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
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:
- Dear Human Resources Manager,
- Dear Mr. Johnson,
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for],
- Dear Nathan Lovelace
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 They’re outdated and they definitely won't make you stand out, to say the least.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.
Emphasize your Photographer soft skills and mention your hard skills
While the resume is considered the best place to showcase your hard skills and achievements, the cover letter should tell a story and prove your enthusiasm for the field.
This is why we advise you to focus on soft skills and results. Think about all your soft skills and how they have helped you grow as a professional and crush your goals. Then turn this into your own very short success story.
Make sure to include some hard skills too, especially the ones listed as part of the requirements section of the job advert. This will guarantee that you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen applicant documents for keywords.
And remember – the cover letter should include new information without repeating your whole resume. It needs to offer additional value to the recruiter.
Prove how your skills can help the company grow
Showing that you’ve researched the company and are familiar with it is a good way to prove your work-readiness.
It will also point the recruiter to the fact that your skills and qualifications will have a long-term impact on the company. Just link some of your strengths to the ways in which current or potential issues can be resolved.
Choose the right closing line
By now you’ve managed to make a good impression on the hiring manager, and it’s important not to ruin it. That’s why you need your ending to be just as great as your cover letter’s body.
But what are the things that make up a memorable closing line? Expressing gratitude for the reader’s time and consideration, and saying that you look forward to their reply, to name a couple.
You can stick to traditional phrases (e.g. Looking forward to hearing from you soon) if you wish to be on the safe side. Just make sure that the language you use matches the company culture.