Your cover letter is valuable real estate. See what’s trending in 2016.
Your resume is polished and you are ready to apply for your dream job. Well, not quite. You still need a killer cover letter, and compared to your resume, it’s a whole different animal.
Surprise! You shouldn’t make yourself the main focus of your cover letter
The letter needs to concentrate on the company or department offering the position. You come into the picture by showing them how well you recognize their needs and emphasizing your accomplishments, skills, and personality so they can see you are a great fit for their job.
Here are a few tips to make your cover letter stand out from the others
- Address your cover letter to a specific person. Using a salutation like “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Recruiting Manager,” can put off the reader, and in today’s world of vast information, is just bad manners. Even if you are applying blindly, do everything you can to find out who is hiring the position. Check resources like LinkedIn and Twitter, or simply call the company.
- Craft an attention-grabbing opener that introduces who you are, mentions the position you are applying for, and how you heard about it. If the position matches one of your passions, be sure to tell them. What you don’t want to do is declare yourself “uniquely qualified” or “perfect for the job.” Let them decide by reading about your successes.
- Don’t rehash your resume. Instead, using key words and phrases from the job posting, link back to your resume by referring to a few measureable accomplishments that match the specific requirements of the position.
- The overall tenor of your cover letter can be a little more relaxed than that of your resume. Be sincere, honest, and real. Show your personality, but be careful: There is a fine line between sounding charming or conversational and coming off as a little corny. When in doubt, err on the side of being professional.
- A great way to show why you are interested in the position and the company is to find a personal connection with them. Even if you don’t know–or haven’t linked with–anyone who works there, dig down and think: Maybe you use a product developed in the same department that has the opening. Perhaps you have read an interesting article about them. Or possibly you appreciate their reputation for something like innovation, outstanding service, or passion for human welfare. A statement or two is all you need to show you know something about the company. Avoid going over the top with compliments that can sound disingenuous.
- Make yourself sound like you are already one of them by doing some research on their corporate culture. For instance, are they sophisticated, cutting-edge, adventurous, or something else? You can probably discern these nuances just by going to their website. Try to match their tone in your cover letter.
- Finally, close your letter in a way that will convince the hiring manager to contact you to see why you are a good fit for the job and the company.
Go beyond your resume and cover letter
Make use of every avenue to show how you can deliver in a new position and reach your personal employment goals
It’s usually not a good idea to use your cover letter as a forum for outlining what you need from the position, except, that is, when you are working with MARCOMM. Tell us about your passions, talents and what you are expecting from a job so we can advocate for you.
We search out job opportunities in some of the most respected companies in the twin cities. This means you could find your dream job by teaming with MARCOMM. And we double down by offering an employment package that is second to none.
Start by checking our available positions at:
Then contact us to find out more.
Watch for our next blog that will focus on best practices in job interviewing for 2016.