Do you really need a cover letter? Recruiters are split on this issue. As a job seeker it is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard when a letter is requested. Some recruiters are looking for specific information that won’t be found in a resume. Others want to know that you can follow directions. What is the best way to write a cover letter and how can it get you a job? Next time you need to create a letter, consider these following tips.
- An outstanding opening. Before you compose the body of the letter you need to know how it should be addressed. Do as much research as you can to find out the name of the recruiter or hiring manager who will be receiving your resume. Try searching LinkedIn for the right person. Only if you can’t find a name should you resort to “To Whom it May Concern.” Beyond the salutation the first sentence must be an attention grabber. You should succinctly say why you are applying for this specific job and why you want to work for them.
- Why are you awesome? Think about three to five significant accomplishments that you have had throughout your career and showcase them in your second paragraph. You want them to be interested in your background so they will go on to read your resume and pick up the phone to call you. Here is where you can provide specifics and statistics.
- Sell yourself. Even more than your resume, a cover letter is a sales document. You want to make sure you include a call to action for the reviewer. Let them know why they want to contact you and, more importantly, include your contact information directly in the letter even though it is also on your resume. You are hoping they pick up the phone immediately.
- Additional advice. Keep your cover letter formal and use the same heading as your resume so the documents are consistent. Keep the letter short and separate your paragraphs so the recruiters don’t have to read through large blocks of text. Proofread several times before sending the cover letter. Read it out loud to make sure it sounds right and consider having a friend or family member read it over as well. Even a simple mistake in an otherwise perfect cover letter can affect your chances.
Are you looking for more professional job search advice? Call the professional recruiting team at CornerStone Staffing today!