What is the key to getting your cover letter noticed by a potential employer? Consider the following points to ponder:
- Focus on your strengths. Your cover letter gives you the chance to highlight your best qualities as a candidate so don’t be afraid to brag about your abilities, skills, and credentials which make you the right person for the job.
- Be specific. You want to be very specific about the position you are applying for. You should also mention specific accomplishments that show a potential employer what you can do and how you can be a valuable asset for the company.
- Address your employer by the name. If the job ad does not specifically indicate the name of the person to whom you should address your application to, do your research. It’s best to include the name of the manager or the company owner in your salutation rather than just starting your letter with “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern”.
- Get to know the company. In your cover letter, you can show a potential employer that you have done your homework and that you know the company’s mission, vision, background, and goals. If a potential employer can see that you are genuinely interested to be part of the company, you will surely get noticed.
- Focus on the positive. If you are a fresh grad who lacks job experience, you do not need to highlight this fact in your cover letter. Instead, turn the prospective employer’s attention to the positive side. For example, were you a leader or a member of academic organizations while you were in college? What were your experiences as a member or leader of the team? What kinds of projects did you take part of and how were you able to contribute to the project’s success? Mentioning these experiences in your cover letter shows your abilities and attitude towards work and is a great way to make up for your lack of experience.
- Be casual yet professional. Job experts recommend using the conversational writing style in writing a cover letter rather than the traditional formal style of writing. It’s okay to sound as if you are directly speaking with the manager or the hiring officer. However, make sure that in using the conversational style, you do not lose your professionalism and respect. Avoid using slang terms and jargon. Do not include smileys in your cover letter even when you are sending it through email. Observe proper etiquette in writing a business letter and you should be fine.
- Proofread before sending. Never send your cover letter without taking the extra time to proofread. Even a single typographical error or grammatical error in your letter can hurt your image as a job candidate. A potential employer may regard it as carelessness on your part or lack of attention to the small details. It is also a good idea to have someone else proofread your cover letter as well as your resume since other people will be able to spot an error more easily than the person who prepared the document.