It's no secret that the job search is not an easy process. Aside from tweaking your resume and polishing up on interview techniques, you must concentrate on networking, social media, and — if you're smart — the cover letter. While no longer a requirement for many company's applications, a well-written cover letter can get a candidate a spot above the competition.
There's no one way to write a successful cover letter, although there are some general tips. By now, you probably know that the letter accompanying your resume should express your knowledge of (and desire to work for) the company, be grammatically flawless, and offer a few reasons why you're a worthy candidate. Perhaps the most important thing you should remember is to let your personality shine.
You should already have a resume that highlights and streamlines your professional achievements. Your cover letter is your chance to connect with a prospective employer on a more personal level. While this doesn't necessarily mean you should drop all conventional decorum in the letter you write, it does mean that the more your personality comes across, the more likely your cover letter will actually help you. Take, for example, this cover letter that Business Insider posted after it went viral. The writer's frankness and honesty seemed to get multiple companies interested in speaking with him.
If your cover letter accurately reflects who you are, there's also a better chance that you'll end up working somewhere that's a good cultural fit. If you're an energetic, innovative risk-taker, there are ways for you to express it in words that might not fit on a resume. If you demonstrate those qualities in your cover letter, there's little chance that you'll end up at a job that requires you to perform monotonous, by-the-book work. If you're a bit more traditional, and come across that way in the cover letter you write, you'll probably end up connecting with a like-minded employer. Therefore, expressing your personality in your cover letter can make your job search much more efficient.
Now that you know why it's important, how do you inject your cover letter with a bit of your personality? You have lots of options, depending on — you guessed it — your personality. What you choose to talk about in the letter is your first step; after all, what you find important about yourself says a lot about who you are. From there, try reading your cover letter out loud. Does it sound like something you could hear yourself saying in person? Your voice in written form is huge when it comes to demonstrating what kind of person you are.
So remember, when you're preparing yourself for the job hunt, don't overlook your own personality. Use a cover letter to inject a little life into your application, and you'll give yourself an edge as a candidate with the total package.
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