Let’s begin by discussing the difference between a cover letter and a resume. The resume is the place where you should list all your hard skills, achievements, and talents.
The cover letter, on the other hand, is your chance to share more about yourself and show who you are.
But what’s the way to grab the reader’s attention? How can you make the hiring manager want to meet you and learn more about you?
Stand out with a strong introduction and an appropriate salutation
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:
- To the [team you're applying for] Department,
- Dear Paul Black,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Ms. Stone
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!
The resume is the place to list all your hard skills. The Office Assistant cover letter, on the other hand, is the ideal place to emphasize your soft skills and link them to your achievements.
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.
Show how passionate you are to join the company
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.
Choose the right closing line
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.