5 Tips for a Stand-Out Cover Letter
The biggest reason why I often skipped reading cover letters is because the applicant didn't appear to put much thought in rehashing what I already read in the resume. Cover letters are not your resumes in essay form--they're more like love letters to a company! Setting yourself apart means demonstrating clarity on why you'd love to join my team and what makes you a great fit. Here a ways to achieve this in half a page or less.
One unique cover letter for every company. Recruiters can easily tell when you're floating around your template cover letter to employers--and that's why they don't read them! Just like resumes, cover letters should be prepared after you'e done your research on the company, industry, and job profile.
Be specific when you talk about the employer. Mentioning your interest for the company because of employees referring you or because of specific core examples which resonate with you are key. Give employers the impression that you follow them on the news or have spent time reviewing their website.The more specific you are, the better.
Tell them WHY you're interested in them. Beyond saying what it is about them that you like, explain why you like it to provide more impact. If you can tie this in to a relevant skill or experience, or even better, the types of problems you solve, you'll make quite the impression.
Explain how you'd like to help the organization succeed. Companies post jobs because they have problems that need to be solved, so tell them what kinds of problems you want to solve for them! This is a more effective way of saying why you want a job, which they already know you do.
Share stories demonstrating your value. Do NOT repeat what's on your resume or state "I'm a team player." Instead, share a story or two that highlight several skills. Did you develop a new process that is used company-wide today? GREAT--perhaps explain briefly how your negotiation and conflict management skills made it all possible.
Remember--cover letters are like love letters, and when you finish writing it, it should make you feel like you are the best candidate. Have others review it to validate that for you before you send it off.