Your primary goal during the job search is determining how to stand out above the rest of the candidates. Competition is fierce, which is why your cover letter needs to impress employers and prompt hiring managers to call you in for an interview right away.
The masses of job candidates vying for your dream job may be intimidating, but with thorough and professional application materials, you can rise above the rest. Focus on perfecting your cover letter after polishing your resume. The purpose of an introductory letter is to show why you want the position, why you are an ideal fit for the job, and why your skills and experience match what the company is seeking.
Size matters, which is why you should write a concise and brief cover letter that does not exceed one page, explains Idealist Careers. Employers are seeking candidates in the midst of their job search who can follow directions and sum up their qualifications in just one page that is easily scannable in a short amount of time. Pay close attention to the directions included in the job advertisement and ensure that all materials are submitted neatly and accurately to increase your chances of obtaining an interview.
Focus the cover letter on why you want to work for this company. Show that you have researched the company's mission, goals, products and services. Detail how you can make an impact as a member of the team, and highlight any accomplishments of the company that you find impressive. Use specific language and reference keywords used in the job description to signal to the hiring manager that you pay close attention to detail — a job skill that is highly desirable.
Match your skills and qualifications to the desired skills listed in the job description. Show that you are the ideal candidate for the position by referencing how your experience matches what the employer is looking for in an employee. Employers want to find an individual who is motivated and eager to learn, but they also need someone who has the necessary background knowledge to master the duties of the position.
Show off your originality when writing a cover letter. Avoid using a general template for each position, and customize the letter so it is personable and relevant to the company. Explain how you fit well with the company's culture, and describe how your professional goals are aligned with the company's mission.
Take the time to put the finishing touches on your application materials, and proofread to avoid damaging your credibility. A well-written cover letter can make or break your chances of acquiring an interview and ultimately, a job in your career field that matches your needs, wants and skill base.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net