Writing cover letters probably isn’t on your list of favorite things to do and crafting a flawless one is no easy task – it needs to be short, snappy, and contain the right combination of creativity and originality. Whereas resumes are usually a cut-and-dry list of skills and experiences, the cover letter communicates intangible personal and professional traits that can’t be easily pulled from an application or resume. Follow these three tips to create a cover letter that not only lands you a ticket to an interview, but a seat at your next job!
- Never rehash your resume – The hiring managers already have your resume— they don’t need you rehash it in a harder-to-read, paragraph version. The point of the cover letter is to provide additional, detailed information about why you are qualified for the job. So focus on creating a unique document, highlighting one to two aspects of the position and how your experiences speak to those requirements.
- Brevity is king – There’s no golden rule when it comes to actual word counts or page lengths. However, cover letters that cut straight to the point tend to be better received than ones that are longwinded and drawn-out. Remember that your cover letter should be concise enough so as not to lose the hiring manager’s interest, but direct enough to deem you worthy of an interview.
- Customize your cover letter – Taking the easy or simple way out is never a shortcut to success and the same holds true when it comes to your cover letter. Trolling the internet for a generic, boilerplate cover letter, slapping your name on it, and submitting it with good intentions is the quickest way to get overlooked as a candidate. Employers want to know how your specific skills will solve their specific needs.
Never think of your cover letter as an unnecessary, time-wasting requirement; think of it as an indispensable side-kick to your resume or application. Crafting the perfect cover letter can get you noticed and transform your entire job search.