Whether you’re looking for an entry-level job or expecting to make a career leap by applying for a plum position in a Fortune 500 company, a creative cover letter can brighten your chances of landing the job.
When you’re sending in your CV/Resume for a position, you’re painfully aware that the bio-data has to compete with countless other CVs that appear almost identical in many respects. Just put yourself in the shoes of the HR manager and think of a harrowing scenario where you’d have to sift through innumerable curriculum vitas.
You’ll have a hard time separating the grain from the chaff when every CV resembles the ones that you’ve been through. It is the cover-letter accompanying the bio-data that comes as a saving grace as it is one transcript that helps the HR Department or hiring manager to figure out whether the applicant fits the bill.
So what goes into your cover letter will to a great extent influence your possibilities of getting recruited.
1. Have a unique or different cover-letter for every position you’re applying to
Before you proceed to write an application, keep in mind that the letter is not your CV that you mail to every prospective employer. As mentioned in the introduction, your cover application should be original in every respect. That in essence implies that the epistle should be in consonance with or customized with the position you’re applying for.
So, you should be prepared to write a new cover letter every time you’re mailing your CV for a fresh opening. Regardless of the manner in which you develop the cover letter, it should basically highlight why you deserve to get the job and be scheduled for a session with the employer.
There are 5 distinct types or kinds of cover letters to choose from
- Application letter
- Referral cover letter
- Networking letter
- Value proposition letter
- Letter of interest
2. Correctly addressing the cover letter makes a big difference
A letter or any letter for that matter is always addressed to an individual or institution, and it is no different with a cover letter. Therefore, your job application letter should always include the name of the individual (or his or her designation in the organization) prefixed by a salubrious salutation (Dear Rodney Smith or Dear Sir/Madam). But more often than not, you could find yourself responding to an open job ad or classified.
In other words, the employer or organization has only inserted a company mail id for mailing in your CV and not specified the post or designation of the person you’re applying to. Sometimes, only the position to who you should apply is mentioned but the name of the individual is not stated.
In order to avoid any misunderstanding, it is best to address generically i.e. start with-Dear HRD Manager or Dear Sir/Madam. It is alright to start writing even without a salutation or greeting.
3. Make your cover letter as personal as you can
If you’re on a job hunting spree, needless to say, you’ll have to pen innumerable cover letters. So, after a while, a degree of monotony and mediocrity is bound to creep into your letters. However, you cannot afford to compromise on the originality or customization front. 7
You’ll need to ensure that each and every cover letter that you create should be optimized specifically for the organization and the position you’re applying to.
In order to create a customized letter, find out the name of the recruitment manager and start the application by greeting the person you’re applying to. Also, if you’re acquainted with someone who is employed in the firm, there’s nothing wrong in mentioning his or her name somewhere in the letter. Dropping an employee’s name might guarantee at least a perusal of your CV (and the cover letter of course.
Thereafter, the state in a creative manner how you came to learn about the opening, your qualifications, professional skills, and past experiences.
4. Pay attention to formatting
Another aspect that you need to pay attention is formatting. In other words, the manner in which you arrange or present info about yourself (personal bio, academic qualifications, extracurricular skills, and so on), as well as the presentation order (which comes first and what goes in at the end), matters considerably.
The formatting doesn’t change with the medium you use to post your CV. So, whether you’re applying via the company’s site or emailing from your personal mail id, the letter should be formatted methodically, so that the employer can collect info about you after having a glance.
5. Temper the letter with relevant keywords
Your cover letter should be written in a manner that the recruitment manager or employer is stirred into reading and rereading the memo. One good way of ensuring that the letter will get noticed is to temper it with keywords. Generally, there are three main types of keywords that you should remember to insert-recognition/contribution keywords, result-driven keywords, and skill keywords.
Of course, you can turn to the Internet for tips or tutorials on how to develop a (job) application letter or cover letter but could be disheartened.
Most of the suggestions are hackneyed and run-of-the-mill. This article endeavors to elucidate some simple yet effective tips that’ll go a long way in enabling you to write a unique cover letter compelling the recruitment manager to sit up and take notice.