We all want to give ourselves the best chance possible of getting that dream job. What exactly are employers looking for? What makes a candidate shine? How can I stand out from my competition? One way to make a great first impression is by sending along an amazing cover letter with your resume. Here’s the rundown 5 secrets to write up the most impressive cover letter!
What Is A Cover Letter?
If you’re new to looking for a job, your first question is probably going to be, ‘Exactly what are cover letters and resumes, anyway?’. These are two separate documents that most employers require you to submit when you’re applying for a job.
Think of a resume as a kind of history of you. A resume is meant to give a summary to an employer of all the work experience, qualifications and skills that make you right for this job. While exact formatting depends on the sector, resumes usually involve a career and education history as well as your contact details. Some resumes may include details of voluntary experiences, skills and hobbies as well.
Meanwhile, if a resume is an informational document, a cover letter is an advertisement for that document. Cover letters present, in a personal, engaging tone, why employers should hire you. They’re a handshake and a smile that introduces you and your resume. Cover letters and resumes are vitally important because they tell employers why they should hire you.
Here’s why a good cover letter and good resume are so important for a job. Up to 61% of hiring managers believe that a tailor-made resume and cover letter for the job are vitally important. These days, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use a digital applicant tracking system for resumes and cover letters, meaning that you’ll need to optimize your documents for AIs as well as human eyes. It’s clear that these days, you can’t get by without a great resume and cover letter. So how do you make them great?
1) Format Them Well
Professional executive resume writers all agree that the thing that gets a potential hire put aside most often is how their application looks. Hiring managers have tons of resumes and cover letters to get through. If yours is hard to read, they won’t give it much thought. Make sure your formatting and font choices are clear, clean and easy to read.
2) Contact Information First
If the hiring manager decides they want to call you in for an interview, they’ll need to know where to call. Executive resume services all agree that making that easy for employers is vital. Make sure you put your email address and phone number at the top of both your cover letter and your resume, and choose fonts and formatting that make it easy to spot.
3) Greet The Hiring Manager By Name
When you’re applying to lots of jobs at the same time, it’s tempting to send out the same cover letter over and over again, and address the hiring manager generically. But according to top executive resume writers, that’s actually a huge mistake. Addressing the hiring manager by their own name rather than ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ will make you stick out more in their memory. It will also show that you took the time to research the specific company and role at hand, proving your potential as a dedicated worker.
4) Show Them Why They Need You
When you start a cover letter, you might want to launch into long descriptions of your previous experience, education and achievements. Don’t. More specifically, don’t just rattle them off with no context. Resume writing services for senior executives always emphasize tailoring your achievements to what the company needs. Tell the company why you want to work with them to achieve their goals, then show them how your achievements will let you do that. For example, if you have customer service experience, you could open your cover letter with, ‘I want to triple Company X’s sales in the next three months. I can do this because of my four years fulfilling customers’ every need…’.
5) Give Specific Details
Before you complete your cover letter, you need to make sure that you’re making it match your most important source of information about the job. Keep the job advertisement open in another tab as you write, and as you create your cover letter, identify specific details of your career that will match up with what the job description looks for. For example, if the job is looking for attention to detail, you could bring up specific examples of experience in data entry or other administration work, and directly call attention to it with the phrase ‘attention to detail’. This way, employers will be sure to notice exactly how you can match what they need.
Of course, when researching jobs and performing a job hunt, it’s always important to do your own research. Look around the internet, read up on tips, and seek out the services of professional executive resume writers if you think you need them. But these tips should give you a great starting point to go on. With these in hand, you’ll have a new job in no time.
- “How to Write a Resume: The Complete Guide”, Resume Genius, accessed 16th May 2021, https://resumegenius.com/blog/resume-help/how-to-write-a-resume.
- “How to Write a Cover Letter in 2021 | Beginner’s Guide”, CareerBlog, accessed 16th May 2021, https://novoresume.com/career-blog/how-to-write-a-cover-letter-guide.
- “Resume and Cover Letter Stats and Insights Every Job Seeker Should Know”, LiveCareer, accessed 16th May 2021, https://www.livecareer.com/resources/special-reports/stats/resume-and-cover-letter-stats.
- “I’ve Read More Than 300 Cover Letters, And This Is How I Decide If They’re Good Or Bad Within Three Minutes”, Forbes, accessed 16th May 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2016/11/10/ive-read-over-300-cover-letters-and-this-is-how-i-decide-if-its-good-or-bad-within-3-minutes/?sh=37e546357876.