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?
Use an appropriate salutation and write a powerful introduction
Choosing the right salutation might be tough – we get it. After all, you don’t want to sound way too formal or too friendly.
There are some things that should definitely be taken into consideration when it comes to addressing your cover letter. First and foremost comes the recruiter’s name.
Even if you don’t know who the person reading your cover letter might be, try to find out. Check company websites or social media profiles or even media articles.
If this doesn’t help, you can go for traditional gender-neutral salutations that don’t require knowing the hiring manager’s name.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Dear Mr. James,
- Dear Human Resources Manager,
- To the [team you're applying for] Department,
- Dear [company name] Recruiter
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 They’re outdated and they definitely won't make you stand out, to say the least.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.
Mention both your hard and soft skills
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.
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.
End with a call to action
While the introduction is the best way to make a good impression, using the right words to end your cover letter can help you get a callback.
Our advice is to make sure that your closing line matches the company culture. However, “Looking forward to hearing from you” and other traditional phrases are always a safe choice.