Below, I’ve listed the 16 most important tips I’ve learned to make crafting a cover letter into an easy and pain-free process. Skillcrush: The Ultimate Guide the Perfect Email Cover Letter, Lily is a writer, editor, and social media manager, as well as co-founder of The Prospect, the world’s largest student-run college access organization. Your cover letter should be addressed to the hiring manager by name whenever possible. This is a tip that you’ve probably heard before, but it happens all the time: Don’t use your cover letter to simply restate your resume! True story: I once received a cover letter from a friend where he’d had kept his writing to one page—but it was in eight-point font. Another pro tip: Definitely get someone else to read your cover letter. Re-read your cover letter over (and over and over). If you’re writing a cover email, three to five sentences works (since you usually have attachments or links for a hiring manager to click on). The networking cover letter is the black sheep of the cover letter family. Second, make sure you add context to a hyperlink to both draw attention to it and to make the hiring manager understand that it’s worth his or her time to click on. Mentioning a mutual contact early on in your cover letter wi… Psst! If all else fails and you really want to avoid the dreaded “To Whom It May Concern” line, feel free to shoot the company an email. Use more lively language, or better yet, use specific examples to prove your point. I did this before when I was applying to a company that had a plethora of people on its editorial and HR teams and I had no idea who’d be hiring me. Your cover letter should be written in a tone similar to that of the company’s copy. The one thing that’s always been a struggle? For example, if a company is hiring a web designer, it means they don’t think their current layout is up to snuff and they’re looking for someone who can get them there. Soft skills such as communication, problem solving, and creative thinking are extremely valuable and desirable to employers. If nothing else, it’s practice in pitching your strengths, a skill you can use in your job interviews. 2. Flattery. I can write a solid resume, interview well, and make sure that my online presence is on point. If you find yourself going on tangents or including facts that don’t prove your ability to excel at the job or understand the company culture, take it out. The majority of your cover letter should be illustrating to a potential employer what hiring you would do for their company. Skillcrush: 22 Things to Remove From Your Resume Immediately. Again, focus on the pain point: What talents and skills do you have that would help this organization tremendously? Ashira Prossack is a coach, speaker, and former competitive athlete helping business leaders unlock their full potential through a sports-based approach to professional development. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Start by printing your cover letter out and reading it aloud. fun. Keep this brief, your cover letter shouldn’t be a biography. Cover letters are dead, or so we’ve been told.Many recruiters and hiring managers don’t even bother to read them, opting to skim resumes instead. (More here.) Everything should relate to the job description. If you’re going to use hyperlinks in your cover letter, there are two important things to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to write a strong cover letter. Adding numbers and statistics is a solid way to stand out! These soft skills are harder to highlight in your resume, so the cover letter is the place for you to showcase them. Too long or short? Quantifiable results are much more powerful than broad statements. Otherwise, steer clear. Half of the tips are related to what you write, and the other half are tiny things that’ll make sure your cover letter is better than the rest. But think about it: If a company has put up a job description, it means they have a pain point and need a solution. Is there a particular person or department I should direct it to? In fact, as I’ve written more and more cover letters over time (and started helping dozens of other people write theirs), they’ve actually become (gasp!) Notice that this question is about the company’s problem, not your desire to land the job! Don’t regurgitate your resume. Squeeze an emoji into a cover email if you’re SUPER confident it’s appropriate. 8. Keep your font professional (and normal). Think of your resume as an outline of your career, and the cover letter as the description. Here’s the most important question any cover letter should answer: What problem would hiring you solve? That’s the problem they need solved, and that’s what your cover letter should make clear in first few sentences. Just like adding quantifiers, examples make a much greater impact. I’ve seen dozens of cover letters in the past month, and the biggest issue across the board is that people make their cover letters way too long. Hiring managers assume that if you’re applying to a particular job, that must mean you really want that job.
Match the level of formality of the job to the formality of your cover letter.
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