You've heard about a new job opening or saw a post online and you are ready to apply. What else do you need besides a killer resume? A knock their socks off cover letter! Here are a few tips that we have gathered to help with your cover letter makeover.
Customize It. Every employer is looking for something different so tailor the letter to that particular job. Your job objective and qualifications should match what they are looking for. Don’t send the same one with every job application.
Highlight Your Skills. The resume can be used for your education and job experience, but the cover letter can be used to mention your leadership or team work skills. Tell them about how you can fulfill what they are looking for.
Be Original. Don’t just rehash your resume onto the cover letter. Use it as your chance to add some more personality and talk about yourself. A resume is more formal, so the cover letter should be a bit more conversational. Using humor, however, is a big no-no; keep it friendly and professional.
Say Hello To The Right Person. Do some research to find out who to address your letter to. Some job posts will tell you but others won’t. You can call the company to find out or do some internet research. If all else fails address it to the hiring manager and avoid using “To Whom It May Concern”.
Show Your Professional Side. Using a cute or funny email address is not cute or funny to a potential employer. If you don’t already have a formal email, get one ASAP. You want to show you are ready for the job and give a good impression. They don’t need to know that you are a cat lover or star trek expert.
Create Buzz. Some companies have to read through a ton of applicants so they use computer systems to weed out the undesirable ones. Make sure yours will be seen by human eyes and include some buzz words. Look through the original job posting and use words from that. If they are looking for someone who is an “avant-garde storyteller” make sure to include the phrase in your letter. Check out this list of power words to add to your cover letter and resume.
Proofread. Sure you can use spell check, but that can miss things also. Try reading your letter out loud to catch mistakes or have someone else read it. Make sure to use someone who is good with grammar and spelling.
Save It Correctly. Some people use Microsoft Word and others might use Apple’s Pages. Save your cover letter (and resume) in PDF format. It will keep your formatting correct and will guarantee that the hiring manager will be able to open it without any issues.
Always Send One. Always. Never hesitate to send a cover letter. It is proper etiquette and it shows you are a professional. Plus it is your chance to sell yourself and stand out from the crowd.
Now that you have the right tools to give an employer, back it up by becoming a great networker! Check out our blog with our Top 10 Networking Tips by clicking the image below.
Are you a grad who needs help with writing a cover letter or updating your resume? Contact our Career Services Department at 248-358-9000. They can assist you with all of your job hunting needs!