What Makes a Great Cover Letter and Why Have One?

Recently, I was listening to a recruiter who was reading through a resume and cover letter from a candidate who had addressed their cover letter to our competitor rather than for the position at our company. Suffice it to say this resume did not make it much further in the process. This highlights the importance of not just proofreading but also of catering the cover letter to each specific position that you are applying to.

Although it is true that not every application requires a cover letter, and not every hiring manager will take the time to read it, you never know when the cover letter may be just the thing that gets your foot in the door.

Personalize it
The cover letter should be specific to the position and the company that you are applying to, but no need to rewrite the entire thing each time. Briefly speak to the reason that you are interested and why you are a great fit for the position.

Relate your skills to the position
Speak to your skills and how they are a match for the position. Read the job description carefully and make sure to highlight any key points that seem important for the role and then speak to these points within your cover letter. Make it clear what you bring to the table and how it will be an asset to them.

Be Brief
Keep it clean and to the point. Your cover letter does not need to be a long narrative. Busy recruiters and hiring managers rarely have time to read long pieces. You should be able to aptly reflect your interest and fit within about one page.

Keep it clean
As always, perform a spelling and grammar check and proofread before sending. Even the most beautifully written cover letter will not have a positive impact if it is full of spelling and grammar errors.

There are many more ways to make your cover letter stand out. If you need help creating or updating yours, contact me today!

Jill VanderYacht
HR & Career Coach


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