5 Tips for Creating a Cover Letter that Stands Out

— December 26, 2018

When you decide to apply for a new job there is a ton of information you have to give and steps you must take. Before you stand a chance of getting an interview you must prepare your resume and cover letter.


The reality of the situation is when you include a cover letter there is a chance that they might not even bother reading it. But, and this is a big one if you can catch the attention of the hiring manager, you may just stand a better chance of getting hired.


We want to give you some great tips to help you deliver a high-quality cover letter that will draw in the interest of any manager that picks up your application and starts skimming. Here are some things to keep in mind the next time you decide to turn in a full resume, application, and cover letter.


Solve a Problem


When a new position opens up at a business, odds are, this is because there is a hole in the company’s business and they are looking someone to fill the aforementioned hole.


This is where you come in. When you’re writing your cover letter, talk about how your skills are going to solve a problem for the company and how this will benefit them. We have a bad habit of talking all about ourselves in the cover letter and truthfully, that’s the function of the resume.


For example, if you’re applying for a job as an accountant, explain that if there are any issues with the bookkeeping you’re committed to resolving those issues. Talk about how you can and will meticulously look through all of the data to make sure the company is in a solid, financially stable position.


Don’t Retype Your Resume


There is a group of people who hold the belief that a cover letter is essentially a resume rewritten. Your cover letter has so much more potential than just a rewrite of something that’s already included in your application packet.


You don’t want to regurgitate information in your cover letter. Instead, use this opportunity to explain new information or expand on the things you mentioned in your resume.


If you worked for 10 years but then had a one-year unemployment gap, you may use this space to talk about why you were unemployed, what lessons you’ve learned moving forward, and ultimately your goal in regards to the company upon being hired.


Use Tangible Numbers


When you’re talking about your past experience, make sure you get as specific as possible when covering points that deal with data. If you were a web developer, here’s the difference between a good sentence structure and bad sentence structure when writing your cover letter.


Bad: I worked as a web developer for a couple of years. During that time I worked with a handful of companies and websites.


Good: I spent 7 years working closely with business owners to create high-quality, profitable web pages. During my time in web development, I worked with 4 different businesses. My most successful revamp of a website helped bring 300 percent more customers to their website in less than 2 months.


As you can see, when you use tangible numbers you appear more reputable and you generally stand out over people who use boring, nonspecific language.


Start with a Hook


How many hiring managers do you think receive cover letters that start with “My name is..” or “I would like to work for your company because…”


The answer? Too many.


How can you counter this issue? It’s simple. We know that visual storytelling has an impact on businesses getting leads, but it can also have an impact on employees looking to engage with a business.


Make sure you include an eye-catching hook during the very first sentence. This technique will encourage the hiring manager to sit down and read your cover letter attentively. They want to know more about you since you managed to ‘wow’ them with your first impression.


There are plenty of different hooks you can use when you start your cover letter. You could begin by telling a story, a clever anecdote, or your professional catchphrase.


Avoid cliches and tired phrases like “I’m a hard worker.” Instead, focus on what experience makes you a hard worker and what data proves that you’re a dedicated employee.


Show Interest in the Company


Career building website Indeed published a piece talking about how to start a good cover letter. One of their top suggestions is to make sure you show interest in the company while writing your cover letter.


There are plenty of different things you can write about as it pertains to the hiring company.


Perhaps you could discuss products you’ve purchased and regularly use. You could talk about current employees that told you about the career opportunity and how you know them, if that is the case, obviously. If applicable, you can even talk about how you have so much faith in the company because you’ve invested in company stocks either now or in the past.


All of these talking points will help you establish a relationship with the company and the hiring manager while you’re waiting for your phone call back.


There is no doubt that writing a high-quality cover letter can help you land your dream job. You must take the time to craft your cover letter with every job offer that you receive. As you practice creating cover letters in combination with a qualified resume, you’ll soon find that those hiring managers who never gave you a second look are suddenly very eager to see what you can bring to the table.

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Author: Jared Atchison


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