“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”
– Paul J. Meyer
How does one create an attention-grabbing cover letter? This question is not only important for newly grads and job seekers, but is also pervasive in terms of putting the pressure on them to stand out from the rest. Now it is understandable that proper use of English grammar (for predominantly English countries and countries that use it as a prime communication tool) is an absolute when writing a cover letter. However, that’s not all that you’ll be needing to get you noticed by the hiring managers.
Therefore, I took it upon myself to tackle down the basic principles in writing an exceptionally paced cover letter. Below are 6-real life experience-based tips that you can utilize to set yourself apart from other applicants.
1) Avoid Recycling your Resume
One of the common pitfalls that job seekers fall into is that they assume that hiring managers will only skim through their resumes and cover letters very quickly, but often find themselves wrong. Hiring managers are what people call nowadays as “hardliners,” a cold war era term for extremely loyal communists of the former Soviet Union, which means that these people cannot be bargained with. Either you present yourself as the best candidate backed by valid reasons or find another job to apply to. They deal in absolutes, which is why you need to customize your resume for each job post that you send your application to. Meanwhile, your cover letter should emphasize your interest and enthusiasm in working in the field of whatever job you’re applying for.
For instance, you’re applying for a chef position in a cruise ship, then you should highlight important aspects of cooking, food in cruise ships and expensive restaurants and hotels and modern cooking methods and techniques. Indicate also that you’re overwhelmingly ecstatic about the job.
Include a greeting, an overview of your professional life, relevant skills and notable achievements and write them succinctly in 3 – 3.5 paragraphs long.
3) Address Nobody
Most of the time you know the details of the company where you’ll send your job application through research, so you know exactly who to address your cover letter to; however, in case you don’t know, then just write “To Whom It May Concern” or “To The Hiring Manager.” It’s safer this way.
4) Send it as a PDF
Using MS Word to format and submit your resume and cover letter to the HR of the company where the job post came from/addressed to has 3 disadvantages. 1) Not all offices use Windows Operating Systems or Microsoft Office Suite, 2) Some details/formatting and even information gets disoriented or lost while in transit over the web and your application may appear a kindergarten’s handy work instead of a professional package; and 3) Your resume will look stunning and professionally done if it is in PDF format and hiring managers like that a lot.
5) Avoid Using These Phrases at All Cost
“My name is ___, and I am applying for the position as ____”. They already know this, and you’ll sound inexperienced.
6) Have a Strong Closing Point
A strong closing point would include the highlighting of your abilities in order to answer the question, “why should we hire you?” Your eagerness to work in the company and understanding of your role and responsibilities in case you’ll be hired, and a sense of urgency as to discuss the job details further with the hiring manager. But again keep it short and avoid writing more gibberish.