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 craft an introduction that gets you remembered
It’s always better to address your cover letter to a specific person. This shows that you’ve taken the time to research who the hiring manager might be and that you’re attentive to detail.
However, in case you don’t know the recruiter’s name, you can go for traditional gender-neutral salutations.
Here are some of our suggestions:
- To the Human Resources Department,
- Dear [company name] Recruiter,
- Dear Angela Stone,
- To the Recruitment Team
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.
Talk about 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 that you know the company and its problems well
Proving that you are familiar with the company, its problems, and its goals is without a doubt one of the best ways to stand out.
If you want to show your passion for the company, mention how your skills and previous achievements can help the team grow.
It’s also worth mentioning how your experience can help resolve some of the most common industry issues.
End with a call to action
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.