Advanced Cover Letter Tips
Earlier this year, we shared with you some basic advice on how to write a successful cover letter. We covered the basic set-up, who the letter should be addressed to, and how to correctly format your letter. In today’s blog, we will share more advanced cover letter techniques that will truly help you stand out from the crowd of applicants.
- Customize, customize, customize.
- Templates are extremely helpful. They’re a good place to start, and it’s not a bad idea to save a few versions of your cover letter as a bouncing-off point. However, every cover letter you write should be customized to a specific company. This can be a lengthy process, but it’s worth it in the long run. Hiring managers can tell when you’re submitting a canned response.
- Example: Include some details that are specific to the job posting. Are they looking for someone who is detail-oriented and highly organized? Try: I am an extremely organized person with a strong attention-to-detail. It’s okay to be a bit direct here.
- Let your passion show.
- If you’re truly excited about the position, don’t be afraid to let that show through your cover letter! While it’s important to always remain professional, hiring managers want to see someone who’s going to be excited to come to work every day.
- Example: Working for X Company has been a dream of mine for a long time. I truly believe in the mission that drives the organization, and I have a lot to offer in promoting that mission.
- Provide new information.
- The cover letter should never be a simple regurgitation of the resume. Instead, use it as an opportunity to expand on those details. They already know you worked at X Company for two years; now tell them an example of something you did at that company that is relevant to this position.
- Example: Your resume states that you just completed an internship as an medical assistant in a local doctor’s office. Your cover letter could say: In my recent internship as a medical assistant, I gained real-world experience in the fast-paced world of healthcare. I was able to utilize the skills I learned in college and grow even further in my knowledge of medicine.
- Don’t be afraid to brag.
- Writing a successful cover letter can feel a bit like bragging. Trust us when we tell you that’s okay! You’ve accomplished great things in your education and work experience; make sure the hiring manager knows how awesome you are!
- Example: After graduating at the top of my class, I received national recognition for my design portfolio in the American Student Design Competition.