Stand Out in Your Cover Letter

Applying for jobs can be a tedious process, especially since each cover letter should be specifically catered to each position. After a while, your cover letters may begin to sound the same. You’re writing about your professional experience and qualifications, so there may not seem to be much room for creativity or personality.

However, with a fresh mindset and knowing which points to include in your cover letter, drafting these essential documents doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive. Here’s an outline of the five steps you should take to ensure that you show personality in your cover letter and speak to the company’s hiring managers through your writing.

  1. Do your research: Though you’ll draw a lot of the information you need from the job description, conducting further research can give you a better idea of the company culture, which will help you better shape your cover letter. Assess what kind of tone the company sets for itself and try to reflect the same attitude in your cover letter. It’s a subtle way of showing that you’ve invested time into research and writing and aren’t sending out the same copy to every position you apply.
  2. Look for specific information: Before you start your letter off with “To Whom It May Concern,” take a moment to search through the posting for a name. Chances are, the hiring manager will be seeing many nameless headings, so including a name is a surefire way to stand out from the very beginning. There’s a chance that the person reading your cover letter may not be the name you included. However, it still exhibits that you’re interested enough in the position to look for a name.
  3. Don’t repeat information: A cover letter isn’t a chance to expand on your resume. Rather than provide further information on facts that you listed on your resume, highlight other skills and knowledge that pertain to the company’s goals and culture. After all, your resume will be read along with your cover letter, so presenting the same information in more words is going to be redundant. View your cover letter as an opportunity to talk about other professional experiences.
  4. Keep it short: Trying to sound professional can sometimes lead to wordiness. Avoid this by keeping sentences short and concise. If you’re unsure, ask a friend to read it over. Alternatively, you can revisit the draft after a few hours for a fresh perspective. Cut out any unnecessary words or sentences to ensure readability.
  5. Don’t send the same cover letter: Hiring managers view numerous cover letters on a daily basis, so they’re well-aware of which ones are general drafts that are used for multiple positions. Though it may save time, it can decrease your chances of getting a job. Take the time to write a cover letter for each position, and it’ll pay off!
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