Putting together a resume that you feel good about can be difficult enough, but writing a cover letter is another game altogether! Here are five tips for writing cover letters that will have your potential employer booking you for an interview quick smart.
1. Keep it trim
So many job applicants make the mistake of writing really long cover letters that are, basically, a re-hashing of every detail of their resume. Forget it. Your future boss knows that he/she can read all the nitty gritty by flipping the page. Your cover letter should never be more than three paragraphs long and should focus on three major points.
2. The letter should match the job
If you’re applying for a job in a conservative field, such as real estate or finance, write in a serious, straightforward tone. But if you’re seeking a job in a creative industry – like copywriting or advertising – it doesn’t hurt to show a little linguistic or personal flair. Just don’t go overboard, or your reader might think you’d be too much to handle on a daily basis.
3. Add to your resume: don’t repeat it
See your cover letter as an opportunity to reveal something new or different about yourself. For example, you might include some knowledge that you have about the company or industry, or you might describe some of your personal qualities. This is your chance to demonstrate that you’re passionate, hard working, curious, interested and interesting.
4. Start with something big (or at least, biggish)
Your opening paragraph should include an impressive fact or engaging story. Mention the achievement you’re most proud of, or describe an incident that shows your skills, knowledge or nonce. Your recipient might well be reading hundreds of letters, so give them a good reason to remember yours.
5. It’s the little things
Before hitting the send button, triple-check that your spelling, grammar and punctuation are 100% correct. Pay an editor to proofread your letter if necessary. Demonstrating proficiency with your own language is crucial to making a good first impression.