You probably know that cover letters complement resumes and that recruiters just love asking for them. But why are cover letters important?
Well, because they are your chance of telling a story.
And let’s face it – listing different skills and achievements on your resume is essential. But connecting the dots in your cover letter and explaining what’s helped you gain expertise will make you stand out.
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!
Choose the right salutation and craft an introduction that gets you remembered
Choosing the right salutation for your cover letter is crucial – after all, it’s the first thing the hiring manager will read.
For this reason, we’ve gathered several classic salutations. Note that some of them could be used even if you don't know the hiring manager's name.
- Dear Ms. Smith,
- Dear Peter Roberts,
- To the [company name] Recruitment Team,
- Dear Hiring Manager
Rumor has it, many people out there have started using phrases like “I found your job advert on website X and decided to apply” ever more often. But more importantly – that recruiters are already getting tired of it.
So instead of saying what everyone else is saying, we advise you to go for a more honest approach. Begin your cover letter by explaining what excites you about the company and how this excitement will help you on your journey towards success.
Think about times when your skills have helped you achieve certain goals that seemed too difficult. And don’t worry about admitting some of your weak sides – this is a great way to show recruiters your potential and ability to grow, both professionally and personally.
Looking at the specific job posting requirements could also give you insight on what skills should be included in your resume by all means. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen cover letters for keywords before passing them on to recruiters.
Prove how your skills can help the company grow
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 with a call to action
First, it supports the great first impression you’ve already made. Second, it’s a way to express your gratitude for the recruiter’s time and consideration.
The closing line you choose depends on your preferences and the company culture. If you want to be on the safe side, stick to more traditional phrases, such as “Looking forward to hearing from you” and “Thank you for your consideration”.