Written by: Katrina Lubiano
Your cover letter is likely the first impression you’ll give potential employers; You should know by now, how crucial it is to nail your first impression. While resumes detail your work history, education, and skill sets, you want your cover letter to tell your story, why you want the job, and what you can bring to the company.
You’re not alone; When it comes to the task of writing a cover letter, 96% of people would rather go to the dentist. Okay, I made that up, but I know most people would agree when they say they struggle is real when it comes to writing a cover letter. Follow these tips, and you’re off to a great start in your job application strategy.
Customise each cover letter for the job you’re applying for
Do NOT commit the cardinal job application sin of submitting the same cover letter to every job posting you’ve encountered. First of all, if you’re serious about landing a job, put some effort into it. Hiring managers and recruiters sift through hundreds of applications in a week, and that lack of effort won’t get you noticed.
Exemplify your strengths rather than using subjective buzzwords
If you’ve read our article on resume mistakes you didn’t know you were making, you’ll know we’re not keen on subjective traits like team-player, detail-oriented, fast-learner, organised. It’s subjective because everyone and their dog thinks these traits describe them too. Rather than dropping these buzzwords, prove it with numbers and examples of your initiatives.
Do your research
Know what you’re getting yourself into, and make sure you understand what the role and company are all about. You can find out more about the company on their website and social media channels.
Hiring the right people for cultural fit is important to a company. With a bit of research, you can discover the latest campaigns, news stories, and projects the company has on the go. It can lend you a starting point for your letter and chatting points in your interview.
Match your cover letter to your resume
A great cover letter design is sure to get your cover letter noticed amongst plain text documents. You can purchase beautifully designed templates online at Creative Market or you can design your own using a free online design program like Canva, just make sure it matches your resume because it will all tie into your personal branding.
Know to whom you are addressing the cover letter to
With LinkedIn, you should have no troubles finding the name of the manager in the department you’re applying to. If you’re still out of luck, make a connection with someone in the company and simply ask. Addressing someone in the company shows you’re willing to put in the extra effort to do your research and make a connection.
Think outside the box
Make your first impression impressionable. You can start your introduction by writing about your passions, why you love the company, list your impressive accomplishments, add humour, or better yet, show it.
People process images 60 000 times faster than reading text. Add a visual aspect to your application and submit a video cover letter. A video puts your face to the application and allows your personality to shine through and will definitely separate you from the competition.