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?
Choose the right salutation and show your eagerness for the job
In general, the salutation you use depends on the tone of voice you’ve decided to go for but also on the company culture.
However, it’s always a good idea to address your letter to the person responsible for the recruitment process. If you don’t know their name, try to find it out. And only if that proves to be impossible, choose a generic salutation.
Here are some phrases you can use (note that some of them require you to know the hiring manager's name):
- To the [team you're applying for] Department,
- Dear Paul Black,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Ms. Stone
A noteworthy introduction is what will grab the reader by the collar and make them want to get to know you better.
But what’s the best way to begin your cover letter? Highlight your excitement about the position!
Be honest and original – this will get you remembered. You can even link your excitement to the reasons why you’d like to grow in this exact field.
Don't skip on your Pilot soft and hard skills
When it comes to listing skills on a cover letter, there’s only one thing that could be said about it – do it in a well-thought-out way!
We mean, don’t just plainly list all your skills on your cover letter. Instead, link them to achievements and goals. Share how your expertise can add value to the team. Maybe even tell a personal story. It’s up to you.
Just make sure to include both soft and hard skills – especially the ones listed in the requirements section of the job advert. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems that screen documents for certain keywords.
Show that you know the company and its problems well
Adding a line or two about the company can help you prove your excitement and readiness to become a valuable team member.
You might also choose to link your previous work-related tasks and achievements to current industry or even company issues and how you think they can be resolved.
End in an actionable way
While a strong introduction makes a great first impression, a confident, yet the considerate conclusion is essentially what will get you a callback.
There are different ways to end your cover letter. But remember – the closing line you choose should match the company culture.
Your safest bet would be going for traditional phrases like “Looking forward to hearing from you” or “Looking forward to your reply”. For bonus points, add a simple “Thank you for your time and consideration”.