You should be sure to direct your cover letter to a specific person, too. This will not only show the employer your initial interest in the position, but also your seriousness as a candidate.
Kill the Cover Letter and Résumé
Karasik says to be clear and concise in asking for an interview. The point of the cover letter, after all, is to persuade the employer that you are the best candidate for the job. Having a clear call to action—in this case, for an interview—followed by your detailed contact information, is key to clinching your spot as a viable candidate. Once you have researched the company and scanned the job posting for key words, be sure to incorporate these phrases into your cover letter.
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The best way to do this is to include the key phrases and industry jargon in descriptions of your skills and experiences, Reesa Greenwald, director of the career center at Seton Hall University, says. Godorov adds that proper use of specific career and industry keywords will showcase your knowledge and passion for the field. Though your cover letter should portray you as a skilled candidate, it is more important that you show how the company will benefit from your expertise.
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Framing your cover letter to address the needs of the company, Hassinger says, will show how you are the best candidate for the job without explicitly saying so. Employers want to hire someone who will be a good cultural fit and can help the company meet its goals. Make sure you convey why and how you would add value—a key factor in the hiring process, she says.
Grant says customizing cover letters for every job application is important. Barber says these rules also apply to online profiles that a hiring manager might see. Use social media to your advantage, especially if you are getting some attention with things like blogs, marketing events, or leadership positions.
She also owns a career consulting business called MLG Career.
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I wrote a whole article on this one tip a few years ago, but it bears repeating now because I still see so many people who attach their cover letter to the e-mail when applying for a position. I recommend making your cover letter the body of your e-mail when you apply.
In this case it would technically be referred to as an e-cover letter or e-note, but it will ensure it gets read. People read e-mail.
They see a cover letter attached and they may never open it and go right to the resume. But by making your cover letter the body of the e-mail, it will be read. You want to keep it short so the reader will actually read it. Encourage the employer to reach out to you via telephone or to review your LinkedIn profile.
Include both when you close your cover letter. I like to add a PS to the end of the cover letters we write. So if you made an important contribution to a vital project that would benefit the employer, I recommend mentioning it.
Great Cover Letters: Harder to Write but Worth the Effort
Which tip was your favorite? Feel free to comment below and share it with me. Feel free to send me an invite here.
My desire—and the heart of Great Resumes Fast —is to use our expertise and experience within the HR world to help job seekers who do not have the time, experience, or expertise to create interview-worthy resumes.