In today's competitive job market, it can be challenging to land an interview amidst a sea of other qualified applicants. Too many professionals make the mistake of not including a cover letter with their resumes. While writing a strong cover letter is not the easiest task, it's important to include one with your application. Follow these cover letter tips to make sure your cover letter is compelling, attention-grabbing and impressive.
The first and most important tip is to be yourself. Allow your personality to shine through in your cover letter. Don't be afraid to use a conversational tone and display your wit, brightness and energy. Too many candidates make the mistake of using a one-size-fits-all approach to their cover letters. Hiring managers can spot these types a mile a way, so make yours stand out by letting your own personality come through. Use a friendly, warm, yet professional tone to convey your enthusiasm and passion.
Be aware of the company's needs, and let the hiring manager know how you can benefit the company as an employee. You can talk about how wonderful you are all day long, but if you don't make that connection between the company's needs and your skills, it ends up sounding like empty bragging.
Write to the exact person who will be reading your cover letter. Do not address it "To Whom it May Concern." Find out the exact hiring manager's name, and address it to him personally. It shows you care enough to find out important information beforehand.
Don't regurgitate the information on your resume. Your resume is a completely separate document that lists your hard skills and experience in list form. Your cover letter is your chance to dazzle the company with your communication skills and personality. Use the cover letter to highlight specific skills that will be of most benefit to that particular company.
Don't mention any of your weaknesses or shortcomings in your cover letter. You get an opportunity to discuss your weaknesses in an interview. For now, the cover letter is meant to sell you and attract the company's attention. Showcase your experience and skills.
Keep your cover letter brief. It should never go past one page in length. Remember, hiring managers and recruiters are busy people. Get to the point as swiftly as you can while holding their attention. About three to four well-formed paragraphs should be more than enough to sell you as a great candidate.
The last tip for a perfect cover letter is to edit and proofread it thoroughly. A well-written, concise and compelling cover letter becomes trash if it is riddled with spelling and grammar errors. Don't expect your spell-checker program to catch everything; let a friend or family member read over the entire letter thoroughly. Get honest feedback about the way your cover letter flows.
Consider these cover letter tips when writing your next cover letter. Your cover letter is your chance to really sell yourself and go over and above the information on your resume. A bold, compelling, attention-grabbing cover letter could be the link between you and your dream position.
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