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
Address your cover letter directly to the hiring manager, whenever possible. This has proven to be a good approach for two reasons.
First, it shows your attention to detail.
Second, it proves that you’re willing to do some research and go the extra mile for the sake of success.
But if finding the recruiter’s name is too difficult, you can go for a traditional gender-neutral phrase.
Here’s our selection of strong salutations. Feel free to borrow any of them:
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for],
- Dear [company name] Recruiter,
- Dear Alex Johnson
The introduction of your Teacher Assistant cover letter is what will get you remembered. But how can you make sure that your opening line is good enough?
Rumor has it, many people out there have started using phrases like “I found your job advert on website X and decided to apply” ever more often. But more importantly – that recruiters are already getting tired of it.
So instead of saying what everyone else is saying, we advise you to go for a more honest approach. Begin your cover letter by explaining what excites you about the company and how this excitement will help you on your journey towards success.
Combine your soft and hard skills for an unbeatable match!
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.
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.
Go for a strong ending
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.