Cover letters may come with a degree of stress, especially when you’re crafting one for your dream job. But while you cannot control the outcome of the hiring process, there are a few things you can do in a cover letter to increase your odds of getting noticed by the hiring manager in a positive fashion- and thus, of getting hired.
Here are three tips we at Charles Foster recommend to knock that cover letter out of the park.
Be quick and concise in your cover letter
Perhaps the toughest challenge of a cover letter is that it cannot be too wordy; if it is, you may come off as rambling, or worse, that you don’t actually know what the job you’re applying for entails. Thus, a potential hiring manager may be overwhelmed by the length of your letter, not read through it carefully, and miss some truly awesome qualifications you may have. So above all else, be sure you get right to the point, explain who you are and why you want the job you’re applying for, and try your best not to waste space with pieces of information that aren’t absolutely vital.
Combine the company’s needs with your skills and strengths
If you boast a wide array of skills that can potentially help the company you’re applying to, that’s great. But it’s even better if you have the experience that directly correlates with what the company is looking for. Going along with our first tip of being quick and concise, don’t waste too much ink droning on and on about all the different skills you’ve picked up at various points in your professional career. Instead, focus on the specific skills that the company you’re looking to become a part of is searching for in its candidates, and highlight those in your cover letter. If you don’t go into a little detail about why your skills and experience are a match for the opening, the hiring manager might not know if you’re a true fit.
Avoid “To Whom It May Concern” unless you truly have no choice
The words “To Whom It May Concern” do not exactly kick off a cover letter with a bang. Take the initiative and do a little research. If the hiring manager’s name isn’t listed on the job listing, chances are you might be able to do some digging on LinkedIn and figure out who the hiring manager may be- particularly if it’s a small company. Most hiring managers will be impressed that you took the time and effort to address your cover letter to a particular person rather than sending it into cyberspace through a portal. It’s not the end of the world if you cannot find the name of someone to accurately address your letter to, but it should only be done as a last resort. After all, why pass up a chance to stand out from your competition right away when the information could very well be right there on the internet, just a few keystrokes away?
Now that you’ve got your cover letter perfected, it’s time to match you up with your next job. Browse through our openings today.