Five tips to a better cover letter
You’re filling out an online job application and that section, cover letter, pops up. Writing a cover letter that strikes the right tone, covers all you want to say, but does not make you sound conceited can be tough. Here are our top five cover letter tips to help you strike the right balance and get you closer to that interview.
1. Don’t recycle
- Pick out your strongest sentences and phrases and work them into your new cover letter
- Avoid phrases like “I’m excited to apply for a role at your organization.”
- Make sure you name the company and the role you are after, then follow it up with as much specific detail as possible.
2. Speak the lingo
Do your research and learn about the company philosophy, culture, and mindset. Try to mirror what you’ve gleaned from the company website or social media in your writing as a way of expressing your mindset and how it aligns with their corporate culture.
3. Catch their eye
Hiring managers receive and review applicant profiles and cover letters from many sources. What can you do to stand out and catch their eye? Your opening statement should convey something about yourself that will make the hiring manager want to read more.
“My name is Lynda Reed, from Cape Town, South Africa,” doesn’t do much to draw the reader in does it?
To start, your name is on your resume. The reviewer wants to know who you are.
Lynda could try something catchier:
“Though I’ve had a happy and rewarding experience working with GGC, seeing the job description for Collaborate Inc. stopped me in my tracks. Ever since I was a child, growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, I was taught to value an egalitarian approach to education and feel strongly that Collaborate Inc.’s philosophy of “complete student education” closely aligns with those values.”
With this revised opening Lynda has shared her current employment situation, some personal details about where she grew up, and has demonstrated an interest and understanding in the organization she is applying to.
4. Build up the body of your letter
Now that you have captured the hiring manager’s attention, it’s your chance to sell yourself.
Avoid rehashing your resume: “I was in charge of managing current client accounts and reengaging former clients.”
Instead, extract those brief points in your resume and flesh them out with detail and context. Show how that experience makes you perfect for this new role.
For example: “By reviewing past client surveys, KPIs, and focused online social media engagement, I was able to bring a data-driven modern approach to the project of former client engagement. This increased the percentage of returning clients by 40% over a six month period.”
5. Go out with a bang
Don’t close your letter with: “I look forward to speaking with you”.
Seize this chance to reiterate your enthusiasm for the position: “National Hotel’s focus on guest experience and comfort has left an impression on me. I would love to work for an organization where every employee from CEO to housekeeper takes a personal interest in providing guests with a world class experience.”
Thank you for your time,
While these are just some tips to assist you in composing the perfect cover letter for your dream job, remember you’ll never get hired for a job you don’t apply for, so get writing!
When you’re ready to try writing your cover letter in Japanese, here are some useful tips.
For exciting jobs that are worth your time writing a fresh cover letter, see our jobs page.