When hiring mangers sift through the applicant pool in search of the perfect candidate, they look for signs of an employee who can handle the daily demands of the job. But they also look for a few other traits as well. Most managers extend interview invitations to candidates who seem to genuinely want the job, and they also prefer candidates who are likely to enjoy this specific workplace and thrive within this culture. Hiring is expensive, after all, and the most skilled candidate in the world will still represent a bad choice if she doesn’t isn’t comfortable and she leaves within a few months.
So how can you show employers that you really do understand this company’s culture and you’re ready to adapt and thrive within this unique social ecosystem? Use your cover letter to send this message, and before you start to write, learn as much as you can about the environment you’re stepping into. Keep these tips in mind.
1. Have a genuine interest in who they are and what they do.
When you read a job post that interests you, you’ll probably want to fire off a cover letter and resume as quickly as possible. And you’ll want to believe that your skill sets and experience alone will impress these employers enough to win you an interview. But control the urge to fire off a quick round of cut, paste, attach, and send. Get ready to tailor your message to these specific employers, which may take a while. For a job you really want, prepare to spend at least 30 minutes on the application process.
2. Google the company.
Before you visit the company website, run the name of the organization through a search engine and review the first page or two of results. The company website won’t provide you with unbiased information, news articles, or the opinions of current and former employees…but Google might. If this company comes with red flags (for example, legal problems, financial problems, cultural problems, public relations disasters, or a reputation for treating employees poorly), now is the perfect time to find out. You may also find unbiased sources of positive news, and you can trust these sources more than the company’s own claims.
3. Visit the website.
If you like the information you find during your general search, take the next step. Visit the company website and learn about the organization from the horse’s mouth. First, assess the general feel from the website. Is it thoughtfully designed, or is it cheap and thrown together? Is it professionally written and presented, or does the information you find seem unedited, messy and incoherent?
4. Answer three questions.
Before you write your cover letter and tailor your resume, answer three questions: 1.) What exactly does this company do? What is its business model and what product or service does it provide? 2.) How does the company describe its own culture? Does it strive to be fun, competitive, traditional, fast-paced, laid back, collaborative, or cutting edge? 3.) Does this kind of culture genuinely appeal to you? Or at the very least, do you have what it takes to adapt and be happy here?
Create a Winning Cover Letter
Make your letter stand out by putting your employer’s needs first and being honest about your own. Tailor your letter to the specific demands of this company, this position, and your own personality. With a little support from LiveCareer’s Cover Letter Builder , you’ll make the perfect impression.