Though not all job postings require it, a cover letter is a really useful too. And if you craft yours correctly, it might be the difference between getting called in for an interview and not. That means submit one even if it’s optional and don’t just write one that you copy-pasted from an online template. No, the best cover letters are tailored for the job in question and add some personality to the dullness of a resume or application. Here’s how to write an attention-grabbing cover letter.
And remember that you’re writing to a human. So don’t start by saying, “to whom it may concern,” or “dear sir/madam.” Instead, research the name of the hiring manager or HR professional who’s in charge of hiring for that position. Address them by name and make sure you have the correct email address.
Engage in your opening line
Start with a really exciting line, not simply “I’m applying for X position at your company.” Instead, immediately connect yourself to the company itself, which demonstrates that you’re sincerely interested in working there. It might be a mention of their mission or a reason why you love the company’s products.
Be clear about your values, skills, strengths, and experiences. And more than that, be authentic. Companies want to hire humans, complete with passions, hobbies, goals, and ambitions. So, in the second paragraph—and perhaps carried into the third—make an argument for why you’re perfectly suited for this job. Prove that you’re really excited about this opportunity and you’re willing to work hard once you get there.
Beat the ATS
Remember that most companies use applicant tracking systems to sift through cover letters and resumes and weed out the best ones, meaning that your cover letter may never be seen by human eyes at all. So, sprinkle keywords from the job post into your cover letter so that the ATS picks up on it and ranks you as one of the top applicants.
We’ve already mentioned that you can customize your cover letter by immediately connecting to the company and using some keywords from the posting, but also consider tailoring the format to the job opening. If you’re applying to a more traditional, established company, then keep your cover letter pretty traditional, too. If you’re applying to a startup, you can probably add some creativity. Some jobs might require that you craft a cover letter that’s a well-written writing sample. And depending on your situation, you might use the cover letter to explain your career change or a gap in your employment history.
For more tips on crafting a cover letter that grabs the hiring manager’s attention and separates your application from the rest of the pile, contact PrideStaff St. Pete Clearwater today.