When it comes to securing your dream job, it’s worth any advantage you may have over other candidates to get an interview. The cover letter is one of those advantages.
A cover letter is one way to reinforce your job application. It is one more step to make your resume stand out. And if there is a chance, however small, that the chances of getting the job you’ve always wanted will increase, believe it: we are going to do everything in our power to help you!
Imagine that you find out that your hard-to-write job application was disregarded because there were spelling or grammatical errors. That would be difficult to accept but this happens a lot.
Hiring managers have to read hundreds of resumes and cover letters with every job ad and misspelling or grammar is one of the easiest ways to reduce the number of applicants. Of course, it also depends on whether the reader notices it and cares. But it is not worth the risk.
Print your cover letter and read it aloud. Read it twice and then again, starting with the last sentence. Then ask someone else to read it too.
Your cover letter should be easy to read in any format. If you email your letter or upload it to a job board, chances are they will read it online and then print it out to reread on paper. So, it has to be easy to assimilate.
Large paragraphs are very annoying to the eyes, especially on a screen. Use short sentences and limit paragraphs to three or four sentences. If things enter through the eyes it is easier for them to connect with the brain.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the cover letter and resume will be read together, so both must be consistent in your presentation. Combine the style of your cover letter with your resume. We’ve made it easy for you by matching all cover letter designs with our resume templates.
Any hint of “copy and paste”
The example of “I am writing to apply for the[job] in [company]” from before is the classic” copy and paste. “
Anything that seems unspecific or generic will immediately alert the hiring manager wondering how many other people you’ve tried to impress with your robotic writing. This does not mean that you cannot use “copy and paste” templates, just that you should not make it obvious that you are using them.
Too much personal information
We are sure that the hiring manager will be delighted to know that you have three cats, a Pokemon collection and that you are a fan of Enrique Iglesias. And that time you broke your leg skating as a child is also a good anecdote. But keep everything until you’ve got the job, okay?
By law, hiring managers cannot judge a candidate by race or age, so you can and should leave those two things out of your cover letter. Other things we see people often include are marital status or children. These are also data that you do not need to include. These are things that can come up during an interview, but at this stage it is about showing that you are the perfect candidate that can benefit the company.
Too much talk about yourself
“I did this” and “I’m brilliant at it” is fine as long as it relates to how you can help the company solve its problem. A cover letter is about you, not what you can do, but what you can do for them.
Talking too much about yourself can give the impression that you have too big an ego, which could make you think that it is not easy to work with you. Most positions imply that you will work within a team, or at least under the supervision of management. If it is presented as too self-centered, it can be seen as something negative.
You also risk giving the impression that you are exaggerating your achievements, or worse, lying. This would be a disaster for your request. Focus everything on the fact that your abilities make you the perfect candidate for the company team.
A lot of words
A recent survey shows that, almost 70% of employers want cover letters of less than one page. 24% say the shorter the better.
As a general rule, your cover letter should be about 300-350 words long, divided into three or four short paragraphs, on a single page. In an email you can even put even fewer words, about 200-250, since links can be included.
It depends on you
Knowing what you already know, now you can write a cover letter that in the worst case will make your resume read and in the best case will make the hiring manager take the phone to call you before reaching the firm.
Study the job application, research the company and write a personalized cover letter that sells you as the perfect person for the job.
To help you in the process, as we promised here below there are X templates that you can use to inspire you when writing yourself or modify and edit them to your liking to adapt them to the job you want to request.
Cover letters are not dead! You are going to demonstrate it.