of them can be used even if you don’t know who the hiring manager is.
- Dear [company name] Recruiter
- Dear Mr./Ms. Smith
- Dear Hiring Manager
- To the [team you're applying for] Team
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 They’re outdated and they definitely won't make you stand out, to say the least.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.
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.
Show that you did your research before applying
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!
Go for a strong ending
While the introduction is the best way to make a good impression, using the right words to end your cover letter can help you get a callback.
Our advice is to make sure that your closing line matches the company culture. However, “Looking forward to hearing from you” and other traditional phrases are always a safe choice.