No matter how many skills you have or how long you have worked in your industry, you still need to spend time customizing and polishing every cover letter you write. In some cases, a great cover letter is what convinces a hiring manager to interview one person instead of another, so don't overlook this important task. Here are several cover letter tips to follow if you need to give your job hunt a boost.
A busy hiring manager doesn't have time to read two or three pages of rambling text, so keep your cover letter short. When you are writing the introductory paragraph of your letter, think of it as a sales pitch. Instead of pitching the latest software program, you're pitching your skills and experience to the hiring manager. Write a strong introduction, two or three body paragraphs, and a short closing. If you are sending your cover letter by mail, sign your name at the bottom instead of typing it on your computer.
The purpose of customizing your cover letter is to make it easier for hiring managers to remember you. If you don't take time to make your personality shine through, the manager is likely to have trouble distinguishing you from the dozens of other people who applied for the job. If you have done business with the company as a customer, talk about how your experiences made you want to work for the company. Tell an anecdote that shows the hiring manager why you want the job. Make sure every sentence of your letter is relevant to the job or the company.
Be careful not to treat your cover letter as a summary of your resume. Your resume is the place to list all of your previous employers and tell hiring managers what duties you have performed at past jobs. It's okay to mention one or two of your previous jobs in a cover letter, but don't rewrite your entire job history. Instead, make sure your cover letter includes new information that might convince the hiring manager you deserve a chance at the job.
Hiring managers often have their assistants screen cover letters and resumes in an effort to reduce the size of the applicant pool for a particular position. If you don't want to get screened out, make sure your cover letter doesn't have any spelling mistakes or typos in it. If you don't take time to review your cover letter before you send it, you might be giving a hiring manager a reason not to interview you.
Hiring managers appreciate a well-written cover letter, so don't skimp on the amount of time you spend writing yours. Follow these cover letter tips to ensure you produce a professional-looking letter that convinces hiring managers you are an applicant worth further consideration.
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