Making your cover letter stand out

04.17.2014


Making your cover letter stand out
Making your cover letter a stellar standout

When job searching, cover letters are considered one of the most important aspects of the entire application process. These letters are often an introduction from you to a potential employer, so it's important to make sure they remain high-quality at all costs. When doing so, there are a few strategies that can help your chances.

Youtern recommended highlighting the results you've achieved in previous positions, whether you've been working for one year or 20. Many cover letters fall into the trap of generalized results with no real evidence of real improvement. It's important to make sure you avoid this by looking back at your history and finding anecdotes that show industry knowledge and impressive outcomes. Having improved retention rates, saved client relationships or spearheaded new ideas for a company can all work to your benefit. Even if you don't have a lot of work experience, examples from internships or even past projects for classes can also pay off.

It's just as important to show you're the right fit for the company itself. That means you can't send out stock cover letters to every company and expect good results. Instead, each letter should be aimed at a higher-up in the company itself and relate to the company's overall direction. This doesn't mean you need to write an essay about how much you love the specific business. Instead, just focus on industry expectations and use your best logic in writing.

Respond to the specific listing

Penn Energy adds that you should make sure you read and respond to the specific needs of the listing itself. Many people will rush out a cover letter without a second thought, not realizing that their efforts may reflect poorly upon their actual writing if they miss an important aspect of its requirements. Responding to specific bullet points of the job listing itself will help your efforts greatly.

You need to make sure you talk normally in the letter too. Don't get bogged down in jargon and buzzwords. Instead, appeal directly to the manager about how you can be a perfect fit for the company's culture. You'll be able to position yourself as someone who will be comfortable in most situations, helping managers consider you more highly.

Above all else, you should make sure you make a personal appeal to the reader. Being more personal, even if it takes you a few more minutes while writing, can give you a leg up on the competition.

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