5 ways to improve your cover letter
While having a high-quality resume is an important step to landing the job you want, a cover letter is almost as important. Whether you’re applying for your very first job or are searching for a new position in the work force, you’re going to want to have a strong cover letter. Resumes are great, but cover letters can effectively separate yours from the rest of the stack. That said, writing a cover letter can be an overwhelming process if you don’t know what you’re doing. Follow these five easy tips when writing your cover letter:
1. Grab your reader’s attention
The opening paragraph of your cover letter is perhaps the most important of all. Do your best to capture the attention of your reader. First of all, try to avoid generic introductions. For example, avoid “To whom it may concern” if you can. Research the company and find out who will be reading your letter. Doing so will show that you made an extra effort before you’re even hired.
2. Don’t repeat your resume
While you can go into further detail about important instances from your resume, don’t make your cover letter a cookie-cutter version of the resume. Your potential employer doesn’t need to reread the same document again, so take the opportunity to highlight skills and professional growth specific to the role you’re applying for.
3. Provide appropriate examples
“Think outside the box.”
When you’re talking about more specific examples in your cover letter, make sure they are in tune with the job you’re applying for. Provide specific, work-related examples of your career experience. Try to pick examples that highlight your ability to think outside the box. If you have leadership or managerial experience, make sure you include it.
4. Give the right contact info
The closing of your cover letter should include detailed information on how best to get in touch with you. Give your potential employer a means to contact you that is convenient for both of you. In the same vein, try to be consistent with the mode of communication. If the majority of your contact with the company has been over the phone, leave your cell phone number. The same goes for email.
5. Proofread, please!
It may seem fairly obvious, but make sure that you’ve proofread every part of your cover letter. The last thing you want to do is submit something with a spelling or grammar error. Take the extra time to ensure everything is absolutely perfect. Doing so will help get you in the door for the next step: the interview!