You’ve spent hours crafting your resume, tailoring it to the job you want, and making sure every word sounds just right. But have you taken the time to write an attention-grabbing cover letter? A quality cover letter can make the difference between getting called in for an interview or getting passed over, so it’s not something you want to take lightly—yet many people do.
In this article, we’ll discuss why writing cover letters need more attention than you might think and how to make yours stand out from the pack in three simple steps.
The Importance of a Cover Letter
Since your cover letter is your first introduction to a potential employer, it's important that you put some thought into it. A well-written cover letter can make all the difference in landing an interview and if you're willing to put the time into writing one that speaks about who you are and why they should hire you, then more often than not, they will.
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What Does Your Cover Letter Look Like?
The cover letter is arguably the most important part of your job application. It provides an overview of who you are, why you want the job, and why you're the best person for it. With so much competition out there, here's how to write a cover letter that will stand out and make your application memorable.
Introducing Yourself To The Recruiter
A cover letter may not be necessary when applying for certain positions; but if it is, there are certain guidelines that should be followed. First of all, introduce yourself by explaining why you’re contacting them by letter instead of email or phone call. When introducing yourself explain why their company stands out to you and what type of position that you are interested in within their organization.
Finally, ask that they contact you when they have reviewed your resume so you can prepare to interview over the phone or face-to-face based on the interest expressed by the company representative(s).
You can start the introduction with something like:
Hello, My name is X and I am writing in response to your recent listing for (position). I am looking for an opportunity where I can use my experience as well as my new skills.
Hiring managers like different things
Different hiring managers have different preferences. There is no one correct way to write your cover letter. You should tailor your letter and highlight the skills, qualifications, and traits that you think would make you a good fit for the position in question. Of course, this doesn't mean sending out mass copies of the same cover letter - each person who receives one needs something new.
Remember that this is also an opportunity for you to show what distinguishes you from other candidates so be sure not to leave it up for speculation!
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What About When You Don’t Have Work Experience?
Don't worry, even if you don't have relevant work experience for the position, it's not the end of the world. You can create your own cover letter that highlights what makes you unique and different from other candidates.
For example, start with an introductory paragraph about who you are and then talk about your accomplishments, skills or experiences that are relevant to the job description. Make sure to highlight any related degrees, certifications or affiliations in your cover letter as well.
Do You Need References?
References are optional, but provide potential employers with a sense of who you are and how well you do your job. If references, you should consider people who have known you for many years and know what it is like to work with you. You should give them enough time to complete the reference form (often weeks before the interview) and prepare what they want to say about your skills and experience.
Consider family members or close friends for this task.
Customize your CV for each job you apply for!
A CV is typically the first thing that gets reviewed by hiring managers. It should include some information about why you're qualified for the position, and what sets you apart from other candidates. Your CV should be customized for each job you apply for! Here are some tips on how to tailor your CV
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