How to Write a Killer Cover Letter
According to CareerBuilder, nearly half (49%) of hiring managers say attaching cover letters to applications increases candidates’ chances of getting jobs. You may have the perfect resume and great experience, but do you have a killer cover letter to boot? If not, you need one. Here are six tips for crafting your job-winning cover letter:
Customize Cover Letters For Each Job
Hiring managers look for personalized work. Boilerplate phrases like “I am excited to apply for this company’s open position” and “I am responding to your listing online because I think I’m the perfect fit for the job” signal you’re sending similar cover letters everywhere. That’s a big turn-off for hiring managers. Each company is unique. Thus, each company requires a unique cover letter.
To personalize your cover letter, ensure you’re following these two useful tips:
1. Research the Company First
Do your homework on the company’s values, culture, etc. If a company appears more formal and focused on data-driven results, adjust your cover letter accordingly. If a company gives off creative and fun vibes, avoid stiff formality.
2. Find the Hiring Manager’s Name
The best openings include a hiring manager’s name. “Dear Sarah” or “Dear Mr. Anderson” sound much more personal than “To Whom It May Concern.” You can often find a hiring manager’s name on social media or the company website. When you can’t find the hiring manager’s name, you may use these alternatives:
· Dear Hiring Manager
· Dear [company name here] Team
· Dear [specific department] Hiring Manager
Craft a Strong Opening Line
Don’t waste time saying, “I’m applying for the [specific position] I found on [job listing website].” Instead, lead with what makes you a strong candidate for the job. Here are some examples of great opening lines:
· I’m a magazine editor with 10 years of experience managing and directing publications, and I’d love to bring my expertise to your team.
· I’m a communications specialist with 15 years of experience overseeing projects, working directly with clients, and managing small teams, and I’m eager to apply these skills at [company].
· I’ve been teaching students the intricacies and importance of literature for 6 years, and I’d like to continue my work with [learning institution].
Don’t Summarize Your Resume
Your cover letter is a chance to share information not included in your resume about what makes you the perfect candidate. Don’t waste hiring managers’ time by sending them two identical documents. Both your cover letter and resume should be distinctive, complementing one another without repeating what the other says.
Spotlight Your Personal Value
Share what you’ll bring to the company—how you can solve its problems and help face challenges in the future. Highlight difficulties the industry you work within faces and focus on how hiring you would help reduce or eliminate them. You already listed your skills and experience in the resume. Your cover letter is where you expand on these qualities and tell a story.
Ask yourself this question: what about your career journey and background can help companies overcome common obstacles?
Emphasize Your Enthusiasm
Hiring managers want candidates who are eager to integrate with the company. You should convey enthusiasm in your cover letter, demonstrating how you’re not only perfect for the job but excited to perform as well. Here are example phrases exhibiting enthusiasm:
· I’m eager to work for an industry-leading company like yours.
· I’d love to work alongside your award-winning editors; I’d be crazy to pass up an experience to learn from some of the world’s best.
· I have a profound appreciation for your company—one of the most famous publishing businesses in the country—and I can’t think of anything more exciting than working with your team.
Keep Your Cover Letter Short
A good cover letter doesn’t exceed 300 words. Hiring managers receive hundreds—maybe thousands, depending on the company—resumes and cover letters to read through. They’re likely to give lengthy cover letters a quick skim and toss them aside, so master brevity.
A Bonus Tip For Cover Letter Creation
It’s hard to develop the perfect cover letter without expert help. One of the best ways to ensure your cover letter will resonate with employers is by sending it to an editor for feedback. Here at the Career Service Station, we review cover letters and resumes to ensure they’re at their best. Book a call with career expert Robert Braathe today for cover letter assistance.