In an uber-competitive job market, cover letters are more important than ever. Even though the tradition may be outdated, it can help you stand out in a sea of applicants. Here are four guidelines to follow to craft an outstanding cover letter that will leave a lasting impression and land you the job.
Customize A Base Template For Each Job
When you’re in the throes of a job search, you don’t have time to write a completely custom cover letter for each job to which you apply. However, your application materials should feature custom elements throughout. Enter a great cover letter template. Put together the general structure and include your career highlights. Then, as you move through the application process, fill in the blanks, elaborate on what is most relevant to each job, and pepper in actual words used throughout the job description.
Kicking off your cover letter on a strong note will set the tone for your entire hiring process. If you can, search LinkedIn and utilize the hiring manager’s name. If you can’t find a specific person to address your cover letter to, still be as direct as possible. For example, say “Dear Marketing Team” or “Hello Hiring Committee.” This will add an air of familiarity that will open the door for a stable relationship.
Highlight Your Relevant Experiences
As we mentioned above, this is an opportunity to customize your cover letter to each position. Read the job description thoroughly and assess which of your past experiences are most relevant. Then, make sure to go beyond your resume. Include important details like deadlines, goals, and successes. Use this opportunity to paint a picture for the hiring manager. You want them to visualize what it would be like to have you on their team!
Finish With The Future
The closing of your cover letter should reinforce your enthusiasm for the position. This is a great time to mention that you are looking forward to further steps. Include any important details like your availability, willingness to relocate, and any specific notes that the cover letter requested.
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