Job seekers without a flair for writing and storytelling may find it painfully difficult to put together an impressive cover letter. The most common way they start their cover letter is with words like, “I’m very pleased to submit my application.” But do you realize just how awfully stiff these words sound to employers?
A cover letter is your personal introduction to the employer. It has to communicate your professional journey so far, or how you acquired the skills that you’ve listed in your resume. In the recruitment industry, narrating a story and driving home a point is considered a “very good” practice, really. You can also mention common contacts, crack a mild joke, and carefully build the interest of the person reading it.
But before telling you how to do that, let’s find out what a cover letter is, and why it is so important:
What Is A Cover Letter?
According to the most common definition of a cover letter – it is a document sent with the resume to provide additional information about your experience and skills. It tells what qualifies you for the job and why prospective employers should hire you.
It’s your chance to impress the reader and build a connection with him or her, which is why having a readable and honest cover letter will be the window to your dream job.
3 Tips For Writing A Successful Cover Letter
When you sit down to write a cover letter, keep in mind the following points. They will help you create a nearly perfect cover letter.
1. Keep It Short
First things first, never exceed the cover letter by two pages!
Experienced recruitment professionals time and again give this advice to every job seeker – never write lengthy cover letters because no one has the time and patience to go through lengthy text that’s not relevant to them.
As a general rule, larger the company, the less important a cover letter becomes. The only exception to this general rule might be when you are applying for some very senior positions at a big company.
Unless you are eyeing such posts, keep it short and sweet.
2. Write A Striking Introduction
The very first lines of your cover letter should blow the reader’s mind. If they don’t, you’re application is going in the recycle bin, and that’s for sure!
Don’t make it abstract by starting with something like, “I’m a highly skilled salesman with proven experience….”
So what? Every person claiming the position will say the same.
Instead, make it a little more striking by saying something like this:
“I see that market sales have dropped drastically in your industry. I have 12 years of experience in international marketing in the same industry, and I’ve been able to increase sales at the last two companies where I worked.”
Now that’s a killer opening for the employer. You’re making the same claim as above, but it sounds to be true.
Alternate Way Of Starting The Cover Letter
Not everyone will have prior experience or an experience to brag about.
Statistics have proven that less than 10% job seekers get selected by responding to Internet ads. Most of us get jobs through personal contact. Maybe you went from company to company on your own, or your friends and family recommended you a position.
If this is the case, begin your cover letter by saying something like, “XYZ recommended I get in touch with you about the sales job at your company….”
Again, you’ve given it a personal touch, and chances are you’ll be recognized for that.
3. Write A Career Summary That’s Tailored To The Job
Now that the biggest hurdle of introducing yourself is past, you may elaborate more upon your skill set and career path.
After the introductory lines, write a small summary about your career, tailored to fit the needs of the company you’re approaching.
In the next paragraph, lay out your accomplishments (again only the ones relevant to this job).
And, in the last paragraph, say when you’ll get in touch, or ask for an appointment or interview dates.
This is a guest post.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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