Contrary to the common belief among applicants, recruiters indeed read cover letters. In fact, statistics suggest that nearly 87% of recruiters thoroughly read the cover letters before starting the interview. A cover letter gives recruiters a better understanding of an applicant’s personality and a brief idea of what they might bring to the table.
It means if you want to maximize your chances of standing out in a pool of applicants, it would be crucial to pen down the perfect cover letter. It doesn’t matter whether you’re applying for a job interview through online recruitment agencies or going for a walk-in interview, having a well-tailored cover letter will help you stand out.
But, what makes a cover letter perfect? In this guide, we’ll share some of the best secrets to write a compelling cover letter and gain a competitive advantage over other applicants.
Regardless of the job role you're applying for, these tactics will help you craft the perfect cover letter.
1. Do not Simply Repeat your Resume
Many candidates make the mistake of copying their resume exactly while writing the cover letter. It’s worth understanding that both resumes and cover letters are used to serve different purposes.
Your cover letter should not look like an exact copy of your resume. Instead, try to mention 3-4 highlights of your personality that you believe can add value to the company’s ongoing operations.
If it’s possible, try to validate these traits along with examples and explain how you tackled various situations in your previous work life. Keep in mind that if your cover letter looks like an exact copy of your resume, there’s a huge probability you’ll fail to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
2. Write a Cover Letter for a Specific Job
When it comes to cover letters, there’s no one-size fits all solution. In fact, experts working at the best online recruitment agencies suggest that people who use the same cover letter to apply for every job opportunity never manage to secure them at all.
The purpose of a cover letter is to add a personal touch to your profile and explain how your skills will help the company achieve its goals. And, since each organization has its own business objectives, it makes complete sense to customize your cover letter for the specific job role.
Now, it can often get tricky to write a customized cover letter every time you apply for a job. The easiest way to get the job done is to thoroughly read the job description, analyze your skillset, and then explain how these skills will meet these objectives.
3. Directly Address the Recruiter
'To whom it may concern!'
Unfortunately, many applicants start their cover letter with this line. As surprising as this may sound, that’s not how you should write a cover letter - or any other personal message. You are writing the cover letter directly for the recruiter, which means it’s crucial to address him directly. Instead of a random greeting like a robot, address the hiring manager directly and make your cover letter more effective.
Sometimes the applicant may not have the full information about the recruiter. If that’s the case, you can directly visit the company’s website or check the Linkedin profile to know who’s managing the recruitment process. In case you still don’t have an idea who’s the hiring manager, simply call the front desk of the organization and they’d happily share all the details.
4. Back Up Your Skills With Numbers and Examples
Here’s the deal! Anyone can write compelling cover letters and copy various skills from the Internet. But, if you want to make a good first impression on the recruiter, it would be better to add examples and numbers along with your claims.
For instance, if your marketing campaign helped you bring new clients to your previous organization, it would be quite helpful to mention these details in the cover letter. Similarly, you can also mention the revenue that you helped another organization or client generate. This will help you stand apart in a pool of applicants and maximize your chances of securing the job.
5. Write Your Cover Letter Like an Essay
The attention span of an average human, including the recruiter who’ll be reading your cover letter, has become relatively short. People do not have the time and patience to read an extremely long piece of paper.
So, make sure that your cover letter is short, crisp, and well-informative. Do not add unnecessary information to your cover letter that you might think would bore the reader. The easiest way to achieve this is to proofread the cover letter multiple times before sending it to the recruiter.
6. Do Not Apologize for the Career Gap
Career gaps are common and everyone takes a few years between different jobs to focus on their personal growth. If you’ve also taken a career gap recently, do not be apologetic about it.
Instead, explain your reason briefly and then, talk about it during the physical interview. Moreover, you can also skip this part and focus on mentioning the strengths that make you suitable for the specific job role. This way you’ll have the liberty to talk about the career gap during the interview and explain your reason more clearly.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are applying for full time or part time jobs, the cover letter will be an imperative part of the application. This is your chance to showcase what makes you the best candidate for the particular job role. And, since the cover letter is directly written to the hiring manager, you can use it to leave a strong first impression. So, follow the above-mentioned tactics and craft a customized cover letter for your next job interview.