Last week we talked about what you should NOT do on your resume. This week, we’ve got some advice about what you SHOULD do when it comes to your cover letter. We read tons of them every day, so we have a pretty good idea about what works.
- Tailor your message – The cover letter gives you an opportunity to address the specific employer and position you’re applying for.
- Connect the dots – Address specific job requirements and relate those to your unique qualifications. Don’t make the potential employer have to take time figuring all that out for you.
- Establish a relationship – Let the potential employer know why you want to work for them and why you’re applying for this job.
- Bridge the gap – If you’re transitioning to a completely different career, the cover letter is an excellent tool you can use to explain how your already held experience and skills will be relevant and useful in the new career you’re seeking.
- Be succinct – You’ve heard it a thousand times, and it’s true. No one has time to read your novel of a cover letter, so keep it short and concise.
- Close with an action – Don’t be vague about what will happen next. Rather than taking the “I look forward to hearing from you” approach, try something very specific like, “I’ll give you a call on Friday to discuss.” Just be sure you actually follow-up on your statement.
Cover letters aren’t for every situation or every person. There are many employers who don’t take the time to read a cover letter unless there’s something about your resumethat just doesn’t add up or they become very interested in you as a candidate. Regardless, the proper use of a cover letter for specific opportunities can both differentiate and elevate your “candidacy” in the eyes of potential employers.
Check out our job openings page to see if we have any positions you might need to start working on your resume and cover letter for!