Every time you apply for a job, you need to write a cover letter. A cover letter attaches to your resume and acts as your very first introduction to your potential employer.
Recruiters will very quickly browse through your cover letter and resume. It needs to be simple, effective, captivating, and well written. The cover letter and resume are usually the deciding factors on whether you make it to the interview round. If you want the job, you need your cover letter to help you land the interview.
Find some cover letter basics here.
A well written cover letter will help you distinguish yourself from the masses of other applicants. Here are a few tips to help you write a cover letter that will land you a job interview.
- Be concise – Recruiters do not spend long reading cover letters or resumes. You may have less than 30 seconds to impress a recruiter with your letter. Make every word count and capture their attention in the first line or two.
- Customize it – For every job application, write a new cover letter. Do NOT send out the same cover letter for every job. The recruiter will know.
- Don’t summarize your resume – The cover letter is written in addition to the resume. Your resume can speak for itself. Make your cover letter be about the company. Tell the recruiter how you are the missing puzzle piece for the company to be successful.
- Show personal interest – Everyone wants a job. Use the cover letter to show that you have an true interest in what the company is doing and that’s why you’ll be a great asset.
- Drop some names – If you know someone in the company who is willing to vouch for you, mention them in the cover letter. It’s a good time to drop someone’s name because it may help you get to the interview round.
- Use specifics – If you’ve done something impressive that will ultimately benefit your potential employer, let them know. Use specific details or numbers as proof.
- Send it to the correct person – Use Google or make a quick phone call to ensure that your cover letter is addressed or emailed to the correct person. Addressing it “To Whom It May Concern” doesn’t make you look good.
- Choose the correct tone – Write your cover letter in a way that matches the company you are applying for. A cover letter for a summer camp job will need a different tone than a cover letter for an investment banking position.
- Plan your layout – Design your cover letter so it is visually appealing. Use white space, proper font selection, etc.
- Proofread – Be sure to cut the fluff. A spelling or grammatical error is the fastest way for your cover letter and resume to get tossed in the bin.
Keep your cover letter short, sweet, and to the point. Carefully write it so that every word counts. Make sure that it’s attention grabbing and leaves the recruiter wanting to know more about you and how you’ll benefit the company.
The cover letter is one of the most important parts of the job search. Unfortunately it is often overlooked. Use the above tips to help you write a cover letter that will land you an interview. After your cover letter is ready to go, be sure to apply for your next job on JobMonkeyJobs.