One of the biggest challenges that applicants face is the infamous cover letter. Many people don’t know exactly what to write and it can make their cover letter end up in the recycling bin. It is important to understand the purpose of the letter itself and how it can be used to influence the hiring manager or recruiter. Here are the two essential parts of every cover letter:
Tell them what you love about them
The number one thing to do when writing a cover letter is to tailor it to the company and job you are applying for. This always requires research. It may sound tedious, but don’t you want to know about the company you are applying for? Their values? Goals? If you don’t spend time doing research, you’ll never know what you are getting yourself into. You could actually end up applying for something that you won’t find yourself loving.
Find out as much about the company as you can and include your knowledge of what the company does and why it is relevant to you and your skills. If the company shares its values on the website, you should get to know those and figure out fast if you agree with them or not. Companies will notice that you spent the time to get to know them so often times they will do the same and get to know you and be impressed with the effort you put it.
Your cover letter must be specifically tailored to the company and job, explaining how you would be the perfect fit. As a recruiter and someone who reads cover letters often, I can immediately tell the difference between those who are excited and passionate about the company and role compared to the people sending out the same cover letter to 10 different employers at once. Making sure your introduction is directed towards the company and the role will make the employer see that you truly care about the job which creates a bigger bond and builds a relationship from the the first sentence they read.
Tell them what they’ll love about you
This is your chance to let the employer know why you would be a perfect fit for them. It’s like your biography on a dating website, but instead of talking about a dream girl or guy, you are here to talk about your dream job.
It’s time to really think, “What can I say about myself in just a few sentences that will make them want me?” Let them know what you have done through experience, education or what you are passionate about that relates directly to the job you are applying for… and of course, use detail! If you have any accomplishments, this is where they will shine.
You can write: “I have extensive experience in customer service.” OR you can write: “I have successfully made hundreds of customers happy each shift by informing them on how our products can better their life. I have become a great multitasker by helping multiple customers at once and staying on track while doing so.” See the difference? The employer will already be able to see your customer service experience on your resume or LinkedIn page, but by reading this they will know that you are a true salesperson and that you connect well with people.
Employers want to see that you are interested in them and the position that you are applying for. If they can see that then they will become interested in you!
Understand that writing a cover letter isn’t easy, but it is your first chance to secure an interview. While doing the tedious research you will also be able to learn everything about the company you are applying for, helping you figure out for yourself if you truly are interested in the employer or position in general.
Cover letters are important and should be written every time you apply for a job. It can be exhausting but make sure that you keep them fun and original each time. If you truly take your time and do it right, then the results will make their way right to you.
Good Luck and Happy Writing!
Colleen is an HR Assistant who began her journey at Cultural Chemistry as an Intern while still in college. She now focuses on recruiting amazing talent for her several clients. She can be reached by calling the office at (603) 518-8676 as well as at her email, email@example.com.