Cover letters have always been a necessary evil in the job search process, but they’re not going anywhere anytime soon—and that’s a good thing! They’re a valuable tool to showcase your skills and personality, which you can use to snag an interview with your dream employer. Follow these five steps to make your cover letter stand out from the crowd and get you closer to landing your dream job.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is an essential part of any job application. It lets hiring managers know who you are, why you’re perfect for their company, and how to contact you. But what should your cover letter include? How long should it be? How do you make it stand out from all the other applicants vying for that same position? To help you navigate writing a cover letter, we’ve put together five simple steps. And for even more guidance, check out our complete guide to writing your best cover letter yet! Anyone can learn how to write effective titles. I hope these examples will spark some ideas for your next post title!
Five steps to writing the best cover letter
The first step is writing out what you know about yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do your friends tell you that they like about you? The second step is researching information for prospective employers. You want to understand what each company looks for in potential employees. Do they offer training programs, or will you need previous experience? Is there anything specific that they advertise looking for on their website or job board posts? Knowing what an employer expects from their employees will help you tailor your cover letter appropriately. The third step is figuring out why each employer would hire someone like you over someone else. Following are five steps to write the best cover letter.
1) Research companies before you write
There are several tools you can use to find out more about companies where you’re applying, but it doesn’t hurt to do some old-fashioned research. Contacting human resources or hiring managers directly is another way of learning more about your potential employer. This makes it easier for you to craft your cover letter with specific details tailored towards each company. There are plenty of free services that let you download public information about companies, so take advantage of them. And if all else fails, reach out to someone who works at your dream company—they might be willing to share some insider info on what they’re looking for in candidates. The fourth step is making sure it’s not too long! Potential employers have limited time, and it’s unlikely they’ll read a three-page essay as part of your application.
2) Understand what they are looking for
Reading cover letter samples is a great way to get an idea of what employers are looking for when they read your application. Use these examples to learn how best to express your skills and experiences so that you can quickly decide which aspects of your background match what they’re looking for. Focus on relevant experience: Look at sample cover letters from job seekers with similar backgrounds, work experience, and qualifications as you have. Think about why they’re getting interviews when others may not be, then use that information when writing your cover letter.
Targeted headings: The attention span of hiring managers is pretty limited—so don’t make them go hunting for what you want them to know. Include targeted headings that highlight only those portions of your resume most important to a specific position. Tailor-made for each company: Writing a generic cover letter won’t do any good unless it fits perfectly into a company’s job posting or recruiter’s criteria. You need a custom approach tailored specifically for each opportunity.
3) Use the right tone
Your tone of voice is going to make or break your letter, so it’s important to get it right. It’s also essential for cover letters to match what you know about the company, its culture, and its products/services. You can get the best cover letter services from an authentic service provider like Career365 (for business-to-business professionals) if you don’t feel comfortable creating your letter; this service guarantee that your letter will be well written. Alternatively, you can ask someone at work for help. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t send something similar straight from your email account then don’t use it for professional purposes either (your exclamation points aren’t helping!). Keep things formal, friendly, and positive throughout. Make sure your letter is clear and easy to read by making good use of headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs.
4) Personalize your cover letter
Having an impressive, professional cover letter is incredibly important when applying for jobs. But it’s often something job seekers overlook—or don’t think they can do themselves. After all, cover letters are one of those things that seem like something only professionals could write. However, if you understand how hiring managers think and what kind of information, they need to see from you before considering you for an interview, writing your cover letter should be easy. You may not have as much experience as a recruiter or career coach, but you certainly know more about yourself than they do.
5) Give them what they want
If you want someone to hire you, it’s not just about showing them that you can do something. It’s also about giving them what they need—and that goes for cover letters, too. Focus on why your background makes you an ideal candidate for their job opening; use past experiences and skills that relate specifically to it, and show off some personality. And always make sure your cover letter is up-to-date with where you are now (your current job title, what you’ve accomplished there). If all else fails, look at their company website or LinkedIn profile; companies often post what they’re looking for on these pages—and chances are, if it’s listed on theirs, they’re likely looking for candidates who can hit those points.