It may seem that job preparation is a mundane task of just briefly touching up your resume or putting together a general introductory letter. The cover letter, actually, is one of the most important pieces of your application materials and, with a little creativity, can make you stand out from the rest of the candidates. Spruce up your job search materials and make your letter a crucial part of your success.
Keep It Brief
A cover letter that goes on and on wastes both your time and the hiring manager's time. Keep it brief, concise and to the point to impress potential employers, recommends Margaret Buj with Careerealism. Imagine that you had a limited amount of time to deliver an elevator pitch, and model your letter accordingly. Think about why the employer should hire you, and highlight how you have the potential, skills and experience to make an impact in this position. Avoid long, drawn-out sentences that are repetitive or unrelated to the company or position. Focus on the key elements of a successful cover letter, which include why you are writing to the hiring manager, why you are qualified and how much you look forward to an interview.
An employer can spot a generic cover letter or template from a mile away. Avoid the risk of your job preparation materials ending up in the trash by customizing your letters for each company and position. Identify the desired traits and skills listed in the job description, and outline your skills and experience that match and are relevant to what the company is seeking in a candidate. Make it clear that you are the ideal candidate and possess the characteristics and qualities the company desires. Detail what you can deliver by describing your accomplishments within the industry and past positions. Outline what you know about the company's culture, and show that you would fit well with the team.
Provide a Call to Action
Hiring managers often read through hundreds of resumes and letters each week. Make your cover letter stand out by providing a clear and concise call to action in the last paragraph. Be assertive by including phrases such as "I know that I can impact the company's operations" or "I believe I will be a valuable addition to your team." Ask directly for an interview so there is a clear and concise call to action. Provide multiple ways the employer can contact you, and include a link to your professional portfolio online or professional social media accounts that display your industry knowledge.
Your cover letter can be the deciding factor when employers are considering you for employment. Creating a polished, professional and informative letter is a crucial step of the job search process. Keep your cover letter short, avoid templates and include a call to action as your closing statement to give your application the best chance of success.
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