Job hunting can get too exhausting in a short amount of time. Even after you’ve perfected your resume, found the most fitting jobs from the listings, and mentally prepared yourself for upcoming interviews, you still need to apply to them to get the job. And here comes the challenging part for most applicants – the cover letter. But how do you write a good cover letter and are they even important?
Let’s find out!
Are Cover Letters Important for Job Applications?
The answer is short and non-debatable-yes, they are! Of course, there are times when you don’t have the chance to attach one, but most of the time cover letters are irreplaceable. Jesse Hertzberg, former COO of Squarespace has said it better than anyone: “Don’t let anyone tell you cover letters are BS. They aren’t. I’m hard-pressed to review a CV without a cover letter, and if the cover letter doesn’t engage me, it’s as if there wasn’t one.”
Now let’s discuss what tips are important in creating a good cover letter.
Four Important Tips For a Good Cover Letter
1. Keep Your Letter Short
There’s a 50% chance that the HR manager will read your cover letter. But those chances decrease drastically if your letter is too long and doesn’t fit on a singular page. Unless specified in the job description, it should be 3-4 paragraphs or from 250 to 400 words long.
And remember, your cover letter is not a resume replacement, so instead of repeating the information mentioned in your CV, try to talk about other characteristics that can be interesting for the HR manager.
2. Start With a Good Opening Line
As mentioned before, your letter has a 50% chance of being opened by the recruiter but a killer opening line can increase your chances. Recruiters can get up to hundred letters and you most certainly don’t want to be lost in the sea of them. That’s why you should start strong – always address your letter directly, and keep your highlights and excitement in the first sentence. Also, if you have a connection with the company or want to mention someone do it in the first sentence. It’s the real game-changer.
3. Customize Unique Cover Letters for Each Company
It would be so easy to attach the same letter only by changing the company names every time you want to apply for a new job. But doing this will destroy your chances of getting hired. Companies want to see that you’re excited to work for them and without well-thought letters, you can’t leave that impression. That’s why you need to get acquainted with the company, the position you want to get, with their values and challenges first and only then write your letter.
Every company has different requirements from the applicant so you need to meet all of them individually.
4. Write About What You Can Give to The Company
One of the worst mistakes you can make is talking about your achievements(which are probably already mentioned in your resume) and the benefits you will get if they hire you. HR managers already know what their positions offer. What they really need to know is what you can do for the company in the future. So try to reach their pain points, and mention how you can solve them and what you can bring to the table.
Cover letters are a significant part of the job-hunting process. Crafting an effective one can be pretty challenging. But it gets really easy to achieve if you master the right formula for creating one. Hopefully, these tips will help you on your new journey!