Having an original and attractive cover letter along with a polished resume can be your golden ticket to a job interview. Most employers agree that cover letters often play a crucial part in their decision. Essentially, a well-written cover letter is your chance to stand out, so don’t miss out on it.
Your cover letter can do one of two things. In some cases, it can grab the attention of the hiring manager and get you an interview. In others, it can make you seem uncreative and boring. What is the difference? Mostly, it is the way you structure it.
Most importantly, remember that the goal of a cover letter is to land an interview. A cover letter should be more than an expansion of your resume. Essentially, it should make the hiring manager want to know more. It should be written with the employer in mind. In other words, address their needs and potential questions. In other words, think about what you can offer the employer, not the other way around.
Here are 7 ways how to improve your cover letter
1. Research the company (Analyze the job listing)
2. Address your cover letter to the right person
3. Capture the reader’s attention
4. Make your cover letter stand out
5. Choose the right cover letter template
6. Don’t repeat your resume
7. Check for typos and grammatical errors
- Research the company (Analyze the job listing)
Undoubtedly, your cover letter should address the points mentioned in the job listing. However, avoid copy-pasting phrases and keywords. Instead, simply ensure you use the same language as the advertisement. To further improve your cover letter, include the requirements from the job listing.
- Address your cover letter to the right person
Addressing the hiring manager by name is a sure way to improve your cover letter. Essentially, using a name instead of a generic greeting will make your cover letter stand out. You can even try and search online or call the company to find out the name of the hiring manager. Sometimes, you may not know who you are addressing at all. In this case, skip the greetings and get right to the body of your cover letter.
- Capture the reader’s attention
Attracting the reader from the very beginning of your cover letter is crucial. Unfortunately, many cover letters end up in the trash because they are hard or boring to read. For this reason, remember to improve your cover letter by editing it to be concise and capturing. First, use the keywords from the job description in the first paragraph. Second, summarize your key competencies in the first few sentences. Also, avoid sending the same letter to more companies. Always tailor the cover letter to the position and company you are applying for.
- Make your cover letter stand out
Remember, your hiring manager will likely read hundreds of cover letters in a day. For this reason, it is important to make yours stand out. Within the first paragraph, include something extraordinary. This may be an internship you had, your biggest achievement, or a piece of rare knowledge. Moreover, if you have studied or worked abroad, be sure to mention it. Essentially, show what makes you unique. It is important to avoid generic phrases. Starting a cover letter with “I am … and I applied for … position” will likely not wow anyone.
- Choose the right cover letter template
Match your cover letter to your resume. Choose the same font for both your resume and cover letter. Your application will look polished and professional. Want to write your cover letter in minutes? Use our pre-made resume and cover letter templates. A template produced by a professional designer is a great starting point. Choose from classic, modern, or elegant styling.
- Don’t repeat your resume
To improve your cover letter, avoid repeating your resume. Unfortunately, many cover letters end up being resumes in paragraph form. Remember that your cover letter will be attached to your resume, so there is no need for repetition. Rather, improve your cover letter by providing a glance at your personality. For example, show off some fun facts about your field of work. Likewise, showing your curiosity by mentioning recent news is sure to grab attention.
- Check for typos and grammatical errors
Regardless of experience and skill, a cover letter with typos rarely gets approved. Thus, double-checking your spelling is the easiest way to improve your cover letter. If there are spelling errors in your cover letter, the employer may feel like the job is not important to you.
Remember: Your cover letter often decides whether you get an interview or not. While daunting at first, writing cover letters is a great way to sell your best attributes. Don’t use a generic cover letter for every job application. Instead, make an effort to improve and increase your chances of landing an interview. Take the time to write a letter that will convince the hiring manager that you deserve an interview.