A compelling cover letter can tip the scales in your favor by letting you expand on information in your resume, providing insight into your personality and helping recruiters determine if you're a good fit for the company. Typically, job recruiters prefer one-page cover letters, so deciding what information to include might take some thought. However, there are some unimportant details you shouldn't stress over when crafting your letter.
1. The Letter's Appearance
When creating a cover letter, some job seekers spend too much time worrying about font size, font style, margin width, paper type and other details recruiters simply don't care about. Some job seekers even add photographs and fancy graphics to cover letters to impress recruiters. However, recruiters are most concerned about the letter's content, so a visually stunning letter can still end up in the trash bin if it's poorly written and doesn't set you apart from the rest of the applicants. Keep your letter's format simple, and put most of your focus on making sure it's free of spelling and grammatical errors while painting you in the best possible light.
2. Excessive Information
If you have an extensive work history, you probably think it's a good idea to include details about all of your jobs in your cover letter. This is not the best approach, though. If you applied for a job as a senior financial analyst, for example, recruiters won't care about your yearly summer job coaching kids at the YMCA. You only have a limited amount of space to work with, so use it wisely by focusing solely on the skills and experiences that directly relate to the position. If a recruiter connects with you during an interview, he might ask about your other positions or hobbies to learn more about you, but initially, put all of your efforts towards proving you're the best candidate for the specific job at hand.
If you're a top-quality candidate with the ability to help move the company forward, recruiters won't disqualify you because you failed to include the company's address in the header of your cover letter or didn't address the letter to a specific person. These types of formalities rarely impact an employer's hiring decision. If you want to address the letter to a specific person, contact the job recruiter to find out the name of the hiring manager. If you can't find his name, use "Dear Hiring Manager(s)" as your greeting. It's more important to make sure your letter mimics the company's culture and speaks to recruiters in a way that helps them view you as a great addition to the team.
When job recruiters read through cover letters, they're looking for clues about the type of employee you'll be and trying to understand how your skills and experiences relate to the job. They're too busy to worry about unimportant details, so you shouldn't worry about them either. Just make sure your cover letter is easy to read, is tailored to the position and clarifies what makes you a great hire.
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