Hiring managers and human resources department heads wade through hundreds, if not thousands, of job candidates every year to vet the best person for a job. Make your cover letter stand out from the crowd by giving HR a reason to read it more thoroughly.
Three main reasons exist when hiring managers don't read your cover letter. These common mistakes make a reader lose interest in your story. Like any good novel, make your letter a compelling read that makes the reader want to learn more. If your presentation sounds too much like all of the other candidates', your job opportunity sinks before you leave the shore.
If your cover letter is too generic, no one wants to read it. The same letter does not fit for more than one company because each firm is different. Create a customized letter for the position in front of you. When your correspondence sounds overly generic, it begins to blend with other candidates' applications, and the potential boss loses interest.
Hiring personnel at the company may ignore your cover letter if it shows no strong ties to the company. Research the firm to which you apply. Mention why you would love working for the firm. Bring it together with a personal story that fuels your passion for the position. All of these things make for compelling reading, as the reader starts to appreciate you as a person.
Underselling or overselling yourself produces the same basic feeling of awkwardness. If you lack enthusiasm, the HR manager questions your loyalty to the job. Overzealousness, on the other hand, makes you sound too desperate, as if you would do anything to get hired. Strike a balance between experience, qualifications and passion to create the right tone throughout your cover letter.
Do not forget to sprinkle relevant keywords into your text as you build your story. Research the job posting's qualifications and mimic some of the same verbiage. If the posting states, for example, that "the qualified applicant must show resilience under adversity," then tell a story in which you overcome adversity thanks to resilience.
Use dynamic verbs in your story, especially words such as "accomplished", "won", "improved", "developed", "increased" and "created". These words connect you to your job performance. In addition, large companies often use tracking software to find relevant keywords in letters posted to LinkedIn or downloaded to the company's database. These programs make keywords even more important to the overall impression you try to make.
Another important detail about your letter is that you don't need to rehash your entire resume in the correspondence. Enhance one or two important aspects of your resume in the cover letter to draw someone's attention to your specific qualifications. The tone of the letter creates an overall impression of your personality so that your future employer takes another look and calls you for an interview.
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