A cover letter is an element of almost any job application that ultimately can make or break your attempt to land the position. Showcase your skills, experience and professionalism during your job search by writing a letter that will get you hired.
Customize Your Letter
Hiring managers sort through hundreds of letters and can easily spot a hastily thrown together cover letter. Make your letter personal by customizing it for the position, and particularly avoid addressing the letter "To whom it may concern." Instead, research the name of the hiring manager and double check the spelling of the name and title when writing. A letter that is addressed to a specific individual indicates that the candidate has taken the time to research the company and produce thorough application materials.
Compare Your Skills
Your cover letter needs to be customized to the appropriate hiring manager, but it also needs to match the job description. Comb through the job advertisement and identify the skills and qualifications you possess. Highlight within your letter all the skills you have that the employer wants. Include accomplishments that are in line with industry standards and best practice, and describe specific examples of how you satisfied customers and clients, improved productivity and collaborated with team members if the position is product or service based. Investigate the company culture, too, to point out any personality traits you have that mesh well with existing employees and to demonstrate that your values are in line with the company's mission and goals.
Expand Upon Your Resume
One common mistake job seekers make when writing a cover letter is repeating information from their resumes. Instead, expand upon your experience with specific examples that offer more insight into your professionalism. Candidates who have sales experience can detail sales goals met and efforts that led to these achievements. Experienced managers can describe successful processes and procedures they have created and implemented in past positions. Offer the hiring manager specific information that gives a closer look at who you are as a professional, leader and team player rather than just reiterating your job duties and positions held.
Your credibility is on the line when you are submitting application materials. Take the time to thoroughly proofread your cover letter for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Ask a professional from your network or someone familiar with the industry to offer you feedback on the information you have included in the letter and your resume's appearance and contents.
Job seekers who spend time researching potential companies and tailoring application materials to each position establish themselves as worthy candidates for positions within their fields. Craft a cover letter that captures interest, professionally describes your skills and experience and outlines accomplishments and achievements in your chosen industry to bag the career of your dreams.
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