In an earlier blog post, we addressed your resume, specifically focusing on two aspects that can make it stand out.
In this post, we’re moving our attention from the resume to the cover letter. After all, if your cover letter isn’t put together well, your resume may not get the chance to shine.
Of course, you want to make sure that the cover letter is presented properly. This involves using the proper materials (stationary and envelopes), as well as making sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
If you commit mistakes in either of these areas, your cover letter won’t make it very far in the hands of the hiring authority. And once again, your resume will not get a chance to shine.
So for the purposes of this blog post, let’s assume that you have presented your cover letter properly, which means that the hiring authority reads (or at least skims) the entire letter. Then what?
Well, now we move from presentation to execution. In other words, how well did your cover letter do what you wanted it to do?
Below are five ways to make your cover letter stand out:
1. Customize every cover letter you write. Find out as much as you can about the company and then customize your letter to convey your understanding of the company and what it does. Don’t just “shotgun” out form letters for numerous job openings.
2. Address an actual living, breathing person. Do NOT use “To Whom It May Concern.” By conducting some research, you should be able to find out the name and title of the person eventually reading your letter.
3. Get to the point. Explain the reason for your correspondence, make specific reference to the position for which you’re applying, and mention any prior communication or contact you’ve had with them. Brevity is your friend.
4. Tailor yourself to the position. Mention prior experience that shows how you’re a potential fit for the position, including tangible ways in which you helped your previous employers. But once again, be brief.
5. ASK for an interview. In sales, the salesperson should always ask for the sale. So you should ask for an interview in your cover letter. That’s the next logical step in the process, so display confidence that you’ll be taking it.
Landing a new job is all about standing out from the crowd. Now that you know how to accomplish that with both your resume and your cover letter, your job search will be that much more effective.
Time Staffing Inc.