Your cover letter is the first thing a potential employer sees—make a good first impression with these tips
Can a cover letter make or break your chance of getting an interview? Certainly submitting a resume with no cover letter decreases your chances.
Your cover letter is your chance to personalize your first contact with a potential employer. It introduces you, what you know and how you can help the employer.
Inject some of your personality – if you’re enthusiastic, vibrant, loud, or quiet and thoughtful, get a bit of your personality in there that would be relevant to the job posting or the company’s culture.
Tell them how you learned about the position and mention specific skills listed in the job ad.
- Tell the employer what you will do for them: be specific; what skills do you have that the employer is looking for?
Include something you know about the company that is your reason for applying. Research the company on their website. For example:
- Your website states that your company values collaboration and accountability, values I share and bring to each position I hold.
- My resume provides an outline of my background and experience that I hope reflects the type of candidate you are seeking.
Tell them enough to show you have what they are looking for while leaving something for the interview – a cover letter is not the story of your life. Also don’t repeat everything on your resume or there won’t be any reason for them to look at it.
Showcase your strengths, what work you are doing currently, and how your experience will help you succeed in the new position.
- If your are writing a cover letter for a career change or a different role, then show them what transferable skills you have that will help you to succeed in that role.
Show them that you are eager to learn, and offer a brief example of a time you were challenged at the job. Problem-solving skills are important in any job, so if you can share an example of a problem you solved, tell that story. If it helped save time or money or resulted in some other positive change, make sure you mention that, too.
Your cover letter is about making that initial connection with your potential employer. Make a good first impression with a good cover letter, and you’ll increase your chances of getting an interview, and hopefully, getting the job.
Read our Top 10 Resume Tips to complete your application.
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