You may often think that your resume will speak for itself, making the cover letter redundant, but the key to a successful job application is a concise cover letter. It is easy to get overwhelmed browsing through the numerous templates and samples available online. But the best cover letters are the ones that are true to your own identity, telling the recruiter your own professional story.
If you’re still struggling to craft a stellar cover letter that could possibly fetch you your dream job, have a look at our guide to drafting the perfect cover letter to leave a lasting impression on all your recruiters –
Write a fresh cover letter for every position you apply to
This may seem tedious, but is actually the most essential. Each position you apply to may have different skill sets that are required of you. You cover letter should highlight how your skills and experiences will meet their requirements, thus explaining why you are a suitable candidate for the position. Hence, it is highly recommended that you tailor your resume to each company / position you apply to. You can reuse your cover letters by simply changing the name of the person / company you are addressing it to, but you may want to avoid doing so as the idea is to individually address the company rather than sounding generic.
Focus on what the organisation needs
Be very specific in addressing their needs outlined in the job description and show them how you can address their specific needs. Presenting yourself as a solution to a hiring manager’s problem can help your cover letter take the right tone. Provide specific examples of how you can help the company. For example, a salesperson can discuss how they will increase the revenue of the company. An executive assistant can speak about the problems they solve on a daily basis. The IT professional can write about how they can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the systems, thereby saving the company money.
Paint a bigger picture
Candidates often make the mistake of simply regurgitating everything that’s on their resume. But if you’re already attaching your resume to the application, what is the point? Instead of saying I solved xyz problem, talk about your approach to tackling the issue. If you’re talking about a significant achievement at your company, give them an idea of the process involved to reach your goal. This may involve analysis, research, or simple communication – whatever it may be, these are key points that shouldn’t be left out.
You may tend to get carried away with enlisting your achievements, and can come across as ‘bragging’. But that’s hard to keep track off when you’re talking about all the things that made you an asset to the company! The best way to do this is to write from a different perspective. Think about how your office friend, or your boss for that matter, would describe you to someone else. Write the letter from their point of view.
Proofread as much as you can
The last and final step to writing your perfect cover letter is the edit phase. Check your final draft for any spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, or any add-ons if necessary. You can even run it through a spell check software available online. Another great way to edit your cover letter is to look at it with a fresh set of eyes, meaning you can have a family member or a friend go through it and seek their inputs. Avoid picking apart your letter for the tiniest of things, or over thinking the contents of the letter. You can also refer to cover letter samples that are available online.