If you have taken the time to write and polish your resume to perfection when looking for a job, doesn’t your prospective letter deserve the same level of attention? Many job seekers overlook this necessary step and end up receiving fewer requests for interviews than if they had taken the time to writing adding more detail than simply stating that they are interested in applying for a particular position. The following tips will help you make your prospective letter stand out from the rest and distinguish you from the pack as a stellar candidate.
1. Keep your letter relatively short.
Four or five paragraphs should be enough to get your message across. You will need to plan for an introductory paragraph, three paragraphs in the body of the letter, and a concluding one.
2. Do include the name of a mutual contact if you have one.
If you know someone in the company or told about the position by someone the hiring manager knows, mention this in the opening paragraph. Seeing the name will grab the reader’s attention and set you apart from other job seekers who forward a generic cover letter.
3. Don’t rehash the content of your resume.
The reason you are writing your cover letter is to entice the hiring manager to review your resume. You don’t want to give too much away in your cover letter, but writing a few points that will make him or her want to learn more about you is fine.
4. Writing a career summary.
In the first paragraph, share some information about your work. This should be no longer than one or two sentences. You will want to make sure that you present it in a way that is relevant to the position you are applying for.
5. Writing specific examples of why you are qualified for the position.
Tell the hiring manager exactly what you can do for the company. The person reading the cover letter knows you want or need a job, so you don’t need to reiterate this in your cover letter. Instead, keep the focus clearly on how you can help the company improve in some way.
If you can provide concrete examples of ways you were able to help a previous employer increase sales, save money, or improve efficiency, these are great details to share now. Include qualifiers like dollar figures and percentages wherever possible so that the reader can fully appreciate your contribution to the organization.
6. Ask for an interview.
Now that you have made your case for why you should be considered for the job, tell the hiring manager that you would like the opportunity to meet face to face to discuss the opportunity in person. In sales, this is called asking for the order. If you are looking for a job, you are selling yourself and you want to let the person reading the letter know you are ready to go to the next step.
7. Tell the reader how and when you will be in touch.
This tip may not apply if you are submitting your cover letter through an online form, but it will work if you are corresponding with a hiring manager directly. Before you sign your letter, let the employer know that you will be reaching out by phone or e-mail regarding your application. Then make a note on your calendar to do so. At the very least, you will want to be sure your application was received. You may be able to arrange an interview when you contact the employer to follow up.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you in writing a perfect prospective letter that will increase your chance of being interviewed. More interviews means more chances to get hired for your dream job.