Cover letters, do we still need these? The answer is that yes, in most cases, cover letters are still expected. Cover letters are an introduction to you as an employee, and while it may seem like they’re an extra or unnecessary step in the application process, they do still provide candidates with an important opportunity. There are the rare occasions where you might not have enough context of a specific role to include a cover letter, or where there might not be an opportunity to submit one. Online applications and possibly working directly with a staffing partner are two examples of where that might not be the right time to write one.
But don’t let your cover letter writing skills get lost in the shuffle. Here are a few quick tips to help customize your cover letters for the job you want to land.
1. Your First, First Impression
Cover letters are your first real chance to engage prospective employers. There’s a reason that most employers request one in addition to an applicant’s resume. It’s because when compared to a resume or CV, a cover letter helps answer the question that is at the forefront of a hiring manager’s mind, which is why do you want this job? While over time, candidates have fallen back on a boring, templatized cover letter style, they are still a really important opportunity for you to introduce yourself, note what job you are interested in and why you believe yourself to be a qualified candidate.
2. Highlight Accomplishments
Don’t waste your cover letter by simply restating information that is included in your resume. Tell the story of what a great and accomplished employee you are. Pick one particularly relevant project or accomplishment to highlight in your resume and be specific about how the experience has prepared you for the position you are applying for. It’s really important to remember your audience when you are writing a cover letter, and do everything you can to tell the employer how you meet their needs as an applicant.
3. Share Your Knowledge
Many people make the mistake of not doing their research until the interview stage of the hiring process. Employers want the hire people who are excited by the thought of working for them. Show them that you have targeted their company as the next step in your career by researching a company’s mission, their recent projects, or even their mentions in the news. You’ll put yourself ahead of the competition by customizing your cover letter for a specific position and company, proving that you are committed to this opportunity.
4. Share Your Passion
Cover letters are notoriously dry and formal. While making sure that your professionalism shines through, it’s not a bad thing to let your personality shine through as well. People hire people they like and want to work with. It’s a good opportunity to reassure hiring managers that you are a friendly and engaged employee through a personalized cover letter.
Find Your Next Opportunity
For help finding your next exciting job opportunity, connect with the team at Williams today.