Your cover letter is like a personal introduction to the company you want to work for next. Make sure you’re making a great impression by applying with a strong letter that showcases your value, your commitment, and your eye for details. With that in mind, you want to do everything you can to make sure that your material is crisp, professional, unique and free of errors. Read these top tips to make sure your cover letter gets you the attention you deserve.
Show Your Value
Plenty of candidates make the mistake of not distinguishing themselves with a cover letter that showcases what they can bring to a new employer. It’s critical to showcase the achievements that came as a result of your hard work on past jobs. Then speak directly to the needs of the hiring manager to illustrate how you can make their jobs easier. To do this, your letter should briefly highlight a few of your most impressive and recent achievements. Be sure to quantify your results and be succinct in describing your impact.
Errors in spelling or strange formatting are signs of a distracted or hurried candidate. Make doubly sure that your cover letter is as professional and error-free as humanly possible to avoid leaving your prospective employer with this opinion of you as a candidate. Nix spelling errors, typos, or awkward formatting. Keep your writing straightforward and to the point, but also personable and engaging. Limit yourself to one page. A cover letter that goes into too much detail can be overwhelming for hiring managers to read, and will likely be placed in the reject pile for that reason alone.
If you have difficulty editing your own work, as many people do, consider asking a friend or family member to read through your letter to check for any issues. Not only will an outsider’s perspective help clarify and focus your cover letter, but that fresh set of eyes can help catch little errors that can make a big difference.
Get to the Point
You’re working with very limited space in a cover letter. It’s important to get to the point when describing your experience and skills to potential hiring managers. Finding the right way to say what you need in as few words as possible can be difficult, but limiting yourself to only one page will help keep your cover letter focused and on point. If readers have trouble wading through unnecessary information, you lose the opportunity to bring their attention to the skills and experience that make you most qualified for the job. Remember, you’re competing with potentially hundreds of other applicants, and if your cover letter doesn’t share your value with readers on the first read, it’s really a lost opportunity.
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