Cover letters can be pretty annoying but can also give a boost to your application depending on how you look at it. In the past when companies would ask for a cover letter for ‘Why you want to work here’ in the past I felt frustrated, I need a job that’s why I want to work here, now quit with the stupid questions.
I eventually began to see it as an opportunity and stopped using a ‘one size fits all’ approach (the Microsoft Word document I attached to every application that required a cover letter). If it’s a job I feel is worth taking the time to apply for, I’m happy to spend a few minutes on a cover letter because I use it as a quick rundown on my achievements & experiences and what I can bring to the company and the response rate from hiring managers has increased dramatically. Let’s take a look at the 6 cover letter tips to guarantee an interview, that’s worth a 5 minute read right?
1) Keep your cover letter short
Overview your achievements & day-to-day without too much depth, then expand on this in your CV
2) What to say in a cover letter
Talk more about what you will bring to the role using your skills and previous rather than why the company is amazing and you’ve always wanted to work in an organization like this…
Remember that just like CV's, depending on the company you're applying to or the country you're applying in, you may have to make changes to your CV.
3) What to include
Unless you’re a recent graduate or have no experience, you usually don’t need to include education unless you're going into education/engineering industries where your education is just as, if not more important than experience. Make sure to include a few relevant keywords such as 'six sigma' or 'teaching ESL' so that you can get past the resume robots.
4) Use some stats/measurable examples
Use some stats if you can, for example a recent cover letter of mine included statistics on increases in traffic and conversions. It quickly demonstrates some of the measurable achievements which can be supported with data/references & what I’ve done in my current/previous position so the reader can evaluate this. Simply saying ‘I’ve been told I’m good at this’ is of little value (How is the hiring manager supposed to judge this?).
5) Personalize each cover letter
It can be difficult when you’re desperate for a job, to personalize CV’s and cover letters for jobs you KNOW you will be great at. But if you don’t sink the time into applications then you will likely get passed over for someone who has.
So even though it can be a real drag if you’ve been applying to loads of jobs, it can make a huge difference to your application and turn those No’s into an interview offer in which you can promote your wonderful, radiant selves.
6) Remove terms you think they want to hear
As the team over at Muse said in their cover letter tips, cut the fluff. Phrases like team player and people person do nothing to add to your application. You should be using terms relevant to the position you’re applying to: software/ systems you use for example.
I’ve tried to follow my own advice and keep this short but highly actionable, so make these changes and I’m confident that if you do it properly you will have companies knocking down your door asking for an interview. If you enjoyed 6 Cover Letter Tips To Guarantee An Interview be sure to look out for our upcoming article, Social Media and Your Personal Branding!
Sep 21, 2018 by Lee