How to Write an Exceptional Cover Letter

  • On February 25, 2021

While your resume is the number one resource to submit to employers, it is also important to submit a cover letter. Cover letters may no longer seem relevant in the digital recruiting world, but it is an introduction to the company–and a great way to make your first impression. The formatting of a cover letter can change, though, depending on if it’s in its traditional form versus the body of an email. However you decide to present your cover letter, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Don’t Repeat Your Resume

Too often people compose their cover letters to reiterate their resume; that’s the one thing you shouldn’t do. Your cover letter should contain specific information regarding skills and experience–making you the ideal candidate. This also allows you the opportunity to mention details that are not listed on your resume but are important to the job in question. Your letter should mention why you would like to be considered for the position while also tying in details concerning the company, its mission, and its values. 

Tailor Each Letter to Each Job

While many use a one-size-fits-all approach, you shouldn’t. Each job has requirements and specifications, so each cover letter you submit should be tailored to those details. Once you figure out the most appropriate details to mention in your letter, gather numerical data to support your claims (if applicable). If you held a management position, mention the size of the team, budgets, and other important information. If you are in sales, mention the goals you’ve achieved and other accomplishments within the position. Lastly, highlight your talents to make the letter more personalized while demonstrating your ability to take on the role in question.

Use Keywords from the Job Description

Whether resumes and cover letters are processed digitally or in-person, it is important to use the keywords from the job description. Many companies utilize software to look for keywords they find to be a decision-maker. You should be honest because you can’t mention experience in technology just to go to an interview if you know nothing about it. Key things to look for are the type of degree required, years of experience, specified skills, and more. 

Keep It Brief

While there is a lot of information an applicant can provide, you should keep the most relevant information in your cover letter. Managers usually process a pile of applications, and a long cover letter can incline them to dismiss you. Cover letters should be no more than one page if printed, or if you have years of experience possible 1.5 to 2 pages.

Address The Hiring Manager

To ensure you don’t send the same letter to different roles, each cover letter should address the person hiring for the position. If it’s not mentioned in the job posting, call the employer and ask for the name and title of the hiring manager.  

Tackle Areas of Concern

During COVID-19, many were unemployed for a short or long period of time. If you have space and this applies to you, let the hiring manager know why you have a gap in employment and anything you’ve done to keep your skills up to date. 

Proofread Your Cover Letter

Last, and most importantly, proofread your letter. Ignoring this tip can make you seem careless. Reading your letter aloud, and having others read it also, can help identify typos, sentence structure issues, and more. Staff Solve continues to provide high-quality candidates and jobs in diverse markets for over 27 years. Let us take the stress off you so you can focus on your business by finding the perfect applicant for the position. If you are looking for employment, please visit our job seeker page. If you would like more information about the services we offer employers, visit our employer page or contact us today.

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