There are several things you need to do if you want to make your cover letter stand out.
First and foremost, make sure to stick to a tone of voice that is either formal and more on the traditional side or completely matches the company culture.
Second, make sure you’re not just re-writing your resume. Rather, build upon it.
And third, focus on achievements and motivations, rather than plainly listing your hard skills.
Now, if you want to stay on top of your cover letter game, we’ve got some additional tips for you.
Stand out with a strong introduction and an appropriate salutation
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 They’re outdated and they definitely won't make you stand out, to say the least.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.
Link your hard and soft skills to your achievements
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 did your research before applying
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.