1.) Include Skills from the Job Posting
Cover letters should always be tailored for the position you are applying for. Read the job posting in-detail and note the qualifications you possess. Highlight those skills and abilities within the content of your cover letter. Don’t use such valuable space to write a novel about your work ethic and why you’re the best fit for the job. Allow your compatible qualifications to speak for themselves and refer to them in context with previous work experience. The job posting should be your number one reference when writing a cover letter.
2.) Keep it Short & Sweet – Quality over Quantity
Your cover letter should never exceed a single page, and you should only include the information most relevant to the position you are applying for. Write a few drafts and print the job description for reference. Anything you find that you have included in your cover letter that isn’t directly related to the qualifications listed in the job description should be excluded.
3.) Don’t Repeat Resume Content
Your cover letter is like your sales pitch whereas your resume is comparable to your portfolio. Often times, the quality of your cover letter will determine if your resume is reviewed. So, save some of the most vital qualifications, achievements, and skills for your cover letter. Don’t just repeat what’s on your resume.
4.) Focus on What You Have to Offer
Always focus on what you have to offer the employer, not what the employer can do for you. Employers want assets and achievers, not liabilities. It’s almost always about what you can do for them, not about what they can do for you. So, use your cover letter as a platform for highlighting the ways in which you can be an asset. Express your interest in benefiting the business, but don’t focus too much on yourself.
5.) Do Your Research
Always, always do your research. Get to know the business you are applying with. Even if you’ve been a professional in the same field for many years, each company is different in its workforce values. Start with the Mission Statement and continue to dig. Include some variation of the Mission Statement in your cover letter. It is easier to appeal to an entity you understand and be welcomed as a result. Portray yourself as a great candidate to be a part of the team.