I have discussed in the past, how important cover letters are and why. The conclusion? They are probably the most important part of your application process. You can find that article here. In that article, I also described that it is very important to follow the directions, but what do you do if there are no directions? I am about to tell you.
Address The Hiring Manager
Unfortunately, this information isn’t always available, for many reasons. Maybe there are multiple people looking at your resume, maybe they don’t want to be inundated with phone calls from prospective applicants in which case “Dear Hiring Manager” works! If however, you are lucky enough to find out who it is, you definitely want to use their name.
I said this information “isn’t always available” but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework. Read the job listing, carefully go through the company’s website, ask the person who may have referred you, or look on social networks like LinkedIn. As a last resort, you can always call the company to see if they will tell you who it is.
I say this with cautious enthusiasm because let’s face it, this can be challenging. You want to be remembered! But you want to be remembered in a good way. The cover letter needs to both exude your personality, with a touch of excitement while also showing that you’re capable of doing their job based on your accomplishments throughout your working life. It’s not easy, but your overall goal here is to not be boring.
Show Your Stuff
Include keywords that reflect the job posting. Not only will they align with the goals for the candidate they are looking for, they will also help your future employer sift through cover letters, especially if they are using electronic scanners. You want to show the hiring manager why you’d be great for the job and the cover letter is going to let you do that. Your resume can only say so much, your cover letter lets you say the rest. Give examples of the work you have done that proves you can do what they will ask for you in the role.
Don’t Be Boring
Ok, the “Hook Em” section should probably have been enough on the topic but I’d like to expand on this. Being overly formal can be boring. I’ll say it again, you want your cover letter to be remembered. Show them your passion for whatever it is you do! Passion isn’t boring. Don’t ramble, but do let your personality be a part of your writing.
I know, cover letters can be daunting, but as they say, ‘practice really does make perfect. You won’t know unless you try. Your goal should be to make a better cover than your last one, every time you write one. And maybe, after you’ve written the best cover letter of your life, you will have gotten the job, because you did it so well.