When it comes to cover letters, first impressions are everything. If an employer has a large stack of papers or digital files to go through, having a cover letter that stands out can make the difference between landing an interview and getting shoved to the bottom of the stack. Your cover letter should be designed to grab the employer’s attention so that they will read the resume, and hopefully contact you for an interview.
- Get to the point. Try to include some of your qualifications within the first sentence. That’s right! Instead of saying “I am writing to inquire about the open sales position,” try “I believe my experience in A, B, and C make me a perfect fit for your open sales position.” This will entice the employer to keep reading, as it grabs their attention right away. Point out experience, positions, skills, and more.
- Use a name. None of this “To whom it may concern:” nonsense. If you take a few minutes to call the business and ask who the hiring manager is, or do some digging online, this will show the employer that you are resourceful and did your homework.
- Get specific. Instead of simply saying that you are hard working or good with people, use descriptive examples to show your strengths. Start with a sentence outlining your skill, and follow with an example of how you have applied this skill in the field.
- Use statistics. Employers love candidates that are results driven. Did you hit your sales goal 6 months straight? Did you have the highest closing ratio in a previous position? Give examples with real numbers to show the employer that you speak their language, and that your skills will improve their business.
- Don’t summarize your resume. Include some points that will not be part of your resume. Nobody wants to read the exact same thing twice.