Searching for a new job can be tough. After a while, all the applications resumes, and cover letters begin to merge into one another. As such, job seekers often make the age-old mistake of creating and sending the same mundane cover letter to each and every job opening. Chances are it fails to grab the employers attention.
In short, your cover letter should never be an afterthought. Typically, they’re the first thing decision makers read when reviewing your application, so you need to ensure it creates a killer first impression. If you don’t know how to do that, luckily for you, we have some top-notch advice.
Spice up your cover letter
Your cover letter should exude enthusiasm. A great way of kickstarting your message is to write something along the lines of; “I’m excited to apply for [insert the role you’re applying for] with [insert company name].”
You also want to show a potential employer you’re the perfect fit for the role, and the best way of achieving this is sharing your track record of getting results. If you’re able to, include at least one tangible accomplishment you’ve achieved for either a client or former employer. Cover letter and resume experts refer to this as the job seeker’s ‘unique value proposition’ (UVP). This should be something impressive that makes you stand out from the crowd of applicants.
Just to clarify, your UVP should just be a brief statement of the accomplishments, experiences, skills, etc. you possess that communicate that you’d be a valuable addition to the organization. This should hook the reader and get them excited to interview you.
Find your unique value proposition (UVP)
If you’re unsure what you have to offer a potential employer, start listing ALL your work-related achievements. From there, pick the most impressive accomplishment that’s relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Top Tip: If you have a statistic or testimonial to back up your UVP, drop that in. This works wonders for boosting your credibility and reassures employers they don’t have to just take your word for it.
Handy Hack: Scan the job ad and see what the company’s priorities are, from there you can pick something that proves you have the skills to help them achieve their business goals.
Other top tips
You want to ensure your cover letter is as easy to read as possible, so pay careful attention to formatting. If appropriate, try to use bullet points. This increases the likelihood of the employer absorbing all of the critical skills and experience you want them to note. If, for whatever reason, you feel it’s inappropriate to use bullet points, at least use short paragraphs. You don’t want to present an HR rep with a wall of text. This is the last thing they want to see, making it a surefire way of creating a bad impression from the get-go.
In addition to this, you should always personalize your cover letter by using the recipient’s first and last name. It’s also advisable to show your respect by using either “Mr.” or “Ms.” However, if you’re applying for a job where the industry is renown for being casual (for example, content writing or digital marketing), then feel free to drop their last name and title. Just whatever you do, avoid general openings like “To Whom it May Concern”- this suggests to the HR rep you’re sending the same cover letter to every job you’re applying for (and there’s a good chance they’d be right in this assumption).
We hope the above advice helps you to write a knockout cover letter. Please feel free to share these handy hints and tips with other job seekers!