10 Tips to Craft Your Cover Letter
You hate your job and are looking for a new opportunity. In this case, most people are looking for a speedy application approach which means uploading your resume to a job site and clicking apply to anything that remotely seems like your qualifications might be a fit. So, why hasn’t your resume gotten any responses yet? It could be your cover letter, or lack thereof.
Let’s go with a superhero analogy – Captain America and Bucky Barnes or Batman and Robin. Sure, was Batman killin’ it before Robin came along? Yes, but once Robin arrived on the scene, their villain fighting was taken up a notch. Your cover letter is your sidekick, getting your foot in the door and your application to the top of the stack.
I get it, it’s a pain, but with every job posting receiving an average of 250 resumes, you need something to help you stand out. That’s where your cover letter comes in. So, all your experience is already in your resume, what’s supposed to go into your actual cover letter? Here’s the top 10 things to include:
1. You had me at hello
Something that may seem really insignificant, but matters is your greeting. Inserting a recruiter’s name shows that you’ve taken the time to actually read the job description.
2. The introduction
Don’t start with your name, it’s already on your resume and you will add a signature at the end, get right to the point. Try something like “As an account executive with over 15 years of experience within the industry, I would like to utilize my skills as the account director at Gotham Agency.”
3. Who you know
Start with something simple like stating the specific job that you’re applying for and if you’re being referred for that job or know someone currently at the organization, this is the perfect time to name drop.
4. It’s all about the details
The body of you cover letter should go into details. Mention specific qualifications listed in the job posting and work them into the copy. For example, if they are looking for leadership qualities or someone that can design a website, add that in.
5. Cut the fluff
I’m a big proponent of not just using words that sound good. Team player, leader, what do they actually mean? Don’t just write the words, use tangible examples and expand on those things with descriptive statements.
6. Clicking around
Do your research on the company’s website. Have you worked with similar clients before or worked on similar projects? Be sure to make mention of that.
7. The sincerest form of flattery
Don’t necessarily imitate the company’s voice but tailoring your cover letter copy to the voice of the organization demonstrates that you understand their style of writing. This can be done by literally just taking a few minutes to read over their website.
8. Be positive
Don’t say you hopefully look forward to speaking with them. Be positive, you look forward to speaking or meeting with them.
9. Keep it short and sweet
Don’t go over a page with your cover letter, remember this is a compliment to your resume. Over 75% of recruiter’s say a half a page is the perfect length.
10. Closing time
Finish up your cover letter with what you can do for the company. Reinforce why you are the right candidate for the role and what you can bring to the table. Try something like, “I look forward to utilizing my skills to help your organization.”
Holy smokes, you’re ready to write.