When it comes to your job search, your cover letter plays a critical role, yet nobody really wants to tackle writing one. Earlier this month we presented 5 Steps to a Breakthrough Cover Letter and this week we are digging a little deeper to uncover 5 more ways you can make your cover letter stand out from your job search competition.
Address the Letter to a Person
Simply put, don’t open with “To Whom it May Concern.” In a competitive market, crafting a resume and cover letter that distinguishes you is a must and addressing your letter to the appropriate person will help set you apart.
- Take the time to track down the hiring authority’s name. If you are unsure of who the hiring manager is, address the letter to the head of the department for the position you are applying for.
- Be sure to spell the name correctly.
Referred? Name Drop
A referral can greatly improve your odds of winning an interview so be sure to make mention of the individual who referred you.
- Name drop within the first paragraph. An internal source that has referred you for a role is a trusted source, so make sure to mention their name early on in your letter.
- Make sure the individual is in good standing with the organization.
Share a Personal Story Showing Company/Product Awareness
Your cover letter provides you with an opportunity to share information about your passion for your chosen industry or your love for the company/product you are interested in working for.
- Tell your story by incorporating what you admire about the company?
- Connect the dots between who you are and the value you bring to the company.
- Example: “I’ve followed XYZ Corporation since it’s early beginnings and relish the idea of helping you ….”
Make the Ask
If you want to increase your odds of landing an interview, close your letter by asking for the interview.
- Wrap up your letter by summarizing your value offer.
- Make your contact information obvious and subtly ask to take the next step.
- Example: “I welcome the opportunity … Please reach out to schedule a time to chat about your needs and how my experience will add value … I would enjoy speaking with you about your specific needs and how I lead your team in …
I understand how frustrating and overwhelming it can be to write about yourself. If you spend some time getting to know your target audience (their pain points and current needs), it will make writing your cover letter easier.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to make your career story stand out even more by taking the hiring authority on a journey that showcases your personality + career milestones that connect you with the role you are pursuing.
If you are having difficulty writing your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile, we should talk! Visit https://breakthroughresumes.com/contact/ or connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to help you create a portfolio of interview-winning job search documents!