Tips for cover letters might be just what you need! There is much advice out there regarding resumes, cover letters, and interviewing. In this post we are providing 5 practical tips for cover letters to help you focus your efforts.
Because cover letters are your prospective employer’s first impression of you, you want to ensure it’s fantastic. Some of the advice in this article is fairly universal and ubiquitous for writers, but it applies doubly in the case of a cover letter. Here goes:
1. Keep It Simple.
Cover letter tip #1 – Use plain and simple language. Try to be concise and brief. Whenever possible, use the active voice and avoid the passive voice. Don’t repeat your resume, but you should refer to specific aspects of your resume to make your point. For example, refer to a particular resume’ item to show your experience and ability to supervise people. Make a short outline of what you want to say. Focus on your goal and convey it. There are many or great writing apps to check your work, but do not overly rely on them. Understand that you will only be able to convey one or maybe two points in a cover letter, bringing us to the next tip.
2. Put Yourself In the Other Person’s Place.
Much of the advice given concerning the form and style of a cover letter comes from putting myself in the other person’s situation. How important is this position? Consider how many people this person must interview and evaluate. It can’t be fun. Essentially the interviewer must gamble her reputation on whoever they recommend.
How about making it easier for this person to do the job? Would you want to read form letter after form letter or long-winded repetition of a resume’ that you already read? Or, would you prefer a focused, clear letter giving information relevant to the position offered? Our cover letter tip, do your research and consider who will be reading this.
3. Research the Company, the Position, and the Interviewer If Possible.
There is a fantastic amount of information on the internet about virtually every company and its personnel. Much of it is easily found with a simple Google search. The more information you can obtain, the better. The more you know, the more confident you will appear. Again, you don’t have much space to work with, so you may only use one reference to signal your familiarity with the company and the position you are seeking. But that may give you the edge you’re seeking. This tip for cover letters is important because knowledge is key and it shows that you are willing to put in the effort to be well informed.
4. Avoid Boilerplate.
The hiring process is about weeding out of candidates until that leads to a shortlist of applicants that a committee usually evaluates. A poor cover letter or resume is an easy way to get rejected. To avoid this, many job seekers will rely on boilerplate letters provided by many companies. However, consider how many these letters the interviewer must-see. Otherwise, such enterprises would not be profitable. As a unique individual with specific education, experience, and skills, your first impression should be personal.
5. Seek Out a Good Coach
Our last cover letter tip has to do with DIY. DIY is the rage today, but few professionals in any field have succeeded without a good coach. Other than our choice of spouse, seeking your dream job and embarking on your career path can be an essential step in your life and the most stressful. On the other hand, recruiters are competing heavily for talent all over the world. An experienced career coach can help you harness your talent, seek out the right opportunities, consider how to best vet environments, companies, and roles, and communicate your value to prospective employers.
If you need more tips for cover letters or help crafting a top-notch cover letter, our team of award-winning career coaches are here to answer all your questions, provide meaningful feedback, and help you get your dream job!