The job market has been very tough over the past couple of years and job seekers are trying very hard to differentiate themselves from the crowd. One of the most tedious things to do as part of any job search process is writing an attention-grabbing cover letter that can give you that extra 30 seconds of the employer’s time to review your profile over the sea of applications they get.
To do this, you must tailor your cover letter so that it’s not generic, boring, and highlights relevant skills and experience to match the requirements of the job.
Here are a few tips on how you can write an eye-catching cover letter by mastering the basics:
Understanding the Job Description
It is important to know what is crucial about the position you’re applying for. By looking at the job description, you can identify the keys to success for the position and some of those may be:
- Whether it’s a position that requires you to lead a team or be part of a team or work independently.
- What software and tools are used?
- Is the work project-based?
- The day-to-day role and responsibilities.
- Any travel involved?
By understanding the requirements, you can highlight in your cover letter those elements that you have in your experience to showcase that you’re a good match for the position.
Let’s cover the basics now. When you’re tackling your cover letter, you should keep the following in mind as you’re writing down relevant information to share:
- Introductory information about you.
- Why are you interested in the opportunity?
- Relevant skills and experience.
- Aligning yourself with the company.
Introductory information about you
You want to start things off by giving a quick introduction of yourself highlighting your achievements, your highest level of education, what you’re passionate about in your work, and make sure it’s all relevant to the position you’re applying for as you want to engage the reader’s interests.
Why are you interested in the opportunity
Explain to the reader why exactly you applied for this position and how you found this opportunity amongst the many other job postings out there. What stood out about the position?
- The roles and responsibilities?
- The job title and seniority of the position?
- The compensation and perks that come with it?
- The opportunity to join the company itself?
Whether someone fits a particular position has a lot to do with their motivation for it. Furthermore, if you found the opportunity through a referral, you should mention it as well as that is an added connection to more than just someone applying to any job off a job ad.
Relevant Skills and Experience
This is where you can highlight your relevant skills and experiences with the requirements of the job. Use specific examples to demonstrate how your previous roles have prepared you for the challenges outlined in the job description. If the position requires effective communication, share a brief anecdote about how you successfully collaborated with cross-functional teams in your previous job. Below is an example about multitasking:
“Working in fast food restaurants has prepared me to work in a fast-paced environment where I have to multitask and learn to prioritize important tasks.”
Aligning Yourself with the Company
Aside from just showing you can do the job, it’s important for you to express why you see it as a great opportunity for both you and the company that you become part of their team. Be specific on what stands out about the company you’re applying to versus others. It could be the culture / mission / values and other information that you found about them. This demonstrates not only your qualifications but also your genuine interest in being a cultural fit. You want to highlight the fact that if you were to join the company, you would fit with the rest of the team and not be a disruptive addition. Below is an example on how you can show your alignment to the company’s values:
“What excites me is to work with a company that values innovation as someone that is continuously looking to explore new ideas as it resonates with my work philosophy.”
You want to end things off getting your reader excited. Re-emphasize your interest, what you look forward to in the role and how you can contribute to the company. Below is an example:
“My goal is to further develop my current set of skills and knowledge while contributing to a positive change and the growing success of the organization.”
Tailoring your cover letter to the job description is a powerful way to demonstrate your understanding and genuine interest in the role. It also gives you an opportunity to showcase your unique skills and experiences that would make you an ideal candidate.
Contact us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you find new opportunities for the next step in your career!
Indeed. (August 18th 2023.). Cover Letter Format. Retrieved November 11th 2023, from https://ca.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/cover-letter-format
Wellesley College Career Education. (n.d.). Cover Letter Guidelines and Samples. Retrieved November 11th 2023 from https://www.wellesley.edu/careereducation/resources/cover-letter-guidelines-and-samples
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