A cover letter carries the first impression you would make to a potential employer. If it is good enough, there is a greater chance for you to be considered for the role. If it fails to stand out however, your application might be left out in favor of other candidates.
So to make sure your cover letter stands out from everyone else, it has to be strong, easily remembered and interesting enough for a potential employer to hold onto it. Below are 6 tips to ensure that your cover letter does not go straight to the shredder:
1. Good Grammar and Punctuation
Good grammar and punctuation is always a plus. It indicates professionalism, competence and great attention to detail. No potential employer would like to hire an employee who does not even know the difference between your and you’re. So before sending that cover letter, edit and proofread the whole thing first. You can also let a friend proofread and review your letter first, so you can have initial feedback before it goes out to the big guys.
2. Strong, Business-Like Approach
You may have written a perfect, error-free cover letter, but how is the quality? Don’t waste too much space on sweet, flowery words that might just turn off a potential employer. They don’t have time to beat around the bush and try to ascertain your figurative speeches. Remain a straight, professional but friendly tone. Don’t over promise or get ahead of yourself too. Remember, you want to make a good impression, and not come off as an arrogant know-it-all.
3. Keep It Short and Sweet
Again, potential employers don’t have time to read really long cover letters, given that many applicants are vying for the position and each needs to be sifted through so the best ones will be determined from the unfit ones.
So if you want to make sure that your application does not go directly to the bin or shredder, make your cover letters short but sweet. State your purpose right away and put in your strongest points (experience and education) that makes you the perfect choice for the job.
4. Add Good Humor
Maintaining a professional tone while being funny at the same time is a skill – and others have this down into a fine art. You don’t have to force yourself if it is hard for you to do it naturally though, otherwise, your cover letter might just sound awkward. However, you can practice this particular skill by starting with personal tales and preferences that are connected to the industry or job that you are applying for. You can view several examples here that might help inspire your own humorous cover letter.
5. Include Relevant Work Experience
Of course, this is basically your strongest weapon towards getting that job. However, if you are still a fresh grad who is looking for an actual paying job, don’t be pressured that you cannot add such aspect in your cover letter.
However, even if you don’t have an actual work experience yet, you can still cite your internship or apprenticeship experiences in your cover letter. You can also mention your experience as a working-student, or any kind of job that confined you to work for several hours per day. Employers would understand and consider this though, especially if they are also looking to hire fresh college grads.
6. Show Off Your Passion
Of course, you must also show that you are passionate with your craft. Aside from that, you can also show how passionate you are when it comes to work in general – such as being punctual, having initiative, great leadership skills, or simply being an independent worker who does not need to be constantly checked on. Passion is not just seen through your output, but it is also seen through your work ethic.
Now that you have an idea of how to make eye-catching and attention-grabbing cover letters, do you know how best to hand in those to a potential employer? Should it be through a personal application in the company’s office space or through mere email?
As much as you can, try to hand your cover letter and resume personally (especially if the company’s office is just within your city). This will give you an initial feel and perception of the company that you might be accepted into – does it have an environment that is conducive for work? Do employees seem pleasing and comfortable in what they do? Most of all, you could also have an initial feedback on how your application could go. Was it received well, or did the HR seem uninterested?
However, if the office is quite far from your area and the job you are applying for allows employees to work from home, then might as well just email your cover letter and resume.
Sarah Jacobs is an experienced writer who loves creating articles that can benefit others. She has worked as a freelance writer in the past making informative articles and fascinating stories. She has extensive knowledge in a variety of fields such as technology, business, finance, marketing, personal development, and more.
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