It’s not unusual that job seekers treat a cover letter as an afterthought. So much effort is put into the resume, and in some cases to polish and update the LinkedIn profile, that a cover letter is viewed as a plain formality requirement. In fact, the cover letter acts as a very important introductory document that can contribute greatly to whether or not your application will be considered.
A cover letter should not be very long but it should be effective. Here are some tips on how to draft an impressive one:
Personalize - addressing an actual person is very important. Recruiters want to know that you have taken the time to personalize the cover letter. Showing personality and that you not just copied&pasted a template you found online scores big points. Adding real examples in the cover letter demonstrates your passion for the specific job you are applying to.
Be Brief - your resume is there to tell the full story of your academic background and professional experience. The cover letter should not, as you are risking a quick discard if it looks like a long read. Cover letters are your first contact with employers, so getting the length and content right is important.
Show your Passion – Let the recruiter know why you would love to join their organization. Your resume shows your experience, achievements, but it does not show passion. Use the cover letter to show how you would be a great fit for the role you are applying to and make sure the recruiter understands how well the company and job match your interests.
Be Proud of Yourself - Highlight briefly the points in your resume that you believe are the most important ones for the role, achievements you feel will be most relevant for the recruiter to know when screening candidate.
Be Professional – This last tip is an overall one for all the components of your application – cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile and Thank You letter. They should all be business-like and professional. Don’t use crazy fonts just because you like ComicSans. Make sure you review any document sent to fully proof they’re typo-free.