Competition for jobs is fierce, but great cover letters give you an edge in the job market. A quality cover letter that targets a specific position with a specific company shows you care and puts you ahead of job seekers simply flooding the market with generic resumes. Use these cover letter tips to craft great cover letters that stand out from the crowd to help you close the deal fast.
Incorporate the Company's Mission
Hiring managers are looking for future employees who are invested in their new positions. Always research the company to become knowledgeable about its values, traditions and culture. Get a good feel for the responsibilities of the position that you are applying for and how that position fits into the company's hierarchy. Great cover letters should let the company know that you did your research.
A standard cover letter starts with a brief description of the job for which you are applying. This typically includes the company name, but many job applicants limit any further discussion of their potential employer. Stand out from the crowd by incorporating tidbits from your research. Discuss the company's mission and how your skill set and attitudes mesh with that position. Great cover letters show those responsible for hiring that you care enough to do your research and that you really want to work for them.
Tell a Story
Each available position at a company results in many applicants, and hiring managers quickly grow tired of looking through cover letters and resumes. Great cover letters catch their attention and hold it. The core of a quality cover letter is a good story. Tell an interesting story that relates to your qualifications for the position, and your cover letter is likely to rise to the top of the pile. Good stories tell about how you solved a problem in the past, ideally a problem similar to those found in the position for which you are applying. Do not be afraid to incorporate some humor. An entertained reader will keep reading until the end, and that is exactly what you need.
Focus on Value
Every great cover letter includes a little introspection. Reflect on your own values, and relate them to how you perceive yourself in the position for which you are applying. How do you see yourself on the first day of work? What internal quality and character traits will shape your attitudes and actions? Include information on how your personal values meld with the values of the company. Talking about your personal values shows the hiring manager that money is not your only motivator.
Use these cover letter tips when applying for your next position to increase the likelihood of an interview and job offer. Catch the recruiter's attention with your knowledge of company culture, hold that attention with an entertaining story and get the reader to think more deeply about you with information about your values. Great cover letters take some thought, but securing the right job for you is well worth the effort.
(Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
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