7 Tips on Creating a Great Cover Letter
Before you go writing a cover letter there are some key elements to consider if you want to get noticed. The first thing that you should know is that any good cover letter should be targeted. That means that you need to spend time studying the company and reviewing the job posting to highlight the skills you have that are related to the job. Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which scan your resume to identify keywords related to the job posting. If you do a good job with injecting relevant keywords, you increase the chance of having your resume flagged for an interview.
A cover letter should never be broadcasted out to all employers.
If you want to increase your chance of getting noticed when you apply for jobs, follow these seven cover letter writing tips.
TIP #1: Make sure your header on your cover letter matches your resume header. This shows consistency and that you know how to brand your self.
TIP #2: Insert the company address. You should be able to find the exact company address by conducting a simple Google search. However, if you are not 100% which location is hiring or can't seem to find the exact address-you should at least have the company name and the city listed
TIP #3: Put in a date. Needs no explanation. So simple.
TIP #4: Mention in the beginning paragraph where you found the job posting.
TIP #5: Mention someone you know in the company or a reference person. Did you talk with someone in the company? Did someone recommend that you apply for the job? If so, don't be afraid to name drop. This will increase your success.
TIP #6: Make sure your cover letter is no longer then 1 page. Your cover letter should be 3-4 small paragraphs. No one wants to read anything longer than this.
TIP #7: Explain your transferable skills. If your past work experience is varied and/or your last job is in a different sector - you need to highlight your transferable skill. That is, what are the skills you developed in these jobs that RELATE to the new position. Explain this to the employer. It is never the employers' responsibility to figure this out on their own. You need to be very overt about HOW this relates.
If you follow the above 7 tips on designing your next cover letter, your chances will surely increase in getting the attention of HR. Cover letter writing is a skill - the more you know, the better you will do!