The cover letter is not just a formality of the job search.
It is your chance to make a strong first impression and inject a little personality into your career documents.
Hiring managers still read cover letters as a way of differentiating between candidates with similar work histories.
It’s up to you to make sure your cover letter content is more powerful that the ordinary, boilerplate material that so many candidates are presenting to hiring managers today, and it all starts with a story.
Telling your professional and personal story in a concise way can be a challenge. If you can pull it off, you’re guaranteed to catch the attention of your potential new management team in no time.
“I am writing to apply for the open sales position.” Boring. That’s a general lead-in on a large number of cover letters currently circulating throughout the job market.
If you’re looking to have a puncher’s chance against your competition, your cover letter content must tell your story in an engaging, memorable way. You want hiring managers to put down your letter thinking: “Great introduction. I’m definitely setting up an interview.”
Start your cover letter with a snappy introduction. For example, “My name is Kate, and I’m looking for a change.” Then proceed to explain why your skill set, current career focus and the company’s job announcement are in alignment. Relate your story to what the company is looking for, both in terms of professional skills and personality.
Show Some Personality
Hiring managers are looking for some spunk and spark from their candidates, especially if they are sifting through hundreds of cover letters for one opening. The way you can make yourself stand out is by finding the balance between personal and professional.
Give insights into what drives you to do the work you do. What drew you to the open position? How does your story overlap with what the company is trying to achieve in the community?
Hiring managers want to know what kind of personality they are getting when they hire you. Research the company’s core corporate values and tie them together with your own.