At first, you may think that the cover letter should repeat all information from your resume but in a story-like form. However, that’s not true.
Instead of re-writing your resume, you need to focus on making the right impression.
You can do that by talking about the skills that help you overcome challenges, your excitement when it comes to the industry, your past achievements, and your knowledge of the company.
Now let’s look at some other things that will make your cover letter stand out.
We've made an in-depth guide on what should your cover letter include that you can check out!
Choose the right salutation and show your eagerness for the job
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 Mr. John,
- Dear Ms. Petersen,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Dr. Todd,
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for]
The introduction of your cover letter is the first thing the hiring manager will read. Logically, having a strong introduction is your chance of getting their attention.
In order to do that, you need to get creative. Don’t just do what everyone else’s been doing for years, i.e. writing “I found this job opening on that website and decided to apply”.
Rather, show that you are genuinely excited about the position and the company. You could do that by mentioning your love for the industry or what you can bring to the table.
Combine your soft and hard skills for an unbeatable match!
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 your passion about the company
Having a paragraph that shows you’re aware of the company and the issues it faces is always a good idea. It proves your enthusiasm to join the team and makes a great impression.
For bonus points, you could also share how some of your strengths could help resolve company or even industry problems.
Go for a strong ending
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.