Writing a cover letter can be more creative than writing a resume. Why? Because while the resume is supposed to represent your professional side, the cover letter is more about who you are.
1. Address a Person
Avoid writing “To whom it may concern” when you have the name of the person responsible for the recruitment process. Even when you don’t have it, look on LinkedIn and try to find that person you want to write your letter to. Address directly to that person and you will increase the chances of getting their attention.
2. Get their attention
After grabbing their attention with their own name, you should provide a short sentence able to make an impact. You want them to read the whole cover letter and you’ll get that in the first 2 sentences. Most recruiters look over a cover letter around 5-10 seconds so you have to make sure you capture their attention.
3. Keep It Simple
You don’t need to write a book about you and your expectations/goals. Keep it one page max. Let enough space for it to breathe as this will help the recruiters to have a good impression at a first sight. Use three paragraphs max and use bullets when appropriate.
4. Do Your Research
It’s an old advice but it certainly makes you win some points! The goal is not to read the company’s history and paste it in your Cover Letter. Instead use specific Products, Expansion and News to leverage your profile matching that specific matter.
5. Be adaptable
Every company has its own culture and your cover letter should reflect that. Being funny and informal may work for a start-up company but not for a conservative classic Bank, for example. Know where you are applying to and write directly to them. Avoid generic cover letters for every positions, because we are not dumb and we can see when you invest your time applying and when you do not.
6. Know Your Value
If you don’t know your own value and what sets you apart then your cover letter will probably be generic and fall into a recycled bin in 2 seconds along with your resume. Know exactly where you usually shine in the professional scene. That’s what you want to highlight and that’s what they want in their company.
7. Don’t repeat your Resume
A lot of people write their cover letter as their resumes with a diferente shape: paragraphs. The purpose of the Cover Letter is to let your personality shine along with a value proposition. While the resume answers to: What’s your academic background? What’s your work experience? What have you achieved so far? What is your professional path? The cover letter answer to: Who are you? Why are you a perfect fit?
8. Tell a Story
Since we were children we are used to read stories and be captivated by them. We still read them today in the newspapers, magazines, books, etc. So the best way of capturing a recruiter’s attention is by writing a story about you, your skills and goals.
A – Ask questions. This will make them want to reply to you
B – Use “PS- ” with useful information at the end of the letter (99% guaranteed they will read it)
C – Drop the big words and use your human voice.