A cover letter is a crucial tool for job seekers. It serves as a writing sample and lets potential employers know why they should hire you for their open positions. By adding personal, unique touches to your letter, you can make it stand out from the crowd.
When writing a cover letter, many job seekers start with a template from the Internet or a university career center. They use the same format and, in many cases, some of the same language. As a result, employers often get numerous letters that sound as though they were written by the same person. When your letter is original, it automatically garners more attention.
If you used a specific cover letter as a model or template—whether it was a sample from the Internet or a past letter of your own—start by comparing it to your final version. Look for language that is similar and change the wording. This process can help you catch boilerplate language and create a more personable, unique cover letter.
When it comes to resume letters, it can be tempting to use language that is overly formal; as a result, it can be difficult for employers to see your individuality. As you are reviewing your cover letter, look for opportunities to add personality without sacrificing professionalism. Start by reading your letter out loud. Idealist Careers advises you to avoid language that sounds stilted; if you stumble on some sentences or find any that sound robotic, rewrite them to sound natural. When a reviewer reads the letter, it should flow smoothly.
Most job candidates focus on selling themselves to the company. If you want to stand out, turn the tables and focus on the company's needs. Focus on the ways that you can help the company solve a problem. If your research shows that the company has been struggling to keep up with social media trends, for example, mention how your last social media campaign increased sales by 25 percent. By letting reviewers know how you will make their lives easier right off the bat, you are more likely to capture attention.
As you are crafting a unique cover letter, don't underestimate the element of surprise. Job applicant reviewers often look at numerous letters each day; when you can include a fact that makes a reviewer stop and think, it can work to your advantage. If you were inspired by one of the company's obscure projects, mention it. If you have a clever take on a relevant issue, include it. Don't sacrifice professionalism, but use an unexpected sentence or two to help your cover letter jump out at a reviewer.
In many cases, a great cover letter can be the only thing that helps your job application progress to the next level. By spending time adding personal touches, you can increase your chances of success.
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