How to Land a Job Interview with Your Cover Letter
In today’s job market, many open positions attract as many as 200 to 500 applications. With that staggering level of competition, you’ll clearly need something to stand out and get noticed. An outstanding cover letter is not only the first impression you’ll make on employers, it could be your best chance to land an interview. The tips below can help you to create a personal, targeted, unforgettable cover letter. A professional cover letter service like LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder is another great way to make your cover letter shine!
What is a Cover Letter?
Here’s what a cover letter is not: it’s not a copy of your resume in different form. Your resume should list the facts of your experience. Your cover letter should go into more detail and explain not just why you’re qualified for the job, but why you want it. When writing your cover letter, try to avoid some of these common pitfalls:
• Using excess words and fluff to fill the page. Recruiters are experienced in scanning cover letters to fill positions. They report it takes approximately six seconds to scan one page, and unless their eye was attracted in a positive way to the information, the letter and resume are discarded.
• Don’t say that you would be a “huge asset” to the company. They will decide, not you. Be confident, but not presumptive.
• “I am self-motivated, have opened three stores and am a successful leader as you can see in these jobs.” This is simply stating information that is in your resume. When the recruiter sees this, they ignore it because they already have your resume.
• Taking information straight from the resume. Don’t waste their time.
Using a Positive, Upbeat Cover Letter to Land a Job Interview
As you can see, it takes writing a creative and positive cover letter in order to land a job interview and get your foot in the door. The only way to work your way into an interview position is to be invited, and the best way to get invited is for a recruiter to read and be wowed by your cover letter. When striving to create an interview-winning cover letter, make sure to keep these points in mind:
- A cover letter is formal, so keep 11 pt. font, one inch margins, clean copy with no errors and left margin copy for a clean appearance.
- Use conversational speech with no big words, and allow your own personality to express enthusiasm for the job.
- Really study your resume to uncover the skills used to achieve the experience in previous jobs, and use short stories to express emotions and accomplishments rather than simply listing them.
- Develop a clear first paragraph with why you like the company. Include any relationship you may have with any of their products or services.
- In the last paragraph, draw a conclusion and offer a call to action.
Remember, a cover letter is not a copy of your resume in a different form. It also shouldn’t require a PHD to complete (maybe just an assist for a cover letter builder like LiveCareer’s). An intriguing cover letter is the best way to land a job interview, get hired, and find a career you’ll love.