Ugh, the dreaded cover letter. Arguably, the most vital part of your job-hunt yet it is probably one of the most hated parts of it as well. How is it possible to explain the depth of your undeniable awesomeness in under a page? Also, how and what can you write that not only keeps your reader 100% engaged but also takes no longer than a minute to skim through?
Writing a great cover letter takes practice, and no two cover letters should be alike. Every new job application should be accompanied by a new cover letter (CV). Tailoring your CV to the job you’re applying for demonstrates to the reader both your understanding of the position as well as your desire to fill it. Do your research and always remember to address the letter to a specific person. Take the extra step and call the company, or check LinkedIn or the company site to avoid a generic greeting.
Check out these tips to nailing your cover letter and wowing the reader!
- Your cover letter should complement, not duplicate your resume.
- Don’t bring up your weaknesses. The cover letter is the time to highlight your strengths, so highlight your strengths to frame the positive. Save this for the weakness question you may be asked during the interview.
- Focus on what you can bring to the company, and how you can help the company grow. Avoid using “I” too much, and instead show how you can make positive contributions to the company in general.
- Send your CV as a PDF, it is cleaner and not every office computer can open a doc. file.
- Keep your CV the appropriate length. Limit yourself to one page and keep it to four paragraphs. The first should comprise an introduction, the position you’d like to apply for, and a sentence briefly summarizing why you’d like the job and why you’re the perfect fit. The next two paragraphs should go on to mention applicable skills and specific achievements that further showcase how qualified you are for the job. You can even use some of the space to explain your suitability if it needs more details, such as the fact that you’d move for the job or why you’re changing careers. The last paragraph should be a final, brief emphasis on why you’re excited for the position and a place for you to thank the readers for their time and consideration. You can also make a polite mention of letting them know you’ll be in touch.
- Be different. Brag about yourself and show your enthusiasm. The CV is the perfect platform to allow your personality to shine through.
- Avoid spelling errors. Remember to edit and re-edit for any spelling or grammar mistakes, they can be the difference between getting and not getting an interview. It’s always best to have another set of eyes read it to be sure you’re not glazing over even the smallest mistake.
IMPACT Management Services is a commercial staffing firm serving the Midwest and based out of Southfield, Mich. At IMPACT, we take a unique approach to recruiting, selecting, and managing employees. For more information regarding IMPACT, visit our website or give us a call at 248-262-5200.