You send a cover letter with every resume, but are you really making use of this tool? Most job seekers waste this precious opportunity to make an impression on the employer by doing the bare minimum and sending a form letter. Don’t make that mistake. Take the time with every cover letter to differentiate yourself and demonstrate that you are uniquely qualified for the job.
Here are some ways to use the cover letter effectively:
1. Directly relate your skills and experience to the position for which you are applying. Refer to the “requirements” section on the job advertisement and point-by-point outline how you are a great candidate for the position.
2. Demonstrate your passion for the position. Include personal details about why you are particularly interested in the position or the organization. Do you have some kind of connection with the organization or is there something unique about you that attracts you to the role?
3. Cut out the fluff. Eliminate anything in your cover letter that is not directly related to the position. Take out cliches like, “I would be an asset to your team.” or, “Excellent problem solving skills.” This clutter dilutes the effectiveness of your cover letter.
4. Proofread. Nothing takes a candidate out of the running faster than a spelling or grammatical error. Have someone double check and triple check your cover letter.
Since resumes are so standardized, it makes it difficult for employers to see the person behind them. However, cover letters allow you to connect with the employer and show them that your qualifications for this position extend far beyond what you have listed on your resume.
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