It’s a candidate-driven market. The unemployment rate has been hovering around 4.0% all year. Candidates have options (and lots of them!). However, if you don’t write an outstanding cover letter, you may still be faced with a turndown.
If you really want to nail that job interview, here are four steps to writing a killer cover letter.
Make it personal
If you want to start your cover letter off on the right foot, you must personalize it. That means “To whom it may concern” won’t cut it.
You need to do your due diligence and address your cover letter to the hiring manager. If you don’t know who the hiring manager is, jump on LinkedIn and do a quick search. Find the organization for the job you are applying for and look at their list of employees. You can filter them down to find the right person to address your letter.
For example, if you are applying for a Marketing Specialist position, you can find the marketing manager on LinkedIn and use them to address your letter. If you are still having troubles addressing your letter, give a quick call to the company’s HR department and just ask. They will be more than happy to help!
If you don’t address the cover letter to a specific person (or worse, address it to the wrong person), you might as well not even apply for the position.
Mirror the job description
The hiring manager, of course, wants to hear all of your accomplishments and skills. However, you must refer back to the job description as you are writing your cover letter.
Think of the job description as a checklist. Now, I am not saying you have to copy it verbatim, but you do want to ensure that you illustrate that you’re qualified to tackle the job. I would suggest going through the description and highlighting all of the key qualifications the organization is searching for.
If you can do this, you will prove that you are a perfect match for the job and will almost guarantee yourself a callback.
Tell them why you’re interested
Don’t just regurgitate the same old cover letter you use for every job application. You need to tell the hiring manager why you’re excited about the job and the organization if you want to impress them.
It’s one thing to be qualified for the job. It’s another to be excited about the opportunity and the potential of working for the employer. If you can do this while tying in some facts about the company, you’re in good shape.
Hiring managers want to see what you know about the company and how you will play into the bigger picture. You can reference recent accomplishments, awards, events, or other recognitions. Showing that you’re excited about the job will help the person reading your CV letter be excited about you as a candidate!
It may seem weird to let your personality shine through the cover letter, but employers want to see the real you. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Just make sure you keep it professional.
As company culture is becoming more and more important, employers are searching for candidates that will be a good fit for the organization. If a hiring manager can tell that you’re a good fit, your chances of landing an interview drastically increases! Good luck!