The job market has a reputation for favoring employers, which could make standing out from the pack a challenging task. Matched with a decline in hiring — a whopping 23.8% a year in the United States alone — you may find yourself scrambling to gain that competitive edge. However, your cover letter can help you shine.
Drafting a cover letter is often considered a cumbersome task for job seekers looking to address issues that can cause employer disinterest — from gaps in employment to lack of experience. The cover letter has become a game-changer in improving the chance of candidates securing their next role. In this article, we discuss quick and easy cover letter tips to help improve your job prospects.
An Attention-Grabbing Opener
Be direct when addressing the hiring manager or recruiter reviewing your application. Shy away from the sir/ma’am greeting. LinkedIn is a great starting point to narrow in on this information. Do your research. It’s vital to lead with achievements, discuss how they apply to the role, and maintain your reader’s attention. Remember, hiring managers are scanning and waiting for details to jump out at them.
Be confident. Have you ever heard of the phrase fake it until you make it? Apply it. Whether you’re a seasoned applicant or venturing into the unknown, you should adopt the right mindset. Know your worth and what you bring to the table. Compile a short list of examples — that apply to the job — and weave them throughout your cover letter.
Infusing your cover letter with a pinch of personality never hurts. After all, employers want a clear understanding of who you are to determine if you’re a cultural fit. Be mindful of your audience. Avoid using slang, jargon, emojis, or humor that hiring managers can misunderstand or deem inappropriate. Further, maintain respect at all times.
Flex Your Skillset
Does your ability to persuade decision-making impress your boss? Are you praised for your ability to shape top-performing teams? Share your wins. A cover letter is a perfect tool to educate a potential employer about your skill set and how it relates to the job opening.
Employers have goals and expectations and you should have a pulse on matters to you. Are you looking to learn and grow but are unsure about growth opportunities? Make it explicit. Share that you are interested in learning and growing with [company]. Detail what you love most about the [company] and how you would be a valuable asset to their culture.
Good Grammar Is Important
Always proofread your cover letter, then read it again. You can catch basic spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors that may turn off a potential employer. Draft your cover letter in a Word document or leverage editing tools such as Grammarly.
Summarize your thoughts and extend a genuine thank you. After all, hiring managers and recruiters spend countless hours reviewing applications daily. Be mindful that the time you put into your cover letter mirrors the effort hiring managers take to evaluate your application.
The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.