Having a strong resume is half the battle when trying to get noticed among the many resumes and applicants a company goes through when looking to hire someone new (refer to article on resume writing here). The other half, is ensuring that you have a strong cover letter that can help your resume go from the maybe pile into the definitely interview pile.
Here are 5 ways to write up a strong cover letter to motivate the person hiring to interview you!
- Understand the purpose of a cover letter. If you are just rewriting things from your resume it would be completely redundant to have the cover letter. A cover letter’s purpose is to provide details that would give employers confidence that you really have the skills they are looking for. It also demonstrates that you took the time to learn about the position that you are interested in. Make sure you do your research about the company and highlight your skills that would benefit the organization.
- Keep your cover letter in a consistent format as that of your resume. It flows a lot better and keeps things aesthetically pleasing. With the increasing rate of online resume/cover letter submissions a good tip to remember is to save your resume and cover letter in one document and PDF. By doing so, your margins and formatting won’t shift if the company you are applying to uses different software to view your application.
- Include why you are interested in that particular company. This is a good opportunity for you to indicate that you have researched about their organization, their values, mission, etc. Use this opportunity to indicate how the company aligns with your personal stance in life. This gives them more confidence in interviewing and potentiality hiring you as it lets them know that you would fit well into the overall culture of the organization.
- Keep it simple! Employers vet through hundreds, if not thousands, of applications to find the right candidates to interview and hire. Often times it becomes very tedious when they have to read through pages and pages of text. Even if the information is great, chances are high that it might get skipped over. A good rule of thumb is to keep things to one page with bullet points to outline what you want to get across. It looks cleaner and gets straight to the point.
- Take the qualifications required on the posting and treat them as questions that you should answer. If your answers fit in within those parameters, write about why you would be a good candidate. Use similar, if not the same language that the posting is using to minimize confusion. It also puts you at the same level as whoever is hiring you which makes you relatable.
As with all the articles within the YoPro (young professionals) series, the goal is always to try to make things easier for you when you are looking for a job. Getting a job and trading your time for money may not be the most efficient way to get ahead, but it is the most common. With these tips and tricks we hope it puts you that much further ahead to get that job you have been vying for, and as always, good luck!