Your resume is the resource that will get you a job but your cover letter convinces a hiring manager to review your resume in the first place.
Stand out in a competitive job market and increase your likelihood of advancing through the job screening process by using personality to punch up your cover letter. Get started with these simple tips:
Use narrative to your advantage. A cover letter can be used to persuade and convey emotion in ways that a resume cannot. Try penning one paragraph of your cover letter to tell a story. Write to the recruiter about your passions, what got you into the field, or about your success at a previous job.
Inject a quote. Draw attention to your skills and professional experience by utilizing a quote from a co-worker, manager, or client. Using someone else’s words to describe your talents gives a recruiter reason to pay attention without conveying arrogance to a potential employer.
Make a connection. Hiring managers don’t have time to read between the lines of what you’re trying to say. Save the recruiter some time by connecting your experience and skills to the job you’re after. Don’t be afraid to come right out and say why you are the ideal candidate for the role.
Be yourself. Unless you have a secret identical twin applying for the same job, there’s no other candidate like you. So why submit a cookie cutter cover letter that a hundred other applicants have developed? Express your individuality in these ways:
- Be personable and natural in your writing rather than taking an unnecessarily formal tone. That means scrapping phrases like “To whom it may concern.”
- Omit generic buzzwords, such as detail-oriented, resourceful, and creative; show, don’t tell!
- Don’t simply copy and paste information from your resume – offer new insights that demonstrate who you are. Relate your two years of experience as a stay-at-home mom to your past career in business planning or explain how your time spent volunteering abroad honed your enterprising spirit.
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