Pretty much every job application—whether the job’s posted online, on Facebook, or on a bulletin board—requires a cover letter. Even if you don’t consider writing your strength, you can still create an outstanding cover letter that any hiring manager is sure to pay attention to. These simple cover letter moves can help you get started.
1. Be Yourself
One of the most common mistakes that you can make is using an overly stiff, professional tone in your cover letter. While professionalism is important, you shouldn’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. By choosing specific words to describe your skills, capabilities, and interest in a position, you can ensure that your cover letter fully resonates with your personality. Don’t be afraid to be yourself—the hiring manager will most likely appreciate it, considering he or she reads countless cover letters each day. Avoid using stereotypical openings and phrases in your cover letter as well. Instead, find a refreshing way to word things. For example, avoid the classic “Dear Hiring Manager” opening sentence. Instead, address the hiring manager directly. If you don’t know his or her name, skip it entirely or use the company name.
2. Cover Letters Shouldn’t Repeat Your Resume
Many job seekers make the mistake of rewording their resume within their cover letter. You may even be doing this without realizing it. Remember, the purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself and persuade the hiring manager that you’re the best fit for the job. Chances are that the hiring manager will review your resume right after reading your cover letter. So instead of rewording your resume, discuss your skills and experience in a unique and compelling way. You can also insert some interesting facts about your industry, or include other information that shows your commitment to your profession. Simple cover letter moves such as this show that you’re passionate about what you do—a trait that every hiring manager looks for in a candidate.
3. Revise & Edit
While it’s important to keep your cover letter short and to the point, never sacrifice your main message. So re-read and edit your cover letter—several times if needed—to ensure that you’re messaging is clear and you’ve included every piece of vital information. Read your finished draft critically. While doing this, you should determine whether each of your sentences is serving a purpose. If it isn’t, delete it. Pull out a thesaurus and check out words that you can use to add personality in place of generic terms. Another way to improve your cover letter is to inspect your grammar thoroughly. Hiring managers won’t take you seriously if your writing is full of errors. You can use an editing or word processing software to perform a grammar and spell check, but don’t rely on it entirely. You should take the time to carefully review your cover letter to catch any mistakes. These strategies can help you produce an error-free, flawless, and well-written cover letter.
Simple Cover Letter Moves Can Make the Difference
These simple cover letter moves can help you create the memorable, professional, and interesting cover letter that you need to stand out from the pile. Improve your chances of landing the job with a strong cover letter that any hiring manager is guaranteed to pay attention to. For even more cover letter help, check out LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder. Full of hundreds of different cover letter templates and sample text, it can help you create the perfect cover letter for any job.