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…
Address your cover letter to the right person and make your introduction strong
It’s always better to address your cover letter to a specific person. This shows that you’ve taken the time to research who the hiring manager might be and that you’re attentive to detail.
However, in case you don’t know the recruiter’s name, you can go for traditional gender-neutral salutations.
Here are some of our suggestions:
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for],
- Dear [company name] Recruiter,
- Dear Alex Johnson
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 They’re outdated and they definitely won't make you stand out, to say the least.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
Although you’ve probably listed all your skills on your resume, it’s worth mentioning them again, but by telling a personal story. Focusing on your soft skills and leaving most hard ones behind is also a good idea.
Maybe you want to mention the things that help you overcome setbacks? Or the things that help you reach your goals? It doesn’t really matter what you choose, as long as you link it back to the specific job requirements.
Naturally, if the job advert mentions some hard skills explicitly, you should do the same in your cover letter. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen resumes and cover letters for certain keywords.
Prove how your skills can help the company grow
How can you prove your excitement about the company? By showing that you’ve taken the time to research its issues, goals, and plans. You can also link them to your skills and experience if you want to show that you're really a strong candidate.
In addition to making a great impression, researching the company will help you find out if you really want to be part of this team or not. After all, interviewing is a two-way process.
End with a call to action
Ending your cover letter in an actionable way is one of the things that increase your chances of getting a callback.
The conclusion is also your opportunity to thank the recruiter for their time and consideration, so don’t skip that.
Just make sure to go for an ending that matches the company culture and language. If you prefer to be on the safe side, choose traditional closing lines such as “Looking forward to your reply”.